An ecological impact assessment is being undertaken as part of the application. This involves searches of internet databases and onsite surveys involving detailed assessments of plants and animals that may be affected by the development.
Previous work has highlighted that the site does not contain any areas that are formally designated for their ecological value. This is currently being re-checked.
In order to address potential effects on the natural environment, turbines and access roads have been designed to be located in areas of least ecological value. Areas of high sensitivity such as blanket bog habitat and most of the wet heath and wet flushes have also largely been avoided.
Mitigation procedures will involve measures to limit ecological effects to the Development footprint, to prevent erosion and preserve stability of soil, and for the disposal of waste material. A management plan will also be outlined in order to restore and monitor any disturbed areas, and to maintain the ecological value of the site in the long-term.
Bats are protected species and therefore are given substantial consideration for wind farm projects. A number of bat surveys were undertaken for the original consented project and will be supplemented with new surveys to help identify any potential impacts for the species. As no significant effects were identified for the original consented project, it is anticipated (having run some initial models) that the new proposed rotors will not result in any significant effects for the species. With the proposed habitat management it is hoped that foraging habitat for the species can be increased.