Windfarm opponents to seek judicial review

Anti-Viking group Sustainable Shetland has announced that it intends to seek a judicial review of the government’s decision to approve the windfarm.

In a short statement the group said a meeting of the organisation’s management committee had agreed yesterday, subject their approval of legal counsel’s “Formal Note of Prospects and Draft Petition”, to lodge a petition for judicial review.

The statement said no further comment would be made until the committee had meet again to consider the legal documents.



Add Your Comment
  • Johan Adamson

    • June 21st, 2012 9:04

    I hope this will bring clarity to the question of how far windmills can be from settlements in Scotland, that will be welcomed by many.

  • Susan Bowie

    • June 22nd, 2012 18:51

    We need to know how much the delays to the Windfarm brought about by ‘Sustainable Shetland’ are costing Shetland, and the council, in terms of jobs, money and the uncertainty.
    Bet its huge, and bet those involved in SS don’t have to account for the costs.
    Is their plan just to keep on opposing it until the conservatives change their policies on Windfarms to appease the home counties voters, and all the money ( and the opportunities brought by the windfarm) are gone?

  • Evelyn Morrison

    • June 23rd, 2012 12:30

    Susan Bowie writes of opportunities VE will bring.
    Is she speaking about the loss of health, businesses and homes along with the uncertainty and severe stress many of us living in the windfarm area are now suffering from – those opportunites?
    What cost is that?
    “Bet it’s huge”.

  • Douglas Young

    • June 25th, 2012 8:15

    The loss so far is the £3 million invested in a planning application. Invest used to mean a return on your money. Since SSE have said their is no hurry for further investment at this time can someone explain the urgency?
    Benefits to Shetland? Unknown, as Ofgem may increase transmission charges, Governments may stop subsidies (likely), and China cease exports of rare earth metals required by turbine manufacture.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • June 25th, 2012 8:54

    A point from Dr.Susan Bowie in the Times chastises Sustainable Shetland for delaying investment in Viking Energy. Ken Lowes once again bangs the Viking Energy drum. Surely they must be aware ROC subsidies are about to be phased out. If indeed the ROC subsides are cut to nothing and OFGEM tariffs remain high, as is now almost a certainty, Viking Energy could and in all probability will fail financially, costing Shetland and the Trust dear. We should thank Sustainable Shetland for the delays it may have created in preventing VE from pillaging Trust funds with impunity, however the majority of the delays to this project were own goals by VE planers in originally overlooking issues such as turbines on deep peat and in the flight path to Scatsa airport. Only £4.5 million lost to date, how much more would should we see go from the Trust funds before Viking final folds? Would it not be prudent to wait until after the judicial review decision and after Osborne’s subsidy cuts are fully calculated into the projects financial modelling? Only a fool would risk further trust funds until all options and eventualities are know. Why commit at this time?

  • Stewart Mack

    • June 25th, 2012 14:33

    I had typed a very long detailed response to both Mr Tinkler and Mr Young but have now deleted it in its entirity which is probably for the best. It suddenly hit me, whats the point? VE is coming, it will happen and whilst people bicker here they achieve absolutely zilch. Instead i will channel my efforts into trying to amend plans, relocate turbines and generally minimise the impact as best i can on those directly affected rather than being here engaging in rhetoric back and forth. Talk about fiddling whilst Rome burns…………………………

  • James Mackenzie

    • June 25th, 2012 15:50

    It’s a myth that the windfarm is going to go ahead regardless of opposition or decision/indecision. Several factors could jeopardise the project, not least a judicial review, no matter who tries to take the windfarm forward.
    VE’s plans and locations are not going to be amended nor turbines relocated (apart from ‘micrositing’) unless a completely new planning application is made, because the conditions in the Scottish Ministers’ consent do not require them.

    I hope that’s not just rhetoric, nor fiddling.

  • John Tulloch

    • June 25th, 2012 19:59

    Stewart Mack,

    You are joining the “VE is coming – it’s been awarded planning consent!! – so lie back and enjoy it” fraternity, currently cheer-led by Mr Ratter and Dr Wills.

    A difficult choice, in fact, lies ahead for SCT trustees – the promised benefits are far from guaranteed, for example, the imminent cutting of ROCs subsidies and possible Scottish independence both increase the risk greatly – English consumers, after all, are the ones on whom we will depend to bankroll Mr Salmond’s Scottish “green Shangri-la.”

    Anyone who imagines that SCT’s partners will not re-do their sums many more times before finally committing to such huge expenditure is, frankly, delusional.

    So let’s not have any more myths about inevitability, instead let’s start thinking seriously about the benefits, drawbacks and risks and the distinct possibility of throwing £6.3m down the drain and then – and only then – make a sober, calculated, unhurried decision on what is best for Shetland.

  • Stewart Mack

    • June 26th, 2012 15:54

    Mr Tulloch,
    You have plainly misinterpreted what i said – You might therefore wish to re-read it. I said VE is coming yes, but perhaps you can tell me where i said i would lie down and let it happen? and while you are at it you might want to re-consider what is and what is not myth. The facts as they stand are VE is coming (or do you think that a myth?) The various partners will no doubt “re-do their sums” regularly and often, that is good business sense, but as Mr Tinkler suggested that they might not have thought of his points is just plain silly- or dilusional as you put it. There is no “myth” in anything i have said, this is an emotive issue, and i for one do not support it, but to continually argue amongst ourselves does not help. Or perhaps you are hanging all your hopes on the Judicial Review which may or may not go in our favour, that is a very big question and is based on facts of law not rhetoric or anything else. Or are you perhaps 100% sure the JR will find against VE? because i’m very sorry i am not quite so sure on that, and am simply not prepared to wait on the off chance we are supported. There ARE other avenues which can be explored (or is that a myth too?) and i for one will be doingt it. You carry on criticising all you like, thats fine – shall i pass you a fiddle too?

  • Johan Adamson

    • June 26th, 2012 16:48

    There are definitely points a Judicial Review has to look at, such as how far these huge turbines can be sited from peoples homes; why there was no public enquiry, how councillors and the Scottish Government could approve it even although planners thought better of it.

    The interconnector or lack of as yet may also delay it.

    The fact that SCT are not in a position to make the decision because of conflicts of interest and upcoming changes to the membership should delay it.

    Practical considerations such as how do you get a huge crane over our roads and what do you do when it is lying on its side in the middle of the Kames should also delay it.

    Lack of figures on how much it will actually make and what are the future costs of dismantling etc should also delay it. There is a reduced number of turbines, reduced subsidy and increased costs (interconnector amongst other things) to consider.

    So. Plenty of reasons to believe common sense will prevail.

  • John Tulloch

    • June 26th, 2012 17:00

    There is no certainty that “the wind farm is coming” for the reasons outlined above.

    I have said several times before, here and elsewhere, I don’t feel entitled to argue a view on whether or not it should go ahead as I don’t live in Shetland – those currently living there should decide. I reserve the right nevertheless to comment on the tactics deployed and statements made by any of the factions involved.

    I am currently concerned that Shetlanders should make decisions based on the right information – as opposed to misleading propaganda e.g. that the project WILL go ahead because it has got planning consent.

    The partners are doubtless serious about it to have committed what they have done so far however if, due to government reduction of ROCs subsidy which could occur at any time, the “re-doing of the sums” indicates it is no longer viable under the new subsidy level then it is pretty unlikely to go ahead – unless, perhaps, it goes out to a public offering in which case you and other supporters, including local businesses, will have the opportunity to put your OWN money into it. Until someone has contracted to put up the money there’s NO GUARANTEE the project will go ahead, judicial review or not.

    This is a difficult decision for trustees to make and the options set before them must be clear and not misleading, whether by accident or design.

  • ian tinkler

    • June 26th, 2012 18:52

    Mr. Mack, The sums are changing with every treasury announcement. Let’s wait and see before we commit. Do you have a problem with that?

  • Johan Adamson

    • June 27th, 2012 8:57

    … Oh yes and they need £6m. From us.


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