A new application has been submitted for a vertical launch spaceport.
In June 2019 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the local council, submitted a planning application (Reference 19/00311/PPD) for a spaceport on North Uist to launch 'sounding' or research rockets. The proposal includes a launch pad, tracking radar pads, vehicle access and parking. RSPB Scotland objected to this application in 2019 due to a lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and lack of consideration of impacts on protected wildlife sites, habitats and species.
In February 2022 this application was withdraw and a new application (reference 21/00646PPD) was submitted for the construction of sub-orbital vertical launch spaceport and associated work.
The new application was accompanied by an EIA, including an assessment of impacts on birds. Survey work has been carried out by the applicant to inform their understanding of birds in the area.
RSPB Scotland has not objected to this application as we do not think the proposal is likely to have significant adverse impacts on birds and protected areas. However, we have made comments on the proposal and offered further advice and recommendations for conditions that we think should be attached to any permission given.