10th April 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Viking compound plan dropped to avoid sensitive habitat

Discovery of a rare habitat on the hill between Tresta and Weisdale has prompted Viking Energy to drop plans for a large temporary construction compound.

The planning application envisaged developing a site within an area of up to 200 square metres to use during the windfarm’s construction period.

But the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) voiced concerns about the effect on sensitive plant life discovered on the site at the Scord of Sound.

Viking Energy has now withdrawn the proposal. Instead, it says it will make do with a compound half the size nearby, which was granted permission in 2012 along with the rest of the windfarm.

The sensitive habitat was reported by Dr Andy Mackenzie, an independent ecological consultant tasked to study the sites of three proposed construction compounds.

He warned of potential impact on a type of so-called ground water-dependent terrestrial ecosystem found on limestone rock – said to be a relatively rare type of habitat in Shetland.

He also recorded the presence of the locally rare plant Stag’s-horn clubmoss.

Viking Energy says that, when the book Rare Plants of Shetland was written in 2002, this clubmoss was thought to be extinct in the islands.

Meanwhile, Tulloch Developments has been awarded a major contract by Viking Energy to build an access track to Upper Kergord.

Work on the 1.3 mile track is due to get underway in March and be completed in July.

Viking hopes the track will provide SSEN Transmission with access to the site of their proposed electricity converter station, which they require from July this year in order to have the transmission link to the mainland operational by 2024.

4 comments

  1. James Mackenzie

    I think you’ll find that this plant has been recorded at or near this location, since 2004, as pointed out in the following:
    https://www.goshetlandtours.co.uk/post/wild-about-may-flooers-in-shetland

    Reply
  2. ian Tinkler

    So typical of VE to get it so wrong, as James points out. Have VE as yet noticed the Whooper Swans are about to nest on Sandwater, A SSSi and protected rare listed birds being put at risk, again !!!

    Reply
  3. James Mackenzie

    I see that the link I gave is unavailable due to copyright laws. However, the document can be found by searching on-line at the planning service’s website, reference 2019_217_PPF, or try this link for a list of documents:
    https://pa.shetland.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage

    Reply

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