Sunday 14 July 2024
 11.7°C   NNE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / Land court concludes Viking hearing

The Scottish Land Court was sitting in the islesburgh Community Centre

A HEARING before the Scottish Land Court into the planned Viking Energy wind farm concluded on Thursday morning.

Four local crofters, Lorna Moncrieff, Kerry Tait, John Anderson and James Cheyne, all objected to the company’s application for consent to built its 103-turbine wind farm on crofting land.

Following three days of hearing evidence and cross-examination before Lord Minginish, including a site visit to the crofts of all four objectors on Wednesday, the land court met for the final time on Thursday morning to hear both sides summing up their cases.

Speaking for the applicant Viking Energy, Marcus McKay QC, said the objectors had simply re-argued many of the points already dealt with in the planning process and the judicial review, and had failed to demonstrate that their crofts would be disproportionally and unjustly disadvantaged by the project.

He said that there could be no suggestion that the crofting community in Aith, or members of that community, were being unfairly treated by comparison to other members of the crofting community within the area affected by the development.

Placing community interests at the very heart of the project was fundamental to the way the project was delivered, he said.

Referring to the evidence Viking project manger Aaron Priest had given to the land court earlier this week, McKay said the project, should it go ahead, would deliver “significant community benefits”.

Speaking on behalf of John Anderson and James Cheyne, James Mackenzie said both men could be described as “sewn into the very fabric of the land”.

Their involvement as crofters extended much further than just financial or coming grazing interests, it was their life and livelihood that they felt that was under threat here.

“That is why they are so concerned and have come to this court to object,” Mackenzie said.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


He also questioned whether an industrial scale wind farm proposal could be described as a “reasonable purpose” for development under crofting law.

Aith crofter Lorna Moncrieff said Scottish government policies on renewable energy targets should not be regarded as automatic entitlements for developers. They needed to be tested before the land court on behalf of the crofters.

“Our interest here is trying to get across to the court the vast scale of the project and why we think that it is not fit for purpose in a small land-mass like Shetland,” she said.

The court is expected to deliver its written judgement within the next five weeks.

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 600 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.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.