Sustainable Shetland

Main objection here. Landscape objection here.

Sustainable Shetland – Media Release. 27 July 2009. 17:00. For immediate use.

Shetland Community campaign lodge objection to Viking wind farm plans

Shetland community campaign Sustainable Shetland has today lodged a formal objection to plans by Viking Energy Partnership to build Europes largest wind farm in the Shetland Islands.

The group, which has 624 members, recently presented a 3474 name petition to local Councillors opposing the wind farm. Shetland has a total population of less than 22,000 people.

The objection centres on the failure of the planning application to meet current local planning policies in terms of environment, landscape and habitat; it also highlights the lack of local planning policy regarding large wind farms.
The objection focuses particular attention on Island councillors who control Shetland Charitable Trust, which owns 90% of the shares in Viking Energy Limited, half of the development partnership.
Sustainable Shetland says that in view of the “Councillors’ and Trustees’ apparent, direct and irreconcilable conflict of interest”, that the council should ask for a Local Public Enquiry.

It is understood that the Shetland Charitable Trust, with total assets of around £180m would be required to commit £72m immediately to the project and fund the remaining £288m commitment through debt and other funding mechanisms.

Speaking on behalf of Sustainable Shetland chair Billy Fox said:

“Sustainable Shetland is a Shetland wide organisation, with a very large membership; we are highlighting areas of additional local concern, especially the fundamental conflict of interest between councillors acting as trustees and developers, provoking a fundamental democratic shortfall”.
He continued, “the flaws, defects and errors in the Viking Energy planning application have been clearly highlighted by highly respected bodies such as John Muir Trust and Shetland Amenity Trust. These are fully supported, endorsed and incorporated by Sustainable Shetland”. He added that Sustainable Shetland also “warmly welcomed” the RSPB objection to the proposed wind farm.

Mr Fox was keen to point out that “Although our objection is mainly based on planning law and procedure, “there is no getting away from the fact that the wind farm poses serious environmental risks”.
In its objection, the group asks that Scottish Ministers dismiss the planning application as “premature” failing that or outright rejection, that ministers “move immediately to Local Public Enquiry”.

[Press release ends]

Main objection here.

Landscape objection here.