Page last updated at 06:09 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 07:09 UK

Land charity objects to wind farm

Shetland Viking Energy windfarm protest
Thousands of names have been added to a petition against the plans

Land conservation charity the John Muir Trust has urged people to object to plans for Scotland's largest community wind farm on Shetland.

The Viking Energy project for 150 turbines is a joint venture between Scottish and Southern Energy and the island community.

But the trust said the development would "significantly affect" about a fifth of mainland Shetland.

A petition against the wind farm has attracted more than 3,000 signatures.

It has been estimated the project could make £37m a year locally and create many jobs - but opponents have said it is too big.

The public consultation period on the proposals closes at the end of July.

The John Muir Trust formally lodged its objection to the proposal this week.

It claims the development will have a serious and "hugely damaging" impact.

Trust chairman John Hutchison said: "The scale of this proposal is truly staggering and totally disproportionate for an island like Shetland.

"Shetland's treeless landscape will be completely dominated by the development, with the turbines visible in a 15km radius around the wind farm."

The trust urged the government to produce an energy strategy which focuses on energy conservation and not just generation.

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