Phase 1 Spaceport – a Sub-orbital Vertical Launch

Join us in fighting to protect this area of exceptional natural beauty and biodiversity from the inappropriate development of a commercial spaceport. Scolpaig is one of the wonders of the Western Isles, largely within the National Scenic Area, adjacent to a world renowned RSPB reserve and the closest viewpoint to the dual World Heritage Site of St Kilda – it should not be lost to irreversible industrialisation.


click here for: some points of objection

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) originally submitted a proposal (Ref. No. 19/00311/PPD) to Develop Phase 1 Spaceport infrastructure, to allow the launch of sounding rockets, comprising launch pad, locations for tracking radar pads, provision of vehicular access and parking, and to widen existing access track from the A865.

his has been replaced by a new application (Ref. No. 21/00646/PPD) for a Sub-orbital Vertical Launch Spaceport Facility, submitted on 11th Feb 2022. This is in effect a refinement of the original Phase 1 application.

The Council have advised that all previous objections will not be carried forward, and that should anyone wish to make representations in respect of the new application they will need to do so by the 21st March 2022.


click here for: some points of objection

For full information regarding the planning application click the link below :

North Uist is a small island situated in the Atlantic Ocean. It has a rural community that has developed symbiotically and sympathetically with its geography and topography. It is an island with some of the best, the rarest and most unspoilt environments in Western Europe. It is home to many scarce species of birds, animals, plants and marine life. The seas are clean and the air is unpolluted. Light pollution and noise is minimal and it is a place of meditation and of rejuvenation.

Driving through the village of Sollas towards Hosta Beach, on the right hand side of the road a Georgian folly can be seen. This little tower, known as Scolpaig Tower (also known as Dùn Scolpaig or MacLeod’s Folly) has been built on a small island in a loch, the scene is idyllic. It is a good walking place, a fishing and swimming spot and major tourist attraction. It is a place that everyone on the island is familiar with. The immediate area in and around Scolpaig are designated variously as the following:  

1). M.P.A.  Marine Protection Area 

2).  S.P.A. Special Protection Area  

3).  S.A.C. Special Area of Conservation

4). S.S.S.I. Site of Special Scientific Interest  (not forgetting that the nearby Monach Islands are nature reserves and that St. Kilda is a UNESCO World Heritage site.).

It is a precious resource that we should hold in trust for our children and their children to come. There are many special conservation sites to focus upon, and visitors and tourists to the island come to enjoy its special qualities, unique within the UK.


click here for: some points of objection

It is this site that has been selected due to its orientation and remoteness. It is considered the best position to build Vertical Launch Spaceport 1. In June 2019 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), submitted a planning application for phase one of a spaceport on North Uist to launch orbital ‘sounding’ or research rockects. Due to local opposition the application had to be revised and was resubmitted on 11th February 2022. There is already highly visible military infrastructure on the Uists. Despite the platitudes and false promises, in the proposal, that are meticulously laid out, with a variety of predictive graphs and statistics, this industrial construction will irreversibly impact on the biodiversity of this place. The environment will become altered, and contaminated. This Spaceport proposal, should it come to fruition, will change the essential nature and the extraordinary properties of this place for ever.

Inevitably, there are promises of new employment and a rapidly – expanding economic future for the islands. These are expedient arguments at best and will, in all probability in the longer term prove to be at a high cost. From attending a number of public meetings it became clear that the Developers and particularly the Council, wished to divide the ‘indigenous’ occupants from the ‘incoming migrants’ stereotyping these as being resistant to change to the islands. The job opportunities on offer are few and insignificant when compared to the potential damage to the tourist industry. The environment, despite the reassurances proffered in the profuse documentation accompanying the planning application, will inevitably deteriorate, becoming polluted and emptied of its wildlife, as the noise and activities associated with the business of a Spaceport (that is designed to fire sub-orbital rockets into space, mostly ending up in the sea) inexorably changes Scolpaig, irreversibly. It is difficult to imagine that the cumulative effect of years of such activity will not create an island that is a militarised outpost.

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