Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from Europe
Opponents of a huge wind farm planned for the Western Isles have vowed to continue to fight the development after it was approved by councillors. Western Isles Council voted 18 to eight on Thursday in favour of the plan by Lewis Wind Power, subject to 50 conditions, including the removal of five of the 181 turbines earmarked for an area of moorland in north Lewis. Because of the scale of the 651-megawatt project, a final decision rests with the Scottish Executive, although it is unlikely to come before the Scottish elections. RSPB Scotland and some islanders are against the wind farm, and next week the board of Scottish Natural Heritage is expected to reiterate its objection. Anne McCall, RSPB Scotland’s head of planning and development, said: “We have not given up hope, quite the contrary.” RSPB has said the wind farm will have a “devastating impact” on a 6,000-hectare area.
The Uk Government could face a multimillion-pound fine if Scottish ministers allow plans for a massive windfarm on the Western Isles to go ahead, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds warned yesterday. It believes the Lewis Wind Power application for 181 turbines was made without a proper environmental impact assessment. That, it says, would contravene the European Habitats Directive.
With the envisaged escalation of windfarm developments in the North Sea, the North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC)has taken the first steps towards producing a set of minimum standards for how the fishing sector and the offshore windfarm industry should consult with each other.But it emerged today that there is already a feeling that fishermen are being consulted too late in the planning process.
A rare bird will have almost no chance of being struck by the moving blades of proposed wind turbines, according to an expert. The issue of bird collisions with turbines was raised on day 19 of the Humberhead Levels Windfarm inquiry.Stewart Lowther, of Hyder Consulting, was cross-examined about the risk to the birds. In July 2005, English Nature raised concerns there may be a significant effect from the two proposed windfarms in Thorne and Keadby Grange on the nightjar population.
The debate intensified yesterday as the deadline passed for responses to the proposal to build 181 wind turbines on the island of Lewis. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) will almost certainly recommend approval but it will be up to ministers to take the final decision and they will not do so until after the Scottish parliamentary elections in May.
Bats and garden birds are being injured and killed in collisions with domestic wind turbines attached to people’s homes, an environmentalist has warned. John Stoneman, of Cambridgeshire Environmental and Wildlife Protection (CEWP) Welney, has launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of the supposed energy saving turbines, which he claims in fact have very little benefit. Mr Stoneman said the garden was the only sanctuary and refuge available for many diminishing species and he was urging manufacturers of mini turbines to carry out environmental-impact studies. He said: “Bats are already a heavily protected species but they are being put in danger by domestic turbines.
The row over plans to build the world’s biggest onshore wind farm on Lewis intensified yesterday as a leading wildlife group claimed the job boost predictions made by the developer were “misleading and hugely optimistic”. The accusations were levelled against the Lewis Wind Power (LWP) scheme by RSPB Scotland, which has been campaigning to stop the massive renewable energy scheme from going ahead.
A shocked busload of nuclear workers witnessed the death of a buzzard after it flew into one of the wind turbines at Forss. The demise of the adult buzzard was seen on Wednesday by a group of workers travelling between New Park business park at Forss and the neighbouring site at Dounreay at lunchtime on Wednesday. The financial administrator, Terry Luckock, reported the death to the RSPB. She said: “It was a real shame to see such a beautiful bird killed in this way. It did not stand a chance given that it collided with a moving, nine-tonne blade.” Ms Luckock, 41, from Halkirk, does not believe it was an isolated occurrence.
THE number of golden eagles in Scotland has been kept down by new developments that have encroached on their territories. Forestry plantations have had a much bigger effect on Scotland's iconic bird of prey than previously thought, reducing its food supply by covering open ground and lowering its ability to produce offspring, researchers say. They now warn that similar effects can be expected from new wind farms if they are allowed to proceed in golden eagle ranges.
Controversial plans to erect giant wind turbines in West Somerset have suffered a dramatic setback after the influential Royal Society for the protection of birds has come out against the scheme at Hinkley Point. It’s the first time the influential organisation has objected to a proposed wind farm in the South West. Richard Archer, conservation officer for the RSPB in Somerset, told the County Gazette: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly, as we are generally in support of schemes to reduce our carbon footprint and combat global warming.”
The remote plantations some 10 miles south of Strathy village are now dominated by a couple of tall anemometer masts; there are few places in the Far North where you can get away from the threat of wind farms, big or small. There are currently 20 wind farms going through the planning process in Caithness and north Sutherland. Enjoy these wild places while you can: if the turbines go up, yet another of our landscapes will be tamed and industrialised. I had to walk right under one of the masts to gain the main Strathy track; the bothy, much appreciated by those who like really out-of-the-way spots, will be in the heart of the proposed wind farms. But as of now it is still as quiet and secluded a place as any. At night there is just untamed wind and starlight, and you are at least four miles from the nearest other person. Rattling showers passed, leaving clear starry skies. I enjoyed a candlelit fireside meal and had an early night. The strong westerlies should give me an easy ride home on the morrow!
The RSPB is objecting to a controversial plan to build the West’s biggest wind farm next to the Bristol Channel, we can reveal. Experts from the bird charity are unhappy with the proposal for nine 110m (361ft) turbines at West Hinkley, beside Hinkley Point nuclear power station. They say more work should be done on the wind farm’s possible impact on nearby birds in the Severn estuary, especially shelduck, ringed plover and curlews.
The RSPB argues that it supports the use of wind power in general as long as projects are sited, designed and managed so they do not significantly harm birds or their habitats. Concerns on this score have led the RSPB to object to 76 windfarm proposals (on and offshore) between 2000 and 2004 and to raise concerns about a further 129. (It does not indicate how often it has decided to raise no concerns). In raising objections, the RSPB would argue that it is simply exercising its legal rights and representing its one million members to ensure that planning decisions are made with due consideration for the environmental impacts - the Lewis peat bogs, for example, are designated as of European importance under the Conservation of Wild Birds Directive and have the highest populations of dunlin and golden plover in Europe. Windfarm developers would argue that the biggest threat to bird populations remains global warming and that perhaps the RSPB has its priorities wrong.
The big wind farm debate rumbled on this week as the RSPB again signalled its opposition to the nine-turbine plan for West Hinkley. The society stood against Your Energy’s proposals when they were first submitted in 2004. Giant turbines, RSPB representatives say, would have a detrimental effect on the birds living around the site.
A HOTEL owner is being driven batty by planning delays for a wind turbine that could bring green power to his business. Stuart McGlynn, who owns the Norwood Hotel, Whalley Road, Accrington, hopes to place a small turbine on the side of his detached house, behind the hotel. But the possibility that a bat population may be roosting nearby has put a temporary halt to the plans until a wildlife survey is carried out.
The company behind controversial plans to site the world’s largest onshore wind farm in the Western Isles last night strongly denied that pressing ahead with the project would breach European rules on protecting wildlife. Lewis Wind Power (LWP), which is jointly owned by Amec and British Energy, was reacting to claims that the European Commission could rule that the proposal broke its conservation laws as other sites across Scotland had not been considered for the massive project. Wildlife campaigners yesterday argued that European directives, which are binding on member states, require developers of wind farms to look at options across the country, not just in the Western Isles. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Scotland said that the plan to build 181 turbines in Lewis was covered by these rules and, therefore, that the Scottish Executive, which will have the final say, should not give it the go-ahead.
Plans to build the world’s biggest onshore wind farm on the Western Isles could be thwarted by European officials, who believe they breach laws protecting sensitive wildlife habitats. The European commission believes that proposals to build more than 180 turbines on Lewis are flawed, because developers have failed to assess other less sensitive sites across Scotland. The Lewis turbines, each more than 460ft high, would stretch for more than 25 miles through peatland protected under European Union conservation laws. The area is home to eight species of Europe’s most endangered birds, including golden eagles, red-throated divers and merlin.
The long-running battle between country folk and government over windfarms took a new twist today as a war broke out between the Scottish Executive and a conservation body which has called for more “green” electricity generation. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and its Scottish branch have in the past angered many rural communities for being outspoken supporters of wind farms - which mainly serve towns and cities but are always located in the countryside. But the Scottish RSPB today issued an outspoken protest about re-designed plans to build the UK’s largest windfarm on the Isle of Lewis, in the Western Isles, which it says is “one of Scotland’s most sensitive and important sites for wildlife.”
Both supporters and opponents of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm are hailing the findings of recent research on the environmental impact of Danish offshore wind turbines. Supporters of Cape Wind Associates' plan to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound say the research released last week at an international conference supports their contention that wind farms pose little threat to wildlife. But Cape Wind foes say the Danish research highlights the need to carefully study the environmental impact of offshore wind turbines on a case-by-case basis.
SIR - As a keen bird watcher, I am a regular visitor to the Knowstone area and was alarmed at the proposal to put up massive wind turbines in the Batsworthy Cross area. The area is totally unsuitable for such a development. Has anyone considered how dangerous these structures would be to drivers on the busy A361? They would be an extremely hazardous distraction at such very close proximity.