21st October 2018
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Local community council opposes windfarm converter station in Upper Kergord

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Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council is opposing plans for a large electricity converter station in Upper Kergord which is essential to the proposed Viking Energy windfarm.

Chairwoman June Johnson said those who attended a meeting on Wednesday backed an official objection to Shetland Islands Council regarding the proposal by Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Limited (SHETL).

The project also involves laying an underground high voltage cable for a distance of five miles between Upper Kergord and the west shore of Weisdale Voe from where it will travel 200 miles along the seabed to the Scottish mainland.

Among the grounds for objection is what Mrs Johnson described as SHETL’s “questionable” environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.

She said members believed that, contrary to the company’s claims, there would be a significant environmental impact from digging up 50,000 cubic metres of peat within a 14-hectare area to build the converter station. Another concern is the potential effect on burns in the Kergord and Weisdale valleys.

She said the impact of traffic and the windfarm’s access roads seemed “hugely underestimated” in the EIA and there was concern about factors which are still unknown, such as noise from the converters.

There was no requirement for a vote at the community council meeting which was attended by the three SIC councillors for Shetland West, eight of the nine community councillors and 14 members of the public. The community council has already objected to the windfarm.

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