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Letters / ‘Disappointing and questionable’

Two weeks ago, we sent below email about the Viking Energy financial bond to all Shetland councillors. We received one (supportive) reply.

It’s indeed beginning to look like this unfinished matter will be left for the new council to sort out.

“Dear Councillors,

It is an injustice to the community that a Financial Bond is still not in place nearly two years after work began on the Viking Energy wind farm. This is in breach of condition 5 of the planning approval, which stated that an acceptable bond should be in place prior to development starting, to secure the cost of all decommissioning, restoration and aftercare obligations. The condition also offers a solution should agreement not be reached between the parties, and states “…. failing agreement, determined (on application by either party) by a suitably qualified independent professional……”.

It is both disappointing and questionable therefore, that a complaint to the Ombudsman was not upheld and instead the case was closed, in light of assurances by the SIC on the 15 November 2021, that “the council and developer are satisfied that they have an appropriate mechanism ready to put in place and hope to do so shortly…”. This is hardly an acceptable resolution, considering that no definitive timescale for agreement was given.

It is incumbent on this council to honour condition 5 of the planning consent and ensure that an acceptable bond is agreed, prior to 5th May 2022, when several senior councillors who were heavily involved with decisions on the windfarm, have already stated that they do not intend to stand for re-election. It is unacceptable to leave this unfinished fiasco for newly elected councillors to sort out.”

Save Shetland
Ernie Ramaker