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Viking ruling months away  

Credit:  Sunday, 30 June 2013 | Written by Shetland News | www.shetnews.co.uk ~~

A ruling on the judicial review into Shetland’s planned Viking Energy wind farm is likely to take several months, after the hearing ended last week.

The review was called by anti Viking Energy campaign group Sustainable Shetland who have demanded a local public inquiry into the project, which will cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

Originally planned to be heard over four days in January, it ended up almost four times as long with several separate hearings at the Edinburgh Court of Session.

The most recent delay was to find out if the Viking Energy Partnership required an electricity licence before planning consent was granted in April last year.

The judge, Lady Clark of Calton, will now consider submissions from both Sustainable Shetland and Scottish ministers before deciding whether to quash the consent.

Sustainable Shetland chairman Andrew Halcrow said this was expected to take “a number of months”.

The campaign group has also successfully applied for its legal liability to be restricted should the government win the case, despite the extension of the court case.

After a short hearing the judge agreed to a protected expenses order which means while Scottish ministers must pay £60,000 of the other side’s costs if they lose, Sustainable Shetland’s maximum liability remains £5,000.

Halcrow said that aside from the £3,000 donation from wild land charity John Muir Trust and a few local voluntary organisations, the group’s legal costs had been met entirely from individual pledges and donations, mostly from within Shetland, as well as fund raising initiatives.

“The generosity of people has been both inspiring and humbling, and testifies to the strength of feeling that exists about the Viking wind farm within the Shetland community,” he said.

Halcrow added that Sustainable Shetland committee members had attended some periods of the Court of Session hearings voluntarily and at their own cost.

Source:  Sunday, 30 June 2013 | Written by Shetland News | www.shetnews.co.uk

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