Decision day looms in windfarm legal fight

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.
Viking Energy chairman Alan Bryce.
Viking Energy chairman Alan Bryce.

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.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • February 8th, 2015 11:55

    What happened to Stuart Hill’s Notice, challenging the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction in Shetlamd?

  • David Spence

    • February 8th, 2015 22:57

    John, as far as I am aware, the Court played their ‘ Ignorance is Bliss Card ‘ on Mr Hill. Basically, they did not give him any credence in regards to the issue of Scottish Sovereignty over these islands.

    As far as I can see, this will always be the action of those in a position power when it comes to Shetlander’s or people not from Shetland challenging ‘ the present rule of Law ‘.

    Any way, even if Mr Hill was legally and historically correct, Shetlander’s do not have the incentive or the bravery to challenge who rules over them. ‘ Why rock the boat. I am happy with the way things are just now. ‘ mentality is all you will get.

    • John Tulloch

      • February 9th, 2015 9:33

      Aye, David. Alas, so much for:

      “When the fight for freedom rages,
      Be bold and strong as they”!

      • Hugh Jamieson

        • February 9th, 2015 11:02

        Funny how Mr Hill was described as as some kind of loonie until his argument suits. Personally, I welcome the decision to bring wealth and jobs to these islands.

      • John Tulloch

        • February 9th, 2015 11:36

        I don’t believe I’ve ever described Stuart Hill as “some kind of looney”, I’ve always admired his courageous, “gadfly citizen” style and have written several times to this publication and other media outlets, supporting what he was trying to do – long before he got involved with the Viking Energy Supreme Court case.

  • Hugh Jamieson

    • February 9th, 2015 13:55

    So have I John, but it’s funny how this guy was/is ridiculed until it suits some peoples cause.


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