Moray Firth windfarm project could be given the bird

Plans to create the third largest offshore wind farm in the world at the mouth of the Moray Firth be the subject of a legal challenge.

The Scottish Government last week granted planning permission to two companies – Moray Offshore Renewables Limited (MORL) and Beartrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL) – for a 326 turbine development that is predicted will create thousands of jobs throughout the Highlands, Moray and the North East.

However, the £2.6billion development could come under threat with RSPB Scotland saying they may launch a legal challenge that could see the development cut in half.

Aedan Smith, head of planning for RSPB Scotland, said: “The risk to seabirds is just too great. Part of the problem with the two sites is the huge amount of uncertainty about what the impacts are going to be.

“If it goes ahead as it is, it seems to be a case of crossing our fingers and hoping the seabirds are not affected.”

The charity have lodged an objection to the proposals that calls for them to be scaled down so that the risk of birds being killed by rotor blades is reduced. RSPB Scotland is also considering a legal challenge in the next few weeks with a judicial review a possible option.

A spokesman for BOWL said that a study had been conducted and found that the development was not found to cause any likely significant effects on seabird populations.

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