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Wind farm a danger to ospreys— law lord

ONE OF Britain’s most senior judges has spoken of his opposition to the construction of a wind farm in rural Perthshire, insisting rare and vulnerable birds such as ospreys would be put at risk. Eminent law lord and life peer Lord Hope of Craighead outlined his concerns as he addressed a public inquiry into the proposed Drumderg wind farm.

Perth and Kinross Council turned down the Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) application for a 16-turbine wind farm at the site after receiving nearly 700 letters of objection from residents.

They included Lord Hope, whose house at Craighead borders the proposed site.

However, SSE appealed the decision and a public inquiry into the development, near Alyth, is now being held before a Scottish Executive reporter.

Lord Hope told the inquiry local wildlife could be severely affected if approval is granted.

“I am a well-informed and experienced amateur ornithologist,” he said.

He continued, “My observations, which I record daily in a hard-backed volume, have been made at different times of the year, both in and out of breeding seasons.

“These records show that the area around Craighead is unusually rich in upland birds of all kinds.

“They are not there by accident. They are there because of the open and unspoilt nature of the environment.”

The peer fears that could change if approval for the wind farm is granted.

“The principal issue to which I wish to draw attention relates to the siting of turbines in the path of ospreys flying between their nesting grounds to the west of Drumderg and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Perth and Kinross Council turned down the Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) application for a 16-turbine wind farm at the site after receiving nearly 700 letters of objection from residents.
 
They included Lord Hope, whose house at Craighead borders the proposed site.
 
However, SSE appealed the decision and a public inquiry into the development, near Alyth, is now being held before a Scottish Executive reporter.
 
Lord Hope told the inquiry local wildlife could be severely affected if approval is granted.
 
“I am a well-informed and experienced amateur ornithologist,” he said.
 
He continued, “My observations, which I record daily in a hard-backed volume, have been made at different times of the year, both in and out of breeding seasons.
 
“These records show that the area around Craighead is unusually rich in upland birds of all kinds.
 
“They are not there by accident. They are there because of the open and unspoilt nature of the environment.”
 
The peer fears that could change if approval for the wind farm is granted.
 
“The principal issue to which I wish to draw attention relates to the siting of turbines in the path of ospreys flying between their nesting grounds to the west of Drumderg and the Loch of Lintrathen, which is a shallow reservoir well-stocked with fish,” he said.
 
“My records show that this is a long-established route ... and has been in use since at least 1971.
 
“Some of the proposed turbines lie directly in the path taken by the birds.
 
“It would seem to be inevitable that there will be collisions, as ospreys can be expected to continue to use this corridor for carrying fish back to their nesting grounds despite the introduction of turbines onto this hillside.
 
“It should be borne in mind that the tops of these hills are covered in cloud in some weather conditions.
 
“This would making flying through the site particularly dangerous.”
 
Lord Hope insists risks to wildlife are not outweighed by any environmental benefits.
 
“The sensitivity of osprey is high as it is an ecologically sensitive species,” he said.
 
“In my opinion there is a high risk of collision...the overall significance of the development for osprey should be considered to be high.”
 

 


Source: http://www.thecourier.co.uk...

JUN 26 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3238-wind-farm-a-danger-to-ospreys-law-lord
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