Councillors serving on the SIC’s planning committee have given a majority
backing to the Mossy Hill windfarm.
Members voted six-two in favour of the development, but called for added
conditions relating to “shadow flicker” and the development’s proximity to
the Tingwall shooting range.
Peel Energy were applying to build the 12 turbine development on a 605
hectare site between Lerwick and Scalloway.
But seven objections were received to the project.
Sustainable Shetland questioned the green credentials of the windfarm.
Elected members were concerned that part of the development had been
planned within a kilometre of residential homes, with the impact concerning
flicker at its worst at Frakkafield and Tagdale.
The Shetland Clay Target Club also objected, arguing that one turbine was
on the boundary of their “safety zone”, and the access road was within an
area not to be developed.
A report before members was presented by planning official John Holden.
It argued the windfarm would make a “significant contribution” to meeting
greenhouse gas emission and renewable energy targets.
It also stated that the project would create job opportunities and
contribute to the economy.
Recommending approval, it stated: “Impacts would, it is considered, be
outweighed by the benefits of renewable energy generation.”
But planning chairman Theo Smith said he had been concerned by the plans.
Speaking after two hours of debate, the Shetland West member said: “Right
from the start of this meeting today is flicker, or the potential of
flicker, from these machines.
“I would say we would have to pay particular attention to the conditions
that are put on house flicker.”
He argued for houses most deeply affected by flicker to be specifically
identified in the conditions.
Fellow west mainland councillor Catherine Hughson argued that concerns by
the clay pigeon shooting group also needed to be considered.
“We made huge inroads to get the asset they have,” she said.
Shetland South member George Smith said he had been made “quite uneasy”
over the level of engagement from developers with residents who risk being
most affected by the project.
“I’m really not sure that this is acceptable to the folk being most
affected,” he said.
His North Mainland counterpart, Andrea Manson, went further – stating she
could not look herself in the mirror if she backed the plans.
Arguing one house was within 800 metres of a turbine, she called for the
application to be refused.
She was seconded by Councillor Smith, but the final vote went in favour of