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Energy / Viking opponents petition planning committee

Construction of the Viking Energy wind farm is set to accelerate over coming months.

MORE THAN 200 local people have signed a petition addressed to the council’s planning committee expressing their support of representations made on behalf of campaign group Sustainable Shetland regarding a proposed construction compound for the Viking Energy wind farm.

The committee is due to meet on Monday afternoon to discuss an application by wind farm developer Viking Energy to construct a 200m by 200m compound off the A970 south of Voe.

Planning officials recommend approval but the application has to go before the committee because the local authority is the landowner of the site.

Smaller compounds are part of the Viking Energy existing consent, granted by the Scottish Government in April 2012, but the company is now applying for a significantly larger area for a period of five years.

The planning department recently approved a similarly sized compound at Sandwater.

Sustainable Shetland is the only objector to the south of Voe compound. In his submission, the group’s chairman Frank Hay expressed concern over issues such as size and peatland, as well as the cumulative impact of the various elements of the wind farm development.

In an unusual attempt to strengthen the relevance of the representation, petition organiser Caroline Henderson managed to gather over 200 signatures in just 24 hours.

These were handed in to Shetland Islands Council on Friday afternoon, and will be acknowledged by the chair of the planning committee, councillor Emma Macdonald, when the committee meets on Monday.

The petition reads: “We, the 202 undersigned, wish to petition the council regarding the objection made by Frank Hay on behalf of Sustainable Shetland regarding the construction compound south of Voe.

“We wish the planning committee to note that we agree fully with the representations made by Mr Hay on behalf of Sustainable Shetland – (https://www.shetland.gov.uk/coins/viewDoc.asp?c=e%97%9De%97i%82%87) – and to count our signatures as echoing his and Sustainable Shetland’s objections in this regard.”

Some but not all SIC employees who have signed the petition have done so with initials only for fear of reprisals.