Article

Court reverses Stacain wind farm rejection

The Court of Session in Edinburgh has quashed a decision by the Scottish Government to reject an application for a 14-turbine wind farm near Inveraray. The decision on Friday (March 19) means that the 28MW project may now revert to a public inquiry, which would allow further evaluation of evidence presented by Stacain Wind Farm.

Stacain was originally rejected over fears it would impact on Golden Eagles

The Court of Session in Edinburgh has quashed a "fundamentally flawed" decision by the Scottish Government to reject an application for a 14-turbine wind farm near Inveraray.

The decision on Friday (March 19) means that the 28MW project may now revert to a public inquiry, which would allow further evaluation of evidence presented by Stacain Wind Farm that asserts the turbines present no material risk to golden eagles.

The Stacain wind farm was originally granted planning consent for the 65m turbines by Argyll and Bute Council in December 2007, but was ‘called in' by the Scottish Government in March 2008 to examine objections raised by Scottish National Heritage through a Public Inquiry.

This resulted in the local planning decision being overturned under the 'Basses Corbières' ruling- a European court judgement on protecting wildlife habitats (see this NewEnergyFocus.com story) - as it might one day fall within a Special Protection Area for golden eagles.

In the Court of Session, the Scottish government conceded that it failed to take into account new information which... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Stacain was originally rejected over fears it would impact on Golden Eagles

The Court of Session in Edinburgh has quashed a "fundamentally flawed" decision by the Scottish Government to reject an application for a 14-turbine wind farm near Inveraray.

The decision on Friday (March 19) means that the 28MW project may now revert to a public inquiry, which would allow further evaluation of evidence presented by Stacain Wind Farm that asserts the turbines present no material risk to golden eagles.

The Stacain wind farm was originally granted planning consent for the 65m turbines by Argyll and Bute Council in December 2007, but was ‘called in' by the Scottish Government in March 2008 to examine objections raised by Scottish National Heritage through a Public Inquiry.

This resulted in the local planning decision being overturned under the 'Basses Corbières' ruling- a European court judgement on protecting wildlife habitats (see this NewEnergyFocus.com story) - as it might one day fall within a Special Protection Area for golden eagles.

In the Court of Session, the Scottish government conceded that it failed to take into account new information which showed that effects on eagles had been over-estimated. As a result, the Court of Session quashed the decision.

A spokesperson for Stacain Wind Farm, a joint venture between renewable energy developers Ridgewind and Wind Prospect, said that the decision was "positive news" for the Scottish wind industry but slammed the length of time the project had spent in planning.

"The decision by the Scottish Government to overturn the decision by the local council was fundamentally flawed. We therefore had no choice other than to take this matter to Court not only for this project, but to avoid the setting of a dangerous precedent for the wind industry.

"Stacain wind farm has been in the planning process since 2005. It is completely impractical that we should find ourselves five years down the line with an undetermined planning application.

"Nevertheless, the Court's decision is positive news for the wind industry and for the future of wind energy development in Scotland."

Scottish Government
The Scottish Government today (March 22) confirmed it had conceded the case on the basis of the new evidence that was not available for the original enquiry. However, a spokesman said that while it said it was "likely" a public inquiry would be reopened, this could not be confirmed at this time.

"We are just considering the next steps and how to progress in this specific case," he said.


Source: http://newenergyfocus.com/d...

MAR 22 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/25329-court-reverses-stacain-wind-farm-rejection
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