The RSPB have hit out at South Ayrshire Council’s decision to consent an 11-turbine wind-farm near Glenapp.
The RSPB claim that rare hen harriers could be forced out of the area when the Scottish Power Renewables wind farm becomes operational.
Chris Rollie, RSPB Scotland Area Conservation Manager, said: “We have made it clear from the outset that this is a sensitive site. Hen harrier populations across the UK are really under threat and protected sites such as this one should provide safe refuges for this species.
“We are particularly surprised and disappointed by SNH’s decision to withdraw their objection.
“Although RSPB Scotland supports renewable energy developments to combat climate change, there are alternative, less potentially damaging sites elsewhere in Scotland.”
Catherine Walker from SPR said the project would be a boost for the local economy.
“It is an appropriate place for a windfarm, it will be good for the Ayrshire economy.
“Our windfarms at Markhill and Arecleoch have brought £2m to communities in four years.”
Susan Crossthwaite from Cosses Country House objected at the planning meeting last week claiming water supplies would suffer further.
Referencing SPR’s site at Whitlees she said: “Many South Ayrshire residents are drinking water that is below the recommended standards.
“A public inquiry about Whitelees will have evidence of gross pollution to local water supplies.”
The board approved the plans with 53 conditions including protecting water supply to homes and monitoring the interests of hen harriers.