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Council / Council decision overruled as Viking Energy given batching plant consent on appeal

An aerial view of the Scar Quilse compound - at the northern end of the Lang Kames - where concrete is currently being made. Photo: Viking Energy

THE VIKING Energy wind farm developer has successfully appealed two decisions from Shetland Islands Council’s planning committee.

Developer SSE launched appeals after applications to move the location of two consented concrete batching plants within the wind farm construction site were rejected by councillors last year.

But the Scottish Government – which deals with planning appeals – has now overturned the committee’s decision.

Government reporter Steve Field said when the relevant conditions are attached to the developments “there are no material considerations which would justify refusing to grant planning permission”.

Viking Energy had applied to move two previously consented batching plants nearer to where the concrete was needed for turbine bases to reduce impact and work more efficiently.

The move to reject both applications – led by Shetland Central member Moraig Lyall and backed by Shetland North’s Andrea Manson – was made partly because of increased awareness of the value and environmental benefits of peat, as well as concerns over the potential of dust emanating from the sites.

A spokesperson for Viking Energy Wind Farm said: “These were longstanding applications for two alternative locations for what were already consented concrete batching plants. The applications sought to locate them in remoter areas, closer to the ongoing construction works.

“The decision provides options to avoid unnecessary transportation of concrete batches over longer distances and options to reduce use of the public road network in the central Mainland for concrete deliveries. At all times, we continue to plan operations in a way which seeks to minimise disruption to the travelling public.”

Individuals unhappy with the decision made by the government reporter may have the right to appeal to the Court of Session within six weeks.

It is the second time in as many years that a decision made by the council’s planning committee has been overturned on appeal.

In 2020 planning permission was granted for the Sella Ness accommodation camp after it was initially rejected. In that instance the council was made to pay the appellant’s appeal expenses.