It doesn’t matter how much one argues; in spite of a number of commentators’ observations, and previous letters contradicting him, Jonathan Wills (Readers’ views, 9th October) is himself incapable of distinguishing fact from fantasy.
His old chestnut that SS stands for “Sabotage Shetland” – or worse – is also getting rather worn and feeble.
If a referendum was impossible under planning law, why then did no councillor (nor he himself) point that out when the Shetland Islands Council convener in 2009 said that “… if most Shetlanders are against it, of course we couldn’t go ahead with it”.
What was impossible was an appeal against the Scottish ministers’ decision in 2012, such as could have been made by the developer, had it not been granted planning consent.
Judicial Review was the only option open to objectors. This was, and remains, a fundamental, unfair and undemocratic flaw in planning law.
Dr Wills’ ignorance about the Judicial Review is also telling. He writes: “We then saw lengthy legal actions where objections that would have been considered by a public inquiry were minutely examined. The objectors lost.”
As someone in his twin positions in the council and Shetland Charitable Trust ought to know, the scope of the review was extremely limited – to points in law. Objections that would have been considered at a Public LocaI Inquiry could not be “minutely examined”.
As I’m sure he well knows, however, neither the Western Isles nor Orkney (along with Shetland) yet have new interconnectors enabling expansion of renewable energy projects. Does he seriously think that Sustainable Shetland’s court action has delayed these cables?
There is ample evidence to show that other factors, in the political and economic arenas of Scotland and the UK, have been the reason that no interconnector has been laid, nor income yet accrued from the Shetland Charitable Trust “investment”.
As has been pointed out before, this was investment in a gamble, made with unreliable financial advice, and as such can by no means be regarded as charitable.