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SSE's Viking windfarm faces severe delay

Scottish ministers gave Viking planning permission in April last year but judge, Lady Clark of Calton, said the Electricity Act required a developer to hold a generation licence before it could gain approval. Also, she said the minsters had failed to comply with the European Wild Birds Directive.

SSE’s Viking partnership with Shetland Council faces months of delay in its 370MW wind farm project after a judge upheld a judicial review called by local anti wind campaigners to deny Viking’s planning permission.

The Scottish government said it intended to appeal the decision by the Edinburgh court which judged that Viking’s planning permission was “incompetent” because the company did not have a generation licence. The government appeal will be heard by three judges in the Inner House of the Court of Session, which typically would take several months.

Scottish ministers gave Viking planning permission in April last year but judge, Lady Clark of Calton, said the Electricity Act required a developer to hold a generation licence before it could gain approval. Also, she said the minsters had failed to comply with the European Wild Birds Directive when assessing the risks from the proposed wind farm to a rare wader, the whimbrel, whose UK population is almost entirely on the Shetlands. The Scottish government refuted the judge’s decision. SSE has a generation licence while the Viking partnership does not.

Chairman of Sustainable Shetland which... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

SSE’s Viking partnership with Shetland Council faces months of delay in its 370MW wind farm project after a judge upheld a judicial review called by local anti wind campaigners to deny Viking’s planning permission.

The Scottish government said it intended to appeal the decision by the Edinburgh court which judged that Viking’s planning permission was “incompetent” because the company did not have a generation licence. The government appeal will be heard by three judges in the Inner House of the Court of Session, which typically would take several months.

Scottish ministers gave Viking planning permission in April last year but judge, Lady Clark of Calton, said the Electricity Act required a developer to hold a generation licence before it could gain approval. Also, she said the minsters had failed to comply with the European Wild Birds Directive when assessing the risks from the proposed wind farm to a rare wader, the whimbrel, whose UK population is almost entirely on the Shetlands. The Scottish government refuted the judge’s decision. SSE has a generation licence while the Viking partnership does not.

Chairman of Sustainable Shetland which brought the judicial review, Frank Hay said: “We have always felt that this project was wrong for Shetland – a belief upheld by our own planning department, who advised that Shetland Islands Council should recommend refusal to the consent.”

The 103-turbine array promised to be one of the UK’s highest load factor wind farms – at 44 per cent - due to the particularly high winds in the region. It had already been pared down from 150 turbines following protests from groups including Scottish Natural Heritage and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.


Source: http://www.utilityweek.co.u...

OCT 7 2013
http://www.windaction.org/posts/38732-sse-s-viking-windfarm-faces-severe-delay
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