RSPB Scotland has applied directly to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal against the recent decision by the Inner House of the Court of Session on its Firth of Forth offshore windfarm judicial review.
In a statement confirming its decision, the bird charity said “The Inner House allowed the appeal of Scottish ministers’, overturning the Outer House’ ruling in favour of the RSPB Scotland and reinstating the 2014 consents for four large offshore wind projects in the Firths of Forth and Tay.
“The RSPB has long recognised the urgent need to tackle climate change and the key role that renewable energy has in reducing emissions. That is why RSPB Scotland has worked with the Firth of Forth offshore wind developers and Scottish ministers for almost 10 years to try and help offshore wind progress in a manner that minimises impacts on seabird colonies.
“However, despite our efforts, Scottish ministers issued consents for all four projects in 2014, even though predicted impacts could result in major declines to our internationally renowned seabird colonies including gannets, puffins and kittiwakes that breed and forage in the region.”
In making the application, RSPB Scotland director Anne McCall said “RSPB Scotland has not taken this decision lightly, however our concerns with the manner in which Scottish ministers’ took their decisions in 2014 remain undiminished.
“In addition, the issues of the case and the recent Inner House judgement extend beyond simply the impacts of these developments on important seabird populations. Due to the implications of this latest decision for many aspects of our work we felt we had no choice but to apply to the Supreme Court. We are hopeful that our application is successful and that we are granted leave to appeal so these important issues of public interest can be considered in detail by the Supreme Court.”
As previously highlighted, the projects affected by the case are Mainstream Renewable Power’s 450 megawatt (MW) Neart na Gaoithe offshore windfarm; SSE and Fluor’s 1,050 MW Seagreen Alpha and Bravo and Red Rock Power’s 600 MW Inch Cape offshore windfarms.