The Scottish Government has been urged to make a “swift decision” on the fate of proposals for an offshore windfarm.
The Ministry of Defence and National Air Traffic Service have withdrawn their objections to the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay on the basis conditions were met.
RSPB Scotland has also changed its stance after new information showed the 11-turbine development would have low impact on birds and other wildlife. Scottish Natural Heritage is submitting a report to government agency Marine Scotland today in which it is expected to lift its objection subject to conditions.
SNH initially submitted a “holding objection” before holding discussions with the developer – a consortium of Vattenfall, Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.
A SNH spokeswoman said: “The development can be accommodated as long as there are conditions to protect marine life.”
Iain Todd, EOWDC project spokesman, said: “This represents yet another significant landmark and we are very encouraged that all statutory consultees have now lifted their objections to the project.”
Donald Trump has vowed to fight on to stop the windfarm being built within view of his golf resort. “We will litigate this destructive project as long as necessary,” he added.
Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie said the testing centre could make Scotland a world leader in new technologies, attracting millions of pounds of investment, new jobs and speeding up the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“The resolution of these organisations’ concerns means the way is now clear for a swift decision by the Scottish Government,” he said. “I urge the government to do all it can to prevent such an important project from being delayed by the deep pockets of someone ill-informed, self-interested and litigious.”
Erecting wind turbines off Ayrshire would be a “blight” on one of the UK’s finest golf courses, Tory MEP Struan Stevenson said. He said it would have a devastating impact on Turnberry – an Open Championship course. He believes turbines three miles offshore would ruin the view from the course of Ailsa Craig and Arran. The Scottish Government says no application for a windfarm has been received.
Mr Stevenson said: “Incredibly, Marine Scotland has designated a vast area directly in front of Turnberry as a search area where turbines could potentially be sited. This proves nowhere in Scotland is sacrosanct.”