Special council meeting to hear final Viking submissions
A special meeting of Shetland Islands Council has been arranged for 10am on Tuesday 14th December when the Planning department will place before councillors their findings on the consultation exercise from the Energy Consents Unit in relation to the Viking Energy windfarm.
The council intends to invite the applicant, supporters and objectors who have formally made contributions to the Planning Service during the recent consultation exercise to attend.
The council has assessed what has taken place in relation to windfarm applications across Scotland. Whilst it could present a report from the planners with only copies of the written submissions, it has been decided that those who have made contributions and statutory consultees will be given the opportunity to make contributions in person if they so wish.
This application is not determined by the Council and the outcome of this meeting will be to respond to the Energy Consents Unit with all of the findings from the exercise.
Gordon Greenhill, the council’s Executive Director of Infrastructure said.
“The council does not decide whether the application gets permission to proceed - that responsibility lies with the Energy Consents Unit,” he said. “But we were keen that people should have the opportunity to make their points in person if they so wished. This is not a hearing, it’s a consultation exercise under the Electricity Act and we’re allowing people to make contributions.
“We do need to know how many people are coming along to take part,” said Mr Greenhill, “so we can set up the Town Hall properly. We’ll take all the time that’s needed, but we’d ask folk to be realistic, and try to work together. When groups have the same point to make, we hope they will combine and not have to make individual statements. The Council Convener, as chair of the meeting, will also ensure that repetition does not take place.”
Letters will go out today (Thursday) from the planning service to everyone who has made a contribution to Planning, giving them until 4.00pm on Thursday 9th December to confirm by telephone or email if they intend to speak at the meeting.
“I am confident that this meeting will be fair and representative and that the public of Shetland will be able to make their views known and I look forward to them helping this process to be as efficient as possible on the day”.