Red kites are listed on Annex 1 of the EU Birds Directive and therefore subject to 'special conservation measures'. Red kites are also on the 'amber list' of Birds of Conservation Concern, which means they are a species of critical conservation concern in the UK.
The Loch Ken and River Dee SPA provides important habitat for overwintering Greenland white-fronted and greylag geese. Even with mitigation, this proposal is likely to leave outstanding threats and uncertainties over the potential impact on the SPA, which is adjacent to the site.
The development would also potentially have an impact on areas of active blanket bog, which is a priority habitat under Annex 1 of the Habitats Directive, and has significant carbon storage properties.