UK: SNH Object Port of Ardersier Development Plans
Plans to turn a former oil fabrication yard in Scottish Ardersier into a manufacturing ‘super-hub’ for offshore wind have faced their first hurdle.
Namely, the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has voiced their protest against the development saying that the proposal raises natural heritage issues of national importance relating to nationally and internationally important designated sites, reports the Herald Scotland.
The main concern is the impact of dredging and construction work on the Moray Firth’s sandbanks and its marine species such as bottlenose dolphins, birds and seals.
Earlier this year, the Port of Ardersier has submitted plans to Highland Council, Marine Scotland and Transport Scotland for the consents needed to develop Moray Firth yard.
With 138 hectares (340 acres) of vacant land and a deep water quay, the purpose-built yard, located on the Moray Firth, 15 miles east of Inverness , is ideally placed to take a slice of the estimated £70-80 billion UK offshore wind construction market.
Alastair Wood, planning adviser to developers, the Port of Ardersier, responded by saying:
“We are continuing to work positively with SNH to ensure the site’s potential is fully realised, and remain confident a solution will be found.
“We are pleased no other statutory bodies have raised any concerns and the proposal enjoys good support locally.”
Offshore WIND staff, July 30, 2013; Image: portofardersier