We welcomed the decision by councillors at Dumfries and Galloway Council to refuse the application at planning committee on 23 September (see our press release). The application was turned down because the wind farm would result in unacceptable adverse impacts on an internationally and nationally important wildlife site. The decision notice stated:
"The proposed wind farm would have an unacceptably adverse impact on the integrity of the Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands SPA, and on the North Lowther Uplands SSSI, which are designated for breeding and non-breeding birds and upland habitats".
RSPB Scotland objected to the proposed Spango wind farm because of the importance of the site for wildlife.
The proposed windfarm would have been sited within the Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands Special Protection Area (SPA). SPAs are among the most highly protected sites. They form part of a network of internationally important sites that provide a safe haven for threatened habitats and species.
Any threats to the Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands SPA are of significant conservation concern. The Spango wind farm proposal would put increased pressure on birds such as hen harriers, peregrines, short eared owl, golden plover and merlin which are already significantly under threat from issues such as habitat change and persecution.