The Supreme Court will deliver its judicial decision on plans for the Viking Energy windfarm tomorrow.
Campaign group Sustainable Shetland is fighting the decision by Scottish government ministers to approve the 103-turbine windfarm.
The legal battle began when Sustainable Shetland brought a judicial review against the Scottish government’s decision of April 2012 to grant consent.
The Court of Session upheld Sustainable Shetland’s appeal, with Lady Clark of Calton ruling that planning consent should be set aside. Lady Clark’s ruling also found that Scottish ministers did not take sufficient heed of the 2009 EU Wild Birds Directive, and specifically the impact on 290 breeding pairs of a rare wading bird, the whimbrel – Shetland is home to about 95 per cent of the UK population.
Last summer this was overturned by the Inner House of the Court of Session, which said ministers acted lawfully in giving the project consent. And it emerged that if windfarm was built, that would not necessarily preclude the area being declared a special protection area in future.
Sustainable Shetland decided to take the fight on, appealing to the Supreme Court. If the campaign group loses its appeal, it could be faced with up to £50,000 in legal costs.
Shetland Charitable Trust, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Viking Wind Ltd, comprising the four developers of the Burradale windfarm, are partners in the Viking Energy windfarm project.
The Supreme Court decision is expected shortly after 9.45am tomorrow.
Last month Viking Energy chairman Alan Bryce said: “We await the outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings. During 2015 we hope to make significant progress with the project, which would bring many significant benefits to the Shetland community and kick-start the islands’ renewable energy industry.”