15th August 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Public meetings critical

In response to Laughton Johnston’s letter (“No more unrepresentative meetings”), I would reiterate it is absolutely crucial for a round of public meetings to be arranged by the council. Given the lack of representation by our councillors, due to their conflict of interest, it is the only way they can gauge the public response to the addendum.

With regard to how these meetings were conducted last year, with multiple attendances from some folk, I am happy to state I was at two of them, Dunrossness and the Town Hall. Presumably Laughton Johnston was at more than one meeting, otherwise how did he make his observation; did he attend more than one meeting? For the record I registered my vote at the Dunrossness meeting and abstained at the Town Hall.

For anyone who wants to read first hand how these “gerrymandered” meetings were conducted, I would point you to the council transcripts available on the Sustainable Shetland website and allow you to judge for yourselves: www.sustainableshetland.org/planning/past_consult.htm

I may be wrong but I do not think you will find them available on either the Shetland Islands Council or Viking Energy websites.

The enormous scale of this windfarm cannot be overemphasised. I would urge anyone who has not looked at the addendum to please do so at: vikingenergy.co.uk/downloads.asp

Please take on board the quarries (borrow pits), the roads built to facilitate 125 tonne and 55 metre long loads, the lay down areas etc; it is not just 127 giant turbines.

Also do not forget the very large converter station and workshop buildings which would occupy Upper Kergord. A separate planning application yes, but inextricably linked to the windfarm development.

Objections to the windfarm must be made to the Energy Consents Unit as advertised before the deadline of 19th November (our request for an extension has been refused). Following on from that date objections can additionally be lodged with the SIC planning department, these will be forwarded to the council when it makes its response to the ECU in mid-December. Communicating directly to your councillors is also very necessary. They won’t answer but will register your opposition nevertheless. A formal request for a series of public meetings similar to last years would not go amiss.

Finally I take exception to the “unprincipled” accusation. Words like pot, kettle, and black, spring to mind. What we have on one side are people who would destroy large tracts of our hills to turn a dubious penny, while we strive to keep our hills and flora and fauna in one piece!

Billy Fox
Chairman,
Sustainable Shetland.

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