It was recently reported in the national press that RSPB, Friends of the Earth , and the World Wild Life Fund were in receipt of funding from renewable developers .
NTA wrote to the chairperson of each of these organisations asking for details of any such funding .
This co-incided with NTA making a submission to the RSPB re the absence of any specific reference to the Tiree(Argyll) Array on the national RSPB website . This was in stark contrast to the RSPB making specific references to specific Arrays .
RSPB has now rectified their omission with a dedicated Tiree(Argyll)Array page.
NTA has linked this RSPB Tiree Array page to the NTA w/site
NTA thanks the RSPB for its compehensive reply as below .
FOE and WWF have ,to date, not replied nor acknowledged NTA’s correspondence.
NTA’s replied to the RSPB on the 26th June 2012 as follows:-
Dear Mr Housden,
Thank you for your letter of the 24th May.
The many supporters of the No Tiree Array (NTA) campaign wish to commend the RSPB on the recent update of your section on renewable energy pertaining directly to the Argyll Array.
For many months NTA has been receiving queries as to your stance, and also as to why a reference to this colossal project had not been made on your informative website. Many visiting bird-watchers have highlighted their concerns about the proposal to NTA.. This ,as you know, led NTA to contact the RSPB directly.
There are many campaigns against commercial wind farm developments throughout the UK,and beyond, each with their own specific agendas, and reasoning ,as to why they object to their own particular developments.
NTA in addressing all the issues raised by the proposed Array is doing its best to stay ‘local’. But, as you will be aware, the issues soon become strategic i.e. the impact on migratory birds entering/exiting the UK.
One of our members, Karl Hughes, has been driving local environmental concerns, and has received substantial advisory support from both the JNCC and Shark Trust(with regard to Basking Sharks), which has become an ongoing correspondence. Karl works in Iraq and is heavily involved in the sustainable development/interface between the restoration of the Mesopotamian marshlands and the drive for oil production by the Iraqi government and the major oil companies (NTA continues to wish him well).
To this end Karl has highlighted a number of points NTA wishes to expand upon:-
Firstly, in continuing with our objective information stream and secondly, to put pressure on the Scottish Government to wholeheartedly embrace their stated green aims;
It is with no little trepidation that NTA recently had confirmation that; Scottish ministers have the final say on adoption of JNCC recommendations as to what areas within the proposed development are accredited with full SPA and full MPA certification. NTA fears that Scottish Government is dragging its feet in this matter solely because the Array is in process, and that any such accreditation would no doubt create unwelcome additional pressure , and problems, for the developer in meeting statutory obligations to mitigate environmental impact.
From both a political and economic perspective, it is self evident that Scottish Government does not need bad press interfering with their economic and political road map. NTA will open this issue to the wider arena once all the facts are compiled.
Of immediate importance, NTA wishes to draw the RSPB’s attention to the recent “Offshore Task Force Report” which makes the following recommendation :-
The UK Government should implement key recommendations made in the Habitats and Wild Birds Directive Implementation Review. In particular, clarity should be provided, as quickly as possible, on the use of Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest (IROPI) for offshore wind, and a new process for agreeing evidence requirements and significance thresholds up front should be developed with industry. The OWPB should monitor effectiveness, as mentioned above, by autumn 2012
What is the RSPB’s perception of this report? What, if any, will be the RSPB’s formal response, or acknowledgement to this recommendation?
Placing wider discontent to one side, NTA has always felt in with regard to the proposed Array, that the environmental impact of this development would play a pivotal role in consenting the Array.
Of further concern to NTA, and the community of Tiree, is that undisputable evidence exists to show that large scale wind power developments do lead to downwind micro-climate change. NTA was the primary agent in raising this issue with the developer.
In the case of the Tiree Array, and its unique placing both near to, and upwind of Tiree, means the onshore environment could be affected ( image attached). This leads to fears in regards to our machair ecosystem/our onshore flora and fauna/our sustainable farming sector, and also possible negative impacts on Tiree’s corncrake population.
Scottish Power Renewables have stated that ,though not duty bound by legislation, they will investigate this phenomenon as part of “their” planning process. However, they will not state if this will take place pre or post development.
This is such a significant item that NTA seeks your thoughts on Scottish Power Renewables recommended next move.
The developer has acknowledged that the issue exists, but will not acknowledge how they plan to either study the effect or, how at a later date they may intend to mitigate detrimental effects to Tiree’s land mass.
We continue to hope that the RSPB and fellow NGO’s such as the WWF and FoE will treat each and every development on a case by case basis and, also look at the strategic implications of such large scale developments to the UK’s natural environment
We understand that you have a massive case load, but given the undeniable fact that Tiree ticks all of the environmental protection boxes for rejection of this development primarily on environmental protection /conservation grounds, NTA hopes you can find time to answer our questions raised in this correspondence .
NTA looks forward to your reply.