Last legal barrier to Viking Energy windfarm removed by Supreme Court

by Tom Morton -

The UK’s final court of appeal has dismissed an appeal against the Scottish Government's planning consent for the 103-turbine Viking Energy windfarm in Shetland, and declined to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Local campaign group Sustainable Shetland's argument that the effect on the population of Whimbrel was rejected.

The estimate of 3.7 annual collision deaths was regarded as “very small” in the context of 72-108 annual deaths from other causes. The court was "not satisfied" that the estimated impact of the development on whimbrel was significant, and considered that the potential beneficial effects of the development's 'habitat management plan' could reasonably be expected to provide "counterbalancing positive benefits". And even if the level of bird deaths remained, the level of impact was outweighed by the benefits of the project, for example in tackling climate change.

Full judgement available on the Supreme Court website here.

Viking Energy chairman Alan Bryce said:

“We are delighted the Supreme Court has endorsed the planning consent for Viking wind farm, granted in April 2012. 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."

“I would like to thank all who have supported us in reaching this positive outcome. Viking Energy looks forward to making progress during 2015.”