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Date for Viking wind farm appeal set

| Written by Hans J Marter

Viking’s application said that 3.7 whimbrel were likely to be killed by the wind farm every year - Photo: Viking Energy Viking’s application said that 3.7 whimbrel were likely to be killed by the wind farm every year - Photo: Viking Energy UP TO two weeks have been set aside to hear the Scottish government’s appeal against the Court of Session ruling on the Viking Energy wind farm.

Last month, Lady Clark of Calton squashed the planning consent for the 103 turbine wind farm following a judicial review brought by anti-Viking campaign group Sustainable Shetland.

She said the application was “incompetent” because the applicant had no electricity generating licence.

Ministers also failed to take proper account of it obligations under the European Wild Birds Directive 2009 in relation to the whimbrel population, she said.

It was the first time that a judicial review of a wind farm development in Scotland was upheld.

The Scottish government immediately announced that it would appeal the ruling on both grounds.

Viking Energy who participated in the judicial review as an interested party is not appealing.

Industry commentators said the judgement could potentially have serious implications for wind farm developments throughout Scotland with up to 32 permissions granted to applicants with no such licence.

Three judges in the Inner House of the Court of Session will now hear the appeal between 25 and 28 February and again from 4 to 7 March 2014.

Meanwhile, there continues to be different opinions on whether Viking Energy’s planning consent has been reinstated by the government lodging its appeal.

The renewables industry believes that to be the case, but opposing legal opinion says that a court pronouncement is in place until it has been overruled by a higher court.

Sustainable Shetland said in a short statement on Tuesday that it would consult its members as to their course of action.

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