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No support for planning pressure group

Having attempted to draw out individuals, developers and the general building trade in Shetland who have real concerns about our planning system, I have failed to gather sufficient support for a planning reform pressure group so I withdraw from the fray.

This of course allows planning to breathe a sigh of relief and continuation of their unsustainable barriers to rural development and affordable housing.

That said I thank all the folk who came to me with horrendous tales of delay, prevarication, contradictory advice, totally unfathomable demands and spiralling costs.

I also thank the one off builders, directors of larger building companies, designers, architects etc who contacted me (sworn to silence) who revealed amongst a plethora of serious issues, fear of this anti Shetland SIC department less they incur their wrath and suffer even more delays and client costs.

More to the point though is the total lack of interest of our rural councillors. Their failure to take up this serious issue, perhaps one of the most serious threats to sustainable rural life, is disgraceful as we face a gradual and determined town hall cost saving drive to drag everything into or around Lerwick - so long as one can afford the approaching £100,000 + site costs. Shame on all you rural councillors!

So if you're in a rural area and want to maintain its viability, angry or frustrated at any planning nonsense - call your local elected member.

If you're a builder struggling to advise a customer what they can or cannot build or give them a price - call the local area councillor and perhaps we can get these folk to wake up to the problems.

Problems being solved in other Scottish local authority areas where they have reviewed their local plans to accommodate a changed fiscal landscape.

Vic Thomas


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