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Utnabrake plans back on the table

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a 120 property development in Shetland will be re-considered by the islands’ planning board next month, nine months after the original application was deferred.

In January plans for a social housing scheme north of Scalloway to be managed by Hjaltland Housing Association, incorporating a health centre and a business park, were held back due to environmental concerns.

Since then local building firm JHB Ltd, which was behind the development worth up to £20 million, has gone into liquidation and the local government ombudsman has been called in to investigate delays in the planning process.

Now Shetland Islands Council’s head of planning Iain McDiarmid has confirmed that the plans for the Utnabrake development would be submitted to the next meeting of the planning board.

“We fully intend to get the application on the planning board for the first of September,” Mr McDiarmid said.

John Halcrow, of JHB Ltd, said that the application was still alive and that he hoped it would be discussed at the next meeting of the planning board.

Meanwhile Bryan Leask, of Hjaltland Housing Association, said that they were still very keen to see the Utnabrake development go ahead. “We think it is a very good site and considering the demand for housing in the area, it is very much needed.”

Mr Leask added that they had been approached by another building contractor who was interested in developing the site.