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Energy / Viking Energy to stick with original construction working hours

Construction of the large wind farm started in summer of 2020. Photo: Shetland News

AN ATTEMPT to make temporary working hour arrangements on the Viking Energy wind farm construction site permanent – which provoked concern from a local community council – has been dropped.

Developer SSE had extended hours put in place last year when it came to work with potential to create a “nuisance” to places sensitive to noise, such as houses.

The temporary extension expired this summer and the developer wanted to make it permanent.

But Viking Energy has now “reappraised our understanding of the wording” of the existing planning condition and has withdrawn the request.

A Viking Energy Wind Farm spokesperson said: “The application has been withdrawn as the construction hours/arrangements currently being worked on site are consistent with the terms of the existing consented working hours/arrangements for the wind farm’s construction.”

Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council had felt the original working hours should be enforced again instead of the new set-up, which included some potential “nuisance” work on Sundays.

SSE Renewables consents manager Jamie Watt said the developer will still go into “informal discussion” with the council on working days/times so that “if there were residual concerns those can hopefully be resolved through dialogue”.

“We will of course continue to work reasonably and responsibly, in keeping with the wording and spirit of the limitations on working practises and timings imposed through condition,” he wrote to the planning department.

“We will also continue to operate the same working pattern that has been utilised over the previous 15 months which has not been the subject of any noise complaint.”

Viking Energy said it previously requested the change in working hours partly due to the availability of personal under a new shift pattern.

Construction on the 103-turbine is due to continue through to 2024.