Chris Cope, local democracy reporter
Sustainable Shetland has lodged objections to plans for three compounds
which would be used during the construction of the proposed Viking Energy
wind farm.
The wind farm developer is keen to secure permission to create compounds at
locations south of Voe, near to the Halfway House and at the Scord of Weisdale.
They would be 200m x 200m in size, apart from the one at Sandwater, which
would be 250m x 250m.
Anti-Viking campaign group Sustainable Shetland, however, has issued
objections to planning applications for the three compounds, referring to
issues in areas like siting, access, landscape and ecology.
While planning permission for the construction of temporary compounds was
included as part of the consent for the 103-turbine wind farm, Viking
Energy submitted fresh applications because it wants to increase the size
of the compounds.
The compounds are being proposed for five years, and they would feature
equipment storage, office accommodation and maintenance and refuelling
facilities.
Sustainable Shetland raised concern in its three objections over the
likelihood of Viking Energy sticking to planning conditions should the work
get the green light.
“No doubt many of the clear problems with this application will supposedly
be addressed by ‘mitigation’ or ‘conditions’,” the group said.
“Recent experience of how this developer operates does not lead to
confidence that conditions will be dealt with adequately.
“Recently starting ‘investigative’ work during the bird breeding season,
including the use of helicopters, shows a blatant disregard for the natural
environment.”
Viking Energy said it does not comment on live planning applications.
In its applications, however, the developer said: “In selecting the
locations of the proposed compounds, the following has been considered:
suitability of the location to efficiently facilitate and support
construction works on wind farm site, while minimising potential
environmental impacts.”
The compound near Weisdale received an objection from locals John and
Evelyn Morrison, who raised concerns over the disruption to traffic and
“environmental destruction”.
They added: “To inflict this on an elderly lady living close by is an
infringement of her human rights”.
The construction of the SSE-controlled wind farm on the central mainland is
slated to start in May next year – if Viking Energy wins government subsidy
and a subsea interconnector cable is approved and laid to allow the export
of energy.


 


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