Nicola Sturgeon clips bird charity’s wings over massive Tay and Forth wind farms – Courier

By Kieran Andrews

Nicola Sturgeon has urged the RSPB not to appeal against a court ruling
backing a £10 billion of offshore renewables development off the Tay and
Fife coast.

The First Minister was asked at Holyrood about the Inner House of the Court
of Session’s dismissal of an earlier judgement upholding the bird
conservation charity’s objection that Scottish Ministers erred when
granting planing approvals for three major offshore wind farms in the
firths of the two rivers.

The most advanced project is the £2 billion 450MW Neart Na Gaoithe wind
farm in the outer Forth estuary, which is fully funded and which also has a
power contract.

At First Minister’s Questions, Angus South MSP Graeme Dey asked: “Would she
also join me in encouraging the RSPB, who instigated the original action,
to accept the appeal decision and resolve their concerns over seabirds by
working with the developers on, for example, the sympathetic siting of
turbines?”

Ms Sturgeon replied: “I do very much welcome the judgement. I think the
development of offshore wind is important, not just for environmental
reason but also for economic development reasons in Scotland and I hope
this now means the developments can continue.

“Obviously what happens now is a decision for the RSPB, I certainly hope we
will see an end to the court action.

“But I would also say this, and I hope the RSPB will listen to this because
protecting the environment is really important and I know they have
legitimate concerns about this.

“So I would want to say very clearly to them and to others with concerns
that we want to make sure we work in a way that allows the development of
offshore wind for all the benefits it brings but does so with the
protection of the environment very much paramount and I hope we can move
forward on that basis.”

RSPB Scotland said it will “take some time to consider this judgement”
before making further comment after the judgement was made on Tuesday.

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