Supporters and objectors to Viking Energy’s windfarm will have the chance to contribute to the SIC’s forthcoming meeting to determine its stance on the controversial project.
A special session of the Full Council at 10am on Tuesday 14th December will see the local authority’s planning department put their findings on the consultation before councillors.
In addition to their written contributions, individuals and statutory consultees are to be given the opportunity to speak in person. The council’s opinion on the 127-turbine project will then be forwarded to the energy consents unit, which will make a recommendation to energy minister Jim Mather who has the final say on granting planning permission.
Executive director of infrastructure Gordon Greenhill said: “We were keen that people should have the opportunity to make their points in person if they so wished. This is not a hearing, it’s a consultation exercise under the Electricity Act and we’re allowing people to make contributions.
“We do need to know how many people are coming along to take part so we can set up the Town Hall properly,” he said. “We’ll take all the time that’s needed, but we’d ask folk to be realistic, and try to work together.
“When groups have the same points to make, we hope they will combine and not have to make individual statements. The council convener [Sandy Cluness], as chair of the meeting, will also ensure that repetition does not take place.”
Letters are to go out from today to everyone who has made a contribution to the planning department, giving them until 4pm on Thursday 9th December to confirm by telephone or email if they intend to speak at the meeting.
Mr Greenhill added: “I am confident that this meeting will be fair and representative and that the public of Shetland will be able to make their views known and I look forward to them helping this process to be as efficient as possible on the day.”