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Scottish court upholds approval for Clashindarroch 2 wind farm amid wildlife concerns

  • Publish Date: Posted 2 months ago
  • Author: Steve Walia

​In a pivotal decision, the Court of Session in Edinburgh, led by Lord Sandison, has dismissed a legal challenge by the conservation group Wildcat Haven against the planning consent for Vattenfall's 77MW Clashindarroch 2 wind farm in Scotland. The group had raised concerns about the potential impact of the wind farm on the habitat of the Scottish wildcat in Clashindarroch Forest, arguing that the project's approval process overlooked some essential environmental mitigation measures. However, the court found there were no legal errors in the decision-making process, thereby allowing the project to proceed.

 

No basis for intervention

 

This development, planned adjacent to Vattenfall's existing 36.9MW wind farm in Aberdeenshire, has sparked a debate on the balance between renewable energy expansion and wildlife conservation. Lord Sandison acknowledged the community's concerns regarding the wind farm's impact on the wildcat population but concluded that there was no legal basis for intervention. The ruling is seen as an endorsement of the Scottish government's approval process, emphasising the importance of adhering to legal standards in environmental and planning matters.

 

A robust environmental management plan

 

Vattenfall welcomed the decision, reaffirming its commitment to reducing carbon emissions while protecting local wildlife. The company highlighted its collaboration with environmental bodies, including NatureScot, to develop a robust environmental management plan for Clashindarroch 2. This plan aims to mitigate any negative impacts on wildlife, specifically addressing the needs of the Scottish wildcat by enhancing its habitat to support hunting and roaming activities.

 

The case underscores the challenges of balancing environmental conservation with the need for renewable energy development. It highlights the necessity for thorough planning and mitigation strategies to ensure that projects like Clashindarroch 2 contribute positively to Scotland's green energy goals without compromising wildlife conservation efforts.