Highlands & Islands

Gold eagle concerns raised at Lewis wind farm site

Golden eagle
Image caption RSPB Scotland has objected to the possible impact on eagles and divers

RSPB Scotland has lodged an objection to a major wind farm plan on Lewis, but said it would drop the action if layout and other concerns were addressed.

Lewis Wind Power, a joint venture between Amec and EDF Energy, has applied to build a 42-turbine wind farm to the west of Stornoway.

The RSPB said the site could lead to the loss of golden eagles through collision or displacement.

It also fears the black-throated diver could be adversely impacted.

The RSPB acknowledged Lewis Wind Power had made "considerable efforts" to find a suitable site for the wind farm, but said there were still unresolved concerns.

Detailed examination

An RSPB spokesman said: "We have been unable to verify the applicant's assessment of the impacts of proposals using information in the environmental statement, so we have requested additional information from the developer, but this has not yet been forthcoming.

"It is likely that this concern could be resolved, subject to a detailed examination of the data we require.

"We have indicated that we believe a wind farm could be located here, provided a few of the turbines posing the biggest risk are either relocated or removed, and a thorough reassessment of the remaining impact shows them to be within acceptable limits."

The conservation charity said it hoped to be able to reconsider the objection in the event of "relatively minor changes" to layout and a reassessment of the impacts.

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