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Energy / Ombudsman rejects Viking complaint

A mocked-up image of Viking turbines as they would be seen from the north end of the Lang Kames.

SHETLAND Islands Council (SIC) acted in line with planning legislation when allowing the construction of the Viking Energy wind farm to get underway without a financial bond securing the cost for decommissioning and restoration of the site in place.

That is the view of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, which has now decided not to take forward a complaint lodged by anti-Viking campaign group Save Shetland.

While appreciating the group’s concern over alleged planning condition breaches as well as the delay in getting a financial bond in place, the ombudsman said the SIC had acted reasonably and accurately as a planning authority and also in its responses to the group’s complaints.

The ombudsman requested that the council provide Save Shetland as well as the ombudsman’s office an update on the financial bond within 20 days.

This has already been done in a short letter by director of development services, Neil Grant, saying that “negotiations with the developer are ongoing”.

Spokesman Ernie Ramaker said Save Shetland were disappointed and did not agree with the ombudsman’s decision.

He added that the council’s update on the negotiations was insufficient and this would again be taken up with the ombudsman.

This response is disappointing as it does not give a timescale for concluding any negotiations, so we will be discussing further with the Ombudsman,” Ramaker said.

Please also our latest update on the state of the financial bond negotiations.