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Letters / Who are you speaking for, Chris?

Perhaps Chris Bunyan could first of all enlighten me for whom he is actually speaking? How many members does the “Windfarm Supporters Group” have? Where can I see a copy of its constitution?

Chris wants to bury the past – a past of broken promises, misleading information, untruth, questionable actions, and a constant shifting of goal posts.

We were told:

  • This is just an exercise to explore the possibility of a wind farm in Shetland;

  • If the population doesn’t want a windfarm it won’t go ahead;

  • We’ll only take this as far as the planning stage;

  • A full health assessment has been commissioned.

I could go on. The problem is that too many Shetlanders have lost faith in VE long ago, faith that will be difficult to re-establish. Broken promises aside, we’ve had broken anemometer masts, broken planning conditions (carrying out work during the bird breeding season) and, perhaps Chris can furnish me with an explanation as to why the microphone for measuring background noise was placed at the busy and noisy Sandwater junction, rather than near the house?

Now Chris offers us more promises he knows he can’t keep: “Once detailed planning for the wind farm started”, Mr Bunyan said, “there could be many opportunities to influence the development and possibly overcome some of the worries people have expressed.” (Shetland News 18.4.2012)

“Could” and “possibly” aren’t good enough. I’ve gone through the “confidential” appendix to Dr. Goddard’s report to Shetland Charitable Trust (since widely leaked) with a fine-toothed comb, but failed to find a sum for the long- promised health impact assessment, the moving of 61 turbines or, failing that, compensation for those individuals forced to either sell up (probably at a loss) or live in a giant wind farm for the next quarter of a century or longer. Perhaps Chris could point out where those figures are.

I would also like him to tell me why the Shetland public is not meant to see this appendix?

I did however notice that VESLLP (as we must call it now) has set aside quarter of a million for community liaison and PR. More ‘Windylights’? More all-expenses paid trips to Whitelee? Perhaps again, Chris could enlighten me?

Environmental concerns aside, I consider it morally indefensible to proceed with this wind farm unless all concerns have been fully addressed to the satisfaction of those residents affected by the wind farm, and believe the only way to secure such concessions is for SCT to keep the purse strings closed tightly.

Until this comes to pass Chris, I agree with Khaled Hosseini: “It’s wrong what they say about the past, how you can bury it. Because it has a way of clawing its way out.”( The Kite Runner).

Finally, I’m actually disappointed in Shetland News for giving Chris Bunyan’s opinions headline cover, which they do not deserve.

The press giving credence to a VE mouth piece calling itself the supporters group, a group which, to the best of my knowledge, isn’t even legally constituted, and has created an unlevel playing field in the wind farm debate, by giving VE two voices. I think a little in-depth scrutiny into whom or what this group actually represents wouldn’t go amiss.

Rosa Steppanova
Lea Gardens
Tresta

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