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Converter plans rejected as not valid

PLANS for a massive converter station planned to be built in the Kergord valley, in Shetland, have been sent back to the drawing board after being rejected by the local planning office.

In February 2011, Shetland Islands Council granted outline consent for the proposed development, which is an integral part of the 457 megawatt Viking Energy wind farm which could be built in the isles in 2018.

Last month, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, a Scottish & Southern Energy company, announced that they had submitted “detailed plans” required as part of the conditions set by the council.

When checked with the local planning department, officers said they had not yet received such plans but expected them to arrive by courier any day.

When they finally arrived however, the plans didn’t meet the required standards and were deemed to be “not a valid submission”.

Planning development manager John Holden said some of the drawings for the five hectare development were in the wrong scale, which made it impossible for his staff to calculate the correct fee.

His office has now requested new plans that will give planning officers a lot more detail of what is planned on the site.

“It is a bit of a mess, really, but we are trying to retrieve the situation to get it back on track,” Holden said.

The blunder only came to light when local people unsuccessfully tried to inspect the publically available documents.

A spokesperson for SHE Transmission said on Friday: “Our application for the Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions was submitted to Shetland Islands Council last month. 

“After reviewing the documents, planners have requested some adjustments to the drawings and some additional information before they validate the application. 

“We are in the process of preparing revised documents and will re-issue these shortly to the planning department.”

The company still has until February next year – three years after an outline planning consent has been granted – to submit detailed plans required under the conditions set by the council.

The withdrawn plans can still be accessed on the Scottish and Southern Energy’s website at http://www.sse.com/Shetland/ProjectInformation/

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