Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / Dereliction of duty

There’s a lot of discussion presently about the 2km distance of wind turbines from dwellings.

As far as I can recall, Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 6 requires local authorities to provide a spatial framework for wind farms over 20MW in size.

In this, I believe, it states that, in local authority deliberations, turbines should be sited no less than 2 km from settlements in order to protect their amenity. It’s debatable what ‘amenity’ means, but I would presume it includes health, or healthy living.

Shetland Islands Council produced, presumably in response to SPP6, a Draft Interim Planning Policy (IPP) on Wind farms over 20 MW in November 2010, roughly coinciding with the end of the consultation period for the Viking Energy Addendum.

Responses had to be in by a date in December 2010, and I was told that the council would debate and decide on the Draft IPP in January 2011.

In the meantime the council approved the Viking Wind farm, which clearly would have breached the terms of the Draft IPP.

Since then the Draft IPP, and the responses of consultees, have never been debated.

As a result the SIC has no policy on wind farms over 20MW, which to me would mean that it has ignored Scottish Planning Policy. It is a moot question whether the Scottish Energy Minister has acted similarly in granting planning consent for the Viking wind farm.

To my mind, there has been a dereliction of duty both locally and nationally in this respect. Whether this could legally be construed as impropriety remains to be seen.

James Mackenzie
The Lea