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
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
concern, especially the fundamental conflict of interest between
councillors acting as trustees and developers, provoking a fundamental
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
from the fact that the wind farm poses serious environmental
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]
Sustainable Shetland is a campaign group formed in response to a proposal for a large scale wind farm in Shetland. We believe these large industrial projects are damaging to our environment. We believe that the Viking Energy wind farm endangers Shetland Community Funds, the project costs are underestimated, whilst project income grossly overestimated.
We want to see sustainable renewable energy projects in Shetland, and that these projects should be fit for scale, and provide real community benefit.
The Viking Energy wind farm has a carbon payback time of 21 - 48 years. The lifespan of the windfarm is around 25 years. Such a long carbon payback shows that this specific wind farm could create more CO2 than it ever saves - this is not a sustainable wind farm!