25th February 2018
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Planning board approves two more Viking Energy masts

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Members of the planning board today granted Viking Energy permission to erect two temporary meteorological masts.

The 60m masts will be in place for approximately three years and will be located in separate locations at sites in Scar Quilse in the Mid Kames, and Flemister, south Nesting.

They are to be equipped with bird diverters to prevent birds flying into the masts or their guy wires.

The application was a resubmission of an earlier proposal and follows the masts being repositioned in response to concerns raised by Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB.

Sustainable Shetland opposed the proposal at the meeting at the Town Hall.

Chairman Billy Fox explained that while the masts represent a “benign aspect of the Viking proposals” the group had based their objection on Viking Energy’s “abysmal record regarding non-compliance”.

The proposal was however moved for approval by Josie Simpson, and seconded by Laura Baisley.

The North Isles councillor nevertheless noted her disappointment that Viking Energy was continuing to fail to comply with planning regulations, stating that it was merely giving wind farm objectors “ammunition”.

Ms Baisley said: “[Viking Energy] must comply with the conditions laid down, we don’t need the objectors to make sure they’re doing things in the right way, that’s our job, and it’s a waste of their time. Getting [Viking Energy] to comply would be in Shetland’s interest.”

She also said that she felt the language being used in the debate was “over the top” and called on planning board members and objectors alike to “keep the argument moderate”.

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