Bird charity slams SSE over wind plan

A major wildlife charity is objecting to a 47-turbine wind farm planned by utility SSE, slamming the developer and describing the project as “one of the most worrying” it has seen.

RSPB Scotland wants Scottish government ministers to reject SSE’s proposals for the Strathy South wind farm in Sutherland – or for the utility to abandon it.

SSE had already announced in July that it would cut 30 turbines from the original scheme, and reconfigure what remains, in response to environmental concerns.

But RSPB Scotland is not satisfied and claimed the risk to rare species in the area is too great.

Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, said: “This is, without doubt, one of the most worrying wind farm applications we have seen in Scotland.”

The charity also had some unusually harsh words for the developer.

Housden said: “Wind farms play a vital part in tackling climate change but damage to our most important places for wildlife must be minimised.

“Over the last few years, SSE have shown that they can be a responsible developer, abandoning or amending some proposals elsewhere in Scotland that would have harmed wildlife – but this proposal sticks out like a sore thumb in their current portfolio. 

“That they would consider something like this, in such a vital home for nature is very disappointing.”

When it downscaled the original plan in July, SSE said: “Since our original submission in 2007 we have undertaken a considerable amount of work and consultation to address the concerns raised.”