Trust donates £3000 to Sustainable Shetland legal fund

The Trust has donated £3000 to a legal fund to help Sustainable Shetland mount a legal challenge to the giant Viking Energy wind farm.

The Trust has donated £3000 to a legal fund to help Sustainable Shetland mount a legal challenge to the giant Viking Energy wind farm, which was given consent by the Scottish Government in 2010.

As a result of the legal action, that decision is now the subject of a judicial review based on the failure of the Scottish Government to hold a Public Local Inquiry, and the impact the development will have on the Shetland landscape, protected bird species and peat bogs.

Helen McDade, John Muir Trust Head of Policy said: “In the spirit of solidarity with a besieged community, and in support for a just cause, we are delighted to make this donation to Sustainable Shetland’s legal fund. The Trust joins with the group in demanding an inquiry where the claims of the developers can be rigorously tested.

“The development, of 103 turbines, each rising higher than the tallest buildings in Glasgow and Edinburgh, would be visible across most of the Shetland mainland.

“The site will stretch up to 11 miles long and seven miles wide, damaging and destroying precious natural habitats. It will require 65 miles of new roads, up to 10 metres wide, which will be bulldozed through peat and blanket bog, releasing vast quantities of carbon into the atmosphere – contributing to the very greenhouse gas emissions this scheme is supposed to be reducing.

“It will mean the construction of a number of new buildings of concrete and steel, and the excavation of a dozen quarries to provide materials.

“We are 100 per cent behind the legal action by Sustainable Shetland to prevent this ecological catastrophe which would severely impact on Shetland’s reputation as a wonderful natural heritage tourism destination.”

The Viking Energy wind farm has been opposed by a range of environmental organisations, including the John Muir Trust, the RSPB and the Scottish Government’s landscape and nature agency, Scottish Natural Heritage.

The judicial review has been adjourned several times since the start of year and is hearing further evidence in the Court of Session this week (Tue11 June – Fri14 June).

About Sustainable Shetland

Sustainable Shetland is a democratic community-based organisation with many hundreds of members locally. It believes:

  • That the proposed Viking Energy project would be damaging to the Shetland environment
  • That the integrity of Shetland’s environment, landscape, archaeology and society are important, and should not be treated as mere commodities
  • That Shetland should promote and support efforts at reducing energy consumption, and support economic and environmental sustainability.