Wind farm plans scaled back amid Golden Eagle impact fears


Plans for a major wind farm in the south of Scotland have been cut back due to concerns about its impact on the local Golden Eagle population. 

Community Windpower initially wanted to build 75 turbines at Scoop Hill, south-east of Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway, but concerns were raised regarding its impact on cultural heritage, dark skies and eagles in the area. The number of turbines has reduced to 60 following discussions with consultees and the local community.

The number of turbines being constructed near Moffat has been reduced in order to reduce the impact on the local Golden Eagle population (Paul Coombes).

The area is home to the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project which is working to boost numbers of the bird in the region. The RSPB objected to the original proposals due to concerns about the collision risk and habitat loss for the birds.

The company hopes the changes being proposed can address those concerns. Other amendments include a reduction in the tip heights of four turbines in the southern part of the project. Another alteration has been to reduce the night-time lighting scheme involved.

The changes will be submitted to the Scottish government in the next few months and a number of public exhibitions will be arranged. Rebecca Elliott, senior project manager, said: "We are delighted to present these design alterations for our next-generation scheme at Scoop Hill."

"I look forward to discussing the updated proposal with the community in the coming months," she added.