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Election letters 2019 / Wholly unacceptable project for Shetland

Response to Dave Hammond (Where do candidates stand on Viking and other onshore wind farm developments? SN, 2 August 2019)

My position on Viking remains largely unchanged from my council election manifesto published in April 2012.

The information regarding the project gathered in the intervening years, particularly when I sat as a Shetland Charitable Trust trustee, did little to allay my concerns.

Its primary purpose is to make money for a large multinational. Its green credentials, community benefits, employment, and a host of other claims associated with the project are a smokescreen.

The huge amount of debate which has taken place, and the manifestly legitimate concerns which many have raised, including the questions which Mr Hammond poses, have no easy answers now.

They should have been addressed before consent was given by powers remote from Shetland, with little interest in the practical impact on our place and people.

If elected, I would use whatever opportunities arose to oppose the development. I believe this is a wholly unacceptable project for Shetland.

Michael Stout
Independent candidate in the Shetland by-election