Forthbank wind turbines, Clackmannanshire

Tagged with: Casework status: Closed Casework type: Energy Megasites: Forth of Firth Site designations: Ramsar site Site designations: SAC Site designations: SPA Site designations: SSSI
Pink footed geese Anser brachyrhyncus, in flight past wind turbines, Near Diepholz, Lower Saxony, Germany,

Overview

We are pleased to report that planning permission for two turbines which could have potentially impacted on the Firth of Forth has been refused.

Planning permission for two turbines on the former Black Devon landfill site near Alloa has been refused.

We objected to the proposals, raising concerns regarding potential impacts on the Firth of Forth, which is home to an abundance of bird species of international importance. 

The proposal was originally for four turbines, of 125m to tip. This was reduced to two turbines in an amended application which was submitted to Clackmannanshire Council in March 2012.  

Map

Why is it worth fighting for?

The Firth of Forth supports a rich assemblage of waterbirds in the migration periods and through the winter, including divers, sea-ducks, geese, other ducks, waders and terns.

Nature conservation designations across the Firth of Forth reflect the European importance of the habitat and species in this area. 

Pink-footed goose Anser brachyrhynchus, flock in flight. Ribble Estuary, Marshside RSPB reserve, Lancashire, England.

Our position

We objected to the planning application on the basis of potential impacts on the Firth of Forth.

Whilst we support the development of renewable energy, wind farms must be sensitively sited and designed to avoid impacts on sites and species of conservation importance. 

In our formal response to the application, we highlighted concerns regarding the management of leachate from the landfill site.  Pollution entering the intertidal area could contaminate the feeding areas for bird populations of European importance. The amended application did not provide sufficient information to remove the level of uncertainty of these impacts. 

Our response also highlighted the high risk of pink-footed geese collisions with the turbines and requested the removal of turbine 2 due to the level of flights passing through this location. Its removal would significantly reduce the ornithological impact, however, the applicants decided not to make this amendment. 

Timeline

  • August 2012
    The application is refused by Clackmannanshire Council's planning committee, contrary to officer recommendation to approve the scheme.

  • April 2012
    RSPB Scotland sends additional comments on the amended Environmental Statement

  • January 2011
    RSPB Scotland sends initial response requesting additional information

  • November 2010
    Planning application submitted to Clackmannanshire Council

Outcome

In August 2012 the application was refused by Clackmannanshire Council's planning committee, contrary to officer recommendation to approve the scheme.