I am writing to you as vice-chair of Sustainable Shetland, a voluntary organisation which was set up in 2008 to oppose the Viking wind farm. Since then its membership has grown in numbers to 838 at present. Sustainable Shetland is not opposed to renewable energy developments, nor to wind farms in general, but considers this particular development, even in its present reduced size, to be inappropriate for Shetland in terms of its scale and impact.
I wish to remind you that in a petition, presented to Shetland Islands Council in 2009, over 3,470 people objected to this development going ahead. And 2,772 people, far more than those who expressed support, as well as several organisations, including Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB, John Muir Trust, and Shetland Amenity Trust, objected to the planning application in its Addendum form.
This substantial opposition has been ignored or disregarded, in favour of unsubstantiated predictions of economic benefits for the Shetland community and contributions to Scottish renewable energy targets.
As you know, a substantial number of people will be adversely affected by the proximity of the proposed turbines to their dwellings. Their worries about the impact on their health, amenity, and property values have again been completely disregarded by all parties interested in the Viking wind farm.
I would also remind you that at the Shetland Islands Council meeting of 14 December2010, the following was minuted: “Several members expressed concern regarding the comments made on the proximity of the wind farm to settlements and the possible effects on health, and noted that there [sic] possible measures that could be taken to measure these effects or minimise their impact. In this regard, Mrs B. Fullerton, asked that “and health” impacts be added to the motion, in order that any consents also address community concerns relating to the proximity of the turbines to homes. Mr R Nickerson, with the consent of his seconder, agreed to this addition.”
Nothing in the Scottish Ministers’ consent addresses these concerns, indeed the word “health” is not mentioned at all in their considerations in the decision letter of 4 April 2012.
Shetland Charitable Trust’s website states:
- “The Shetland Charitable Trust is a charity set up to benefit the inhabitants of Shetland.”
- “Our aim is to provide public benefit to and improve the quality of life for the people of Shetland.”
It is our firm belief that unconditional financial support for Viking wind farm contravenes the aims and objectives of Shetland Charitable Trust in relation to those individuals or communities who would be adversely affected by this proposed development.
We also believe that the financial projections are unrealistic and expose the funds held in trust for the population of Shetland to unnecessary risk
I therefore urge the trustees of Shetland Charitable Trust not to give any further funding to Viking Energy.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 440 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News