No need for further meetings on windfarm planning application, says senior SIC official

There are “no compelling reasons” for a further round of public meetings on the Viking Energy windfarm following publication of the revised plans or addendum, according to SIC executive director of infrastructure Gordon Greenhill.

The final decision on whether to emulate the events hosted by council officials in Brae, Aith, Dunrossness and Lerwick last year – at which people against, in support of or unsure about the project were invited to give their opinions – will be made by members at next Wednesday’s Full Council meeting.

But in a report to go before them Mr Greenhill states that the Viking addendum published last month does not amount to a radical change of the original planning application.

Mr Greenhill writes: “I am of the opinion that the addendum does not change the fundamental nature of the original application and that therefore it does not require a further round of public consultation meetings. I base this assessment on the addendum being reduced in size but wholly contained within the boundaries of the original proposal.

“Furthermore there are no new areas incorporated and no additional groups of people affected. There are no compelling reasons to go out to further public meetings.”

Instead, Mr Greenhill recommends, members of the public should direct their comments about the windfarm to the council’s planning service, which will pass them on to the Scottish government’s energy consents unit (ECU) or to the ECU direct. It is this body that will ultimately make a recommendation to ministers whether planning consent should or should not be granted to the Viking windfarm. “This is sufficient in my opinion,” says Mr Greenhill.

The recommendation will please the Windfarm Supporters Group which has been arguing that the original meetings were “unrepresentative” but be greeted with dismay by anti-windfarm group Sustainable Shetland, which sees a fresh round of meetings as essential.


Add Your Comment
  • Phil Smith

    • October 22nd, 2010 17:38

    Mr Greenhill’s opinion counts for nothing.

    The majority of people in Shetland are opposed to this development, and it is “their” opinion that matters.

  • leslie sinclair

    • October 26th, 2010 17:57

    Shetland will not be the same place if this windfarm is built. The area of land is small compared to larger places in mainland scotland or england. These turbines are huge and it will change the landscape. If the turbines were smaller people might be more in favour and anyway, the energy is being exported and this would cost money.

  • Kevin Learmonth

    • October 26th, 2010 20:04

    No new meetings = the response from the original meetings is valid and still stands, i.e. 75% of the community is opposed to the windfarm.
    If the council does not accept this view, they should organise a fresh round of meetings.
    The original meetings were organised because the head of legal services said all councillors had an “irreconcilable” conflict of interest and shouldn’t make a direct response to the windfarm planning application. That conflict of interest has not changed.
    What ever happened to the SIC promise that if the people of Shetland didn’t want the windfarm it wouldn’t happen?

  • Karen Jones

    • October 30th, 2010 21:43

    I have just been browsing through the website and thinking what a beautiful place it is. Then I found this article. Don’t let Viking build this wind farm. It will ruin your beautiful islands. I live in a lovely valley in South Wales close to the Brecon Beacons National Park. It appears that this valley has been earmarked for a number of wind farms. There is one going up close to my home at the moment. The turbines are huge and dwarfing our small village. Leslie Sinclair is right, it will change the landscape forever as they can be seen for miles around. I dread to think what it will do to the local bird population. There are numerous arguments against these developments, but one thing is for sure, wind farms will never replace traditional forms of power generation due to the fickle nature of the wind. I apologise if you feel I’m interefering in your business, but I would hate to see your beautiful islands dessimated in the same I fear is happening to my own countryside.

  • Beth White

    • November 19th, 2010 13:46

    Da Laang Kems where the turbines will be built is the most bleak and isolated part of Shetland
    only da trows lived there, it was so has always been that for needs something to bring it to llife and make it a new toursit attraction…at the moment it is dead…


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