On behalf of our clients, Wildcat Haven Community Interest Company, Living Law has today lodged a formal objection with the Scottish Ministers (Energy Consents Unit) to the Clashindarroch II Windfarm development proposal near Huntly, Aberdeenshire. The proposed development - 14 turbines with a blade-tip height of upto 180m - is being promoted by Vattenfall Windpower Limited, a company owned by the Swedish energy giant, Vattenfall AB.
We have argued on behalf of our clients, together with their specialist ecologist advisers, that this is, simply put, the wrong development in the wrong location and that it poses terminal impacts for the critically endangered Scottish wildcat present in the forest. On behalf of our clients, we are now calling on the Government to reject the proposal and not to permit previously poor decision making to facilitate now the approval of this unsustainable development. A much larger scheme has already been rejected by the Scottish Government following Public Local Inquiry in 2006 (following the recommendations of its then expert Reporter). If consented, together with the existing Clashindarroch I development, this latest proposal would see only eight turbines less at the site than that put forward in 2006. However, the turbines themselves would be almost double the height. We draw attention to the poor and misleading Environmental Impact Assessment that has been put forward and raise concerns about the lack of base-line information about the impacts on key species.
Our clients' public petition to halt this unsustainable development now exceeds some 700,000 signatures (and rising), making it the biggest wildlife petition ever in the UK.
You can support the case at their CrowdJustice page or by visiting their public petition at Change.org You can also read the legal submission in full here.
UPDATE @ MAY 2020: BERN CONVENTION SECRETARIAT OPEN CASE-FILE PROCEEDINGS
Following on from the submission of our complaint in respect of the Vattenfall Development (as above), a formal complaint was lodged with the Secretariat of the Bern Convention in April 2020. This encompassed allegations of several systemic failures by the UK Government (Scottish Administrations) to protect the Scottish wildcat, including logging within the Clashindarroch forest by Government agencies, failures in survey/action plans at the national level and also in respect of the Vattenfall development due to poor environmental impact assessment and base-line surveys.
We are pleased to share that the Bern Convention has now opened formal case proceedings against the UK Government (Devolved Administrations). The National Contact Point to the Convention (Defra) will have until 31 July to provide answers from the Scottish Government to the Secretariat on its compliance with international law. In the meantime, copies of the complaint and intimation can be accessed here.