PLANS to move the location of two proposed concrete batching plants for the Viking Energy wind farm construction have been met with objections from local community councils.
Existing consent for the wind farm includes three batching plants to produce concrete, but the developer wants to move their locations closer to the centre of the construction site in Shetland’s central mainland.
It says in planning applications for two revised locations that this will “result in efficiency gains from a construction point of view”.
The developments would include the creation of a 100m x 80m compacted stone platform and the siting of concrete batching plant and associated facilities.
After the wind farm construction is completed the sites would be reinstated.
Environmental reports included in the applications say there are “not likely to be any significant impacts” from installing the plants in their new locations when mitigation measures and conditions are met.
But both Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale and the Nesting and Lunnasting community councils have objected to the two applications.
Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council objected to plans to move a batching plant to a hill approximately 1.8km north west of the Upper Kergord section of the B9075.
It raised concerns over cement dust blowing in the wind, damage to the landscape and construction noise for houses at Kergord and Setter.
Nesting and Lunnasting Community Council objected to plans for a batching plant on the Hill of Flamister, approximately 1.5km northwest of the Loch of Skellister, because it differs from the original consent.
Campaign groups Sustainable Shetland and Save Shetland have also objected to both applications.
They raise concerns over the suitability of the sites – saying they would be better built near existing work compounds – and question the environmental impact.
Viking Energy developer SSE, meanwhile, has also requested a change in permitted hours for work with potential to create a “nuisance” after its principal contractor began transporting staff by chartered flights.
This was due to the cancellation of the most of scheduled flights owing to coronavirus restrictions.
The contractor is proposing an 11 on, three off rota, travelling to Shetland fortnightly on a Monday.
The application to Shetland Islands Council’s planning service asks to change the permitted working hours on the wind farm construction to include Sundays.
The developer said that under the new proposals the principal contractor would be working at capacity every other weekend, with skeleton staff on the alternate weekend.
It added that the new shift pattern would mean construction would be undertaken on 11 days out of 14, which is slightly less than the current limits of 12 out of 14.
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