Compensation deal with Shetland crofters reaffirmed by Scottish Land Court
Published on September 11th 2020
A compensation deal for Shetland crofters affected by the Viking Wind Farm, which is now under construction, has had its approval reaffirmed by the Scottish Land Court.
The legal ruling will increase financial benefits to around 200 crofting families who have crofting rights over most of the land which will host the 103 wind turbines, roads or environmental conservation works.
Viking Energy’s Scheme for Development was resubmitted under Section 19A of the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 mainly as a result of a marginal increase to the rotor size of the turbines involved and a consequent increase in the productivity of the wind farm.
Scottish law firm Gillespie Macandrew and Ailsa Wilson QC acted throughout for Viking Energy in what has been a ground-breaking case.
Through its decision, the Court has reaffirmed, under crofting law, its 2018 decision that the development is for a reasonable purpose; the scheme proposed is not unfair; that it provides fair recompense to each member of the crofting community in the affected area and that the crofting community will benefit financially more than if the development were not to go ahead.
The court’s original ruling noted the ‘generous’ compensation for loss of grazing rights, which extend only to the land taken up by the turbine bases, construction hard standings and the solum of the required roads.