A £2 billion wind farm off the coast of Fife is one step closer to realisation after a legal appeal was rejected. The Neart na Gaoithe site has been in development since 2009, but has been subject to a long-running court battle. Scottish ministers backed consent for the scheme but the RSPB later won an appeal against the decision, having highlighted concerns about the impact on seabirds such as puffins, gannets and kittiwakes. The court of session sided with ministers in May, paving the way for construction work to start on the 450-megawatt wind farm that could eventually supply enough power for 325,000 homes. However, the RSPB then lodged an application to see if it could take an appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court. It was confirmed yesterday that the bid had been rejected by the inner house of the court o f session. The RSPB could still try to take the case to the Supreme Court, but its chances of success appear slim given the new ruling. Mainstream Renewable Power, the company behind the wind farm, welcomed the latest ruling and said it hoped to begin construction work soon. Andy Kinsella, its chief operating officer, said there would be about 500 jobs supported during the building phase, with more than 100 permanent positions created once the 64-turbine farm begins operating, which could be in 2021. About £540 million is likely to be spent in Scotland during construction, with an additional £610 million over the lifetime of the development.
Times 20th July 2017 read more »
Guardian 19th July 2017 read more »