Protest halts Shetland wind test mast construction

Image caption,
The project will create 150 wind turbines in the centre of the islands

Work on building wind test masts in Shetland has been suspended over claims it is breaching planning conditions.

Opponents of the plans for Scotland's biggest community wind farm claim construction was not supposed to take place during the bird breeding season.

Protesters turned up at Kergord as contractors arrived to start work on the masts, which measure wind speed and direction.

The developer, Viking Energy, insisted it has permission to put up the masts.

But the contractors have said they will not start work again until the details of the planning conditions are clarified.

'No doubt'

The project, for 150 turbines, is a joint venture between Scottish and Southern Energy and the island community - but it has divided opinion among locals.

Sustainable Shetland vice chairman, Kevin Learmonth, said: "We're here today because the planning permission for these test masts said that they were not to do any construction work during the bird breeding season.

"And here we are right in the middle of the bird breeding season."

But Allan Wishart from Viking Energy said: "Viking Energy has very clear planning approval to get on with the work. There's no doubt about that at all.

"However, what Sustainable Shetland, I think, believe, is that the approval shouldn't have been given."

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