NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Supreme Court dismisses Shetland wind farm appeal

Shetland wind farm Image copyright VIKING ENERGY

An appeal against plans to build a major wind farm in Shetland has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

The controversial Viking Energy project has been delayed by a series of challenges.

Judges announced last year there was insufficient reason to stop the 103-turbine wind farm, which would be one of the biggest in Scotland.

The protest group Sustainable Shetland then took the case to the Supreme Court.

Alan Bryce, chairman of Viking Energy, said he was "delighted" that the Supreme Court had endorsed the planning consent.

Image copyright Not specified
Image caption Alan Bryce said Viking Energy could now move forward

He said: "We can now concentrate on developing what would be one of the world's most productive wind farms, to generate renewable energy and significant income for the Shetland community."

'Considered reading'

Sustainable Shetland said it was "naturally very disappointed" the appeal was unsuccessful.

A statement said: "We are keenly aware that it will be distressing for our many members and supporters who enabled us to challenge the Scottish ministers' planning consent.

Image copyright bbc
Image caption Protesters claim the wind farm development is too big

"Our opposition to the wind farm - and its dire implications for the Shetland community and environment - remains undiminished.

"What we do next as far as that is concerned depends to a certain extent on a properly considered reading of the judgement."

Create jobs

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing granted consent for the scheme in 2012.

The 370MW wind farm is aimed at powering more than 175,000 homes despite Shetland having a population of about 22,000.

It has been estimated the wind farm could bring about £30m annual income for the local community.

Protesters claim the development is too big and would be a blight on the landscape.

Supporters have argued it would create jobs and help meet renewable energy targets.

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