No more funding please (Frank Hay)

An open letter to the trustees of Shetland Charitable Trust:            

I am writing to you as vice-chairman of Sustainable Shetland, a voluntary organisation which was set up in 2008 to oppose the Viking windfarm. Since then its membership has grown in numbers to 838 at present. Sustainable Shetland is not opposed to renewable energy developments, nor to windfarms in general, but considers this particular development, even in its present reduced size, to be inappropriate for Shetland in terms of its scale and impact.

I wish to remind you that in a petition, presented to Shetland Islands Council in 2009, over 3,470 people objected to this development going ahead. And 2,772 people, far more than those who expressed support, as well as several organisations, including Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB, John Muir Trust, and Shetland Amenity Trust, objected to the planning application in its addendum form.

This substantial opposition has been ignored or disregarded, in favour of unsubstantiated predictions of economic benefits for the Shetland community and contributions to Scottish renewable energy targets.

As you know, a substantial number of people will be adversely affected by the proximity of the proposed turbines to their dwellings. Their worries about the impact on their health, amenity and property values have again been completely disregarded by all parties interested in the Viking windfarm.

I would also remind you that at the Shetland Islands Council meeting of 14th December 2010, the following was minuted: “Several members expressed concern regarding the comments made on the proximity of the windfarm to settlements and the possible effects on health, and noted that there [sic] possible measures that could be taken to measure these effects or minimise their impact.

“In this regard, Mrs B Fullerton, asked that ‘and health’ impacts be added to the motion, in order that any consents also address community concerns relating to the proximity of the turbines to homes. Mr R Nickerson, with the consent of his seconder, agreed to this addition.”

Nothing in the Scottish ministers’ consent addresses these concerns, indeed the word “health” is not mentioned at all in their considerations in the decision letter of 4th April 2012.
Shetland Charitable Trust’s website states:

• “The Shetland Charitable Trust is a charity set up to benefit the inhabitants of Shetland.”

• “Our aim is to provide public benefit to and improve the quality of life for the people of Shetland.”

It is our firm belief that unconditional financial support for Viking windfarm contravenes the aims and objectives of Shetland Charitable Trust in relation to those individuals or communities who would be adversely affected by this proposed development.

We also believe that the financial projections are unrealistic and expose the funds held in trust for the population of Shetland to unnecessary risk.

I therefore urge the trustees of Shetland Charitable Trust not to give any further funding to Viking Energy.

Frank Hay
Sustainable Shetland


Add Your Comment
  • Douglas Young

    • June 27th, 2012 21:04

    I agree with Mr Hay. The balanced, well-argued, and overwhelming opposition, to the Viking Windfarm project is being ignored by the Charitable Trust who are only there to administer funds for the benefit of all Shetlanders, not a select few.

  • Kathy Greaves

    • June 28th, 2012 9:05

    It is so frustrating to think of the many projects which could have been funded by the SCT over the years, which could have provided work, training, and a good future for many Shetlanders, instead of the wasted millions on the grandiose VE scheme.

    Had some of those business/manufacturing and entreprenurial ideas been taken up instead of being ignored by councillor/trustees, we could all have been working in harmony now, instead of being divided and distrustful as we are.

    If/when the VE project is shelved, we need to get together a think tank to work out how to better use our resources, skills and finances for a better, sustainable, future. And cut our suit according to our cloth.

    The image offered by the VE project is of a drone society, living off the proceeds of an unsavory project with no real long-term benefits at all.

    As we have just celebrated Shetland’s flag day (20th June), I hope that when voting today on financing VE further, our councillor/trustees remember our motto. Shetland, Pride of Place.

    Kathy Greaves

  • Garry Jamieson

    • June 28th, 2012 10:40

    The windfarm is GOING to be built………….. We had all better get used to it!

    I am sorry but if we are to have our hilltops and views destroyed by mechanical mountains we may as well try to get as much out of it as possible!

    Garry Jamieson


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