24th October 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Council granted extension of time to consider windfarm proposals

Shetland Islands Council has been granted an extension to its consultation deadline on the Viking Energy windfarm proposals – but only by half of what it had been seeking.

The Scottish Government announced on Thursday afternoon that the council would have until 13th November to make a recommendation to ministers on the plan to build 150 huge turbines in central Shetland.

The council had seeking an extension until the end of the year to allow it to hold a series of public meetings in Lerwick, Aith, Brae and Dunrossness.

Councillors agreed to the meetings after rejecting advice from legal services head Jan Riise that they should not take a political decision because they faced an “irreconcilable” conflict interest because of their joint role as trustees of Shetland Charitable Trust.

The council is the fourth of four statutory consultees to the project, the three others (RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Environment Protection Agency) having objected or made a series of objections before the deadline they faced on Tuesday this week.

Well over 1,000 comments on the Viking Energy plan were submitted to the government’s energy consents unit (ECU) before Tuesday.

The Glasgow-based unit, which is handling the application and will help shape minsters’ views on the proposed development, has four members of staff assessing the responses. But it is expected to take until next week to gauge the precise numbers for and against the development.

A Scottish Government spokesman said there had been a large volume of representations which was expected “to run into four figures”. “There is a lot of correspondence to process,” he said.

“A determination will only be made after careful and thorough consideration of all material issues, in accordance with the relevant legislative and planning obligations.”

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.