Crofters to be briefed on windfarm development scheme

Viking Energy is to hold a series of briefing sessions for crofters in the Central Mainland as preparations for its 103-turbine windfarm get underway.

The company said the purpose of the sessions, to be held over the course of a week in mid-June, would be to explain a proposed “scheme for development” which will be put to the Scottish Land Court.

Leases have been agreed with the landowners where the windfarm is located and the land court has a role in ensuring crofters’ interests are safeguarded, with reasonable payments made for any impact.

The scheme covers the areas included within Viking’s habitat management plan, as well as those places were the turbines are located.

The company said that plan was “extensive” and extends “well beyond” the area of the windfarm itself, claiming it will enhance the environment for various protected species of birds including merlin, red-throated divers and whimbrel. “It will also help to address peat erosion which is a growing problem in many parts of Shetland,” a Viking spokeswoman said.

The drop-in information sessions will explain the process to be followed prior to the scheme of development being submitted. They will also outline various activities crofters might be involved in as part of the habitat plan. These involve a range of measures such as crow control and wetting up small areas of land to benefit breeding whimbrel.

The sessions will take place in Walls, Bixter, Voe, South and North Nesting during the week beginning 11th June.


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