Say NO to Spaceport development on pristine Hebridean National Scenic Area

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Plans are currently under way for the imminent building of a commercial space port on this unique and environmentally diverse site, irreversibly destroying and militarising the landscape and ecosystem that exists here.

National Scenic Areas are designated sites of exceptional natural beauty to be protected against inappropriate development – Scolpaig on North Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland is one of a mere 40 in Scotland.

The local council bought this land with £1millon of borrowed money and zero community consultation, then in a clear conflict of interest applied as part of a private development consortium to themselves for planning permission to build the first phase of a commercial rocket launching facility; an application that they intended to approve before any public consultation took place.

Process has been repeatedly ignored and manipulated in the interests of rushing through this devastating development and the consortium involved has been deliberately vague and misleading about its scale, use, impact on the environment and the economic benefit to the 1200 people who live on the island.

No Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out to determine the long and short term effects that regular rocket launches will have on the land, air, water and wildlife - which includes protected species such as otter, golden eagles and white tailed sea eagles. The site at Scolpaig is one of exceptional natural beauty that is situated next door to a RSPB reserve and several other statutory designated sites. Much more appropriate and less ecologically sensitive sites have been identified but not adequately considered by the Consortium.

Despite over 600 objections being made to the local council the application has yet to be called in to the Scottish Government for further examination and consideration. Between the conflict of interest on the part of local council and the lack of national regulations concerning planning for Spaceports there is a clear case that this must be called in by the government before any further progress takes place.

Please see this article in The Guardian and for further information.