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Sella Ness camp goes on display

A STEADY stream of local people visited Brae community hall on Tuesday to gain an impression of the massive accommodation block planned to house up to 800 workers who will build Total’s new gas processing plant, near Sullom Voe.

The French oil and gas giant is investing £2.5 billion to bring the Laggan-Tormore gas fields, west of Shetland, on stream by 2014.

The development is seen as a vital piece in the jigsaw to provide long term energy security to the UK.

Work on preparing the ground for the £500 million gas treatment and processing plant is already under way with construction work on the plant itself expected to commence by the middle of next year.

Total now plans to lodge a planning application for a “temporary accommodation facility” at Sella Ness by the end of June.

On Tuesday the first computer-generated images of what is being proposed were made public in Brae to give local people the chance to comment.

A spokeswoman for consultants Archial Services said they had so far received mainly positive feedback.

The plan is to build an accommodation block with a floor area of 11,200 square metres at the Sella Ness industrial estate, which will include dining facilities, recreation area, a gymnasium, reading and computer rooms, as well as a medical facility, a café and a bar.

Should planning consent be granted later this year, the two storey development will be built in four phases between autumn 2010 and spring 2012, with the first phase operational by summer next year.

The complex, built on a 1.97 hectare site near the Sella Ness slipway, will be needed until summer of 2014 and will be dismantled thereafter.

The development will be built from pre-fabricated modules shipped to Shetland and clipped together on site.

Once dismantled again in 2014 the modules could be re-used for a similar development elsewhere.