Why care now? (Robina Barton)

I attended the Shetland Charitable Trust meeting today when trustees voted a further £6.3 million of community funds for Viking Energy.

One of the conditions attached to the funding was that a health impact assessment should be carried out. This is a nice idea, but at this stage rather pointless. It was confirmed at the meeting by Alan Wishart that within the conditions of the consent turbines could not be removed, and could only be relocated within a 50m radius.

I can’t help noting that several of the trustees were members of the previous Shetland Islands Council that voted to recommend consent to the Energy Consents Unit. They did not bother to insist on a health impact assessment at that time, when it could have made a material difference to the project.

Why care now when it has been made entirely clear that a HIA can have no significant affect at all? Presumably because it will help them sleep better at night. What a shame the same can’t be said for those people who may find themselves living in the shadow of the turbines.

Robina Barton


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