Wind farm cut back amid golden eagle impact fears

Golden eagle

Plans for a major wind farm in the south of Scotland have been scaled back.

It follows concerns raised over the Scoop Hill project near Moffat about its impact on cultural heritage, dark skies and golden eagles in the area.

Community Windpower initially wanted to build 75 turbines at Scoop Hill a few miles south east of the town.

However, it has reduced that to 60 following discussions with consultees and the local community.

The area is home to the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project which is working to boost numbers of the bird in the region.

The RSPB objected to the original proposals due to concerns about the collision risk and habitat loss for the birds.

The company hopes the changes being proposed can address those concerns.

Other amendments include a reduction in the tip heights of four turbines in the southern part of the project.

Another alteration has been to reduce the night-time lighting scheme involved.

The changes will be submitted to the Scottish government in the next few months and a number of public exhibitions will be arranged.

Rebecca Elliott, senior project manager, said: "We are delighted to present these design alterations for our next-generation scheme at Scoop Hill."

She said they had taken on board the comments raised to make "significant, positive changes to the proposed layout".

"I look forward to discussing the updated proposal with the community in the coming months," she added.