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Council / Viking Energy construction compound application to go in front of planning committee

Lerwick Town Hall.

AN APPLICATION for a temporary construction compound south of Voe for the Viking Energy wind farm will go in front of councillors next week.

Planning officers have recommended that the compound, which would be no more than 200m x 200m in size, is approved with conditions attached.

It is going in front of Shetland Islands Council’s planning committee on Monday because the local authority is the land owner.

Temporary construction compounds are included as part of Viking Energy’s existing consent, but it had applied separately for larger sites for a period of five years.

A main large compound at Sand Water has already been approved by the planning department, while an application for another near Tresta was withdrawn after a rare plant thought to be extinct in Shetland was found on the hillside.

For the west site Viking Energy will revert to original plans for a smaller compound.

Among the features of south of Voe compound would be access tracks, office accommodation, lighting, equipment storage, parking, laydown areas and refuelling facilities.

The plans for the compound south of Voe received one objection, from campaign group Sustainable Shetland, which expressed concerns over issues like siting, size, peatland and landscape.

Planning officers, however, said it believes the compound is acceptable if conditions are imposed.

The Viking Energy construction programme is set to start this month.

A report to councillors, meanwhile, stressed that it is “imperative” if the application is refused then clear reasons are given on the basis of it being contrary to development plan policy.

“This is in order to provide clarity in the case of a subsequent planning appeal or judicial review against the planning committee’s decision,” it adds.

“Failure to give clear planning reasons for the decision could lead to the decision being overturned or quashed.”

Earlier this year the planning committee’s decision to refuse temporary permission for the Sella Ness accommodation block was overturned by a Scottish Government reporter on appeal.

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