RPS was commissioned to undertake and manage the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), planning application and subsequent planning appeal for a 20 turbine (126.5m high) wind farm development on the Moy Estate near Inverness.
With the council failing to determine the planning application within the statutory period, we advocated the submission of an appeal against non-determination to Scottish Ministers.
During the appeal, we successfully demonstrated to the reporter that the supplementary planning guidance on which the council sought to refuse the wind farm did not represent the final view of the council and therefore should be afforded limited weight in the determination of the appeal.
We also successfully secured a section 36 consent from Scottish Ministers to increase the generational capacity of the proposed wind farm up to 60 MW. The wind farm was commissioned in April 2016.
Moy wind farm
Carbon Free Development
Pre-application ornithological surveys identified the presence of significant red kite flight activity over the site which had the potential for significant adverse environmental impacts on the recovering red kite population in the north of Scotland.
RPS negotiated a solution to resolve Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ (RSPB) concerns over the red kites by: helping to design a layout that minimised collision risk; advising on the implications of adjacent forest management on kite activity; and by the design of appropriate mitigation.
What set our approach apart, and gave SNH and RSPB confidence in the EIA was our innovative use of red kite satellite tracking data that RSPB provided, and its integration with standard vantage point monitoring results. We also developed a bespoke Population Viability Model to assess the impact of predicted kite mortality on the North Scotland red kite population.
This combination of information provided both consultees with the confidence they needed to conclude that no significant impacts on red kite would result, despite the relatively high levels of red kite activity on and adjacent to the site.
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