THE MINISTRY of Defence (MoD) says its restoration of the radar system in Unst won't be delayed after being told by Shetland Islands Council that the development would need to go through the full planning process.
Last year the MoD lodged an application for a certificate of lawfulness to allow it to restore the system at Saxa Vord and install a new radome at the site.
But as it would reach over 15m above ground level - and because it would not be deemed a replacement of existing apparatus - planning officials have told the MoD that the development needs to go through the full planning process.
The MoD, which confirmed work has already begun at Saxa Vord, said the decision won't delay the project.
Shetland Islands Council's planning manager Iain McDiarmid explained: "The MoD have formally asked if planning permission is required for development at Saxa Vord.
"The council's decision is that it does. The MoD can appeal to the Scottish ministers, or go straight to an application. A decision on a straightforward application normally takes less than eight weeks."
The move to establish a radar base in Unst comes more than a decade after the previous station closed.
It had been suggested that up 50 people might be involved in setting up the system, while the amount of staff who would continue to work at the base back and forth could be in double figures.