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RSPB's new move to stop projects

Campaigners lodge new wind farm appeal

Lord Carloway

Lord Carloway

Campaigners have stepped up their attempts to stop a group of wind farms being built in the Forth and Tay.

Another appeal has been lodged against a ruling which gave four wind farm projects the go-ahead.

RSPB Scotland claimed the developments threaten thousands of seabirds.

After winning the initial challenge, an appeal was lodged by Scottish ministers and last month the ruling was overturned.

The charity has confirmed it has begun a further legal challenge and is seeking permission from the Inner House of the Court of Session to appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

The farms in the Forth and Tay could power 1.4 million homes and create thousands of jobs.

Scottish ministers granted planning consent for the Inch Cape, Neart na Gaoithe and Seagreen Alpha and Bravo projects in 2014.

But RSPB Scotland said the 335 turbines could kill thousands of protected seabirds and claimed the Scottish government had acted unlawfully when considering the applications.

The Outer House of the Court of Session upheld the complaint in a ruling by Lord Stewart last summer.

But Lord Carloway, the Lord President, dismissed the judgement, saying his colleague had interpreted the law incorrectly and the Scottish Government had acted properly.

The Scottish government had  estimated the proposed wind farms could generate between £314 million and £1.2 billion for the Scottish economy. The developments could create between 2,567 and 13,612 jobs during construction.

Since the legal process began, Mainstream Renewable Power, the developer of the 450MW Neart na Gaoith farm has engaged the latest technology to halve the number of turbines required to generate the same power.

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