RSPB revives legal battle over wind farms

21 August 2017

UK-based environmental group the RSPB has launched a new legal action to prevent the construction of four major offshore wind farms in Scotland.

The RSPB lost a long-running legal challenge against the developments in July this year when the court of session in Edinburgh refused to allow the case to be sent to the supreme court.

The RSPB has now lodged a request directly with the supreme court to appeal a court decision made in May that reinstated the projects’ planning consents.

Planning consent four the four projects, which include Mainstream Renewable Power’s 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe wind farm, was awarded in 2014, but the RSPB is concerned about the impact of the projects on seabirds.

The organisation said that these concerns “remain undiminished” and that it felt it “had no choice” but to apply to the supreme court.

The supreme court will now decide whether to hear the RSPB’s case, which could add further delays to the four projects.

The four projects are located in the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay and would together add 2 GW of capacity to the UK’s grid. Mainstream Renewable Power said earlier this year that it hoped to start construction of Neart na Gaoithe in 2018.

A coalition of suppliers to the Neart na Gaoithe project has appealed to the RSPB to abandon its legal challenge because they cannot afford further delays to the project.

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