FRENCH oil giant Total were granted permission to build a huge accommodation block opposite Sullom Voe oil terminal for up to 850 workers to build their new gas processing plant in Shetland.
However Shetland Islands Council’s planning board has asked the company to consider assisting a neighbouring business with a security fence to protect him from drunken workers invading his premises.
Total’s plans include a modular two storey building containing 424 twin bedrooms with a reception area, dining room, recreation area, reading/quiet room, gymnasium, computer room, convenience shop, laundry, prayer room, bar and external football pitch.
They have also been asked to provide an overspill car park at the council-owned Sella Ness industrial estate.
The building is needed to house workers who will be constructing the £500 million gas processing plant next to Sullom Voe terminal, which will import natural gas from west of Shetland and export it to the Scottish mainland by 2014.
The only objection to the plans came from Alan McKimm, who runs a painting and shotblasting business next door to the proposed building.
Mr McKimm told Wednesday’s planning board meeting that he had run his business peacefully on the site for 25 years and he was concerned about security issues if workers were to get drunk in the accommodation block’s bar.
“I have lived in camps before and I know what it is like,” he said. “You can’t handcuff a man when he’s full of drink and wants to run around an industrial estate.
“I don’t have the money to make my site secure. If they have the money, I don’t think it would hurt them to make my site secure so that if (the men) are drunk and I go away at night I can make sure no one gets hurt.”
John Duncan, of the building’s designers Archial Architects, said that this was the first they had heard of Mr McKimm’s concerns and they would raise it with Total.
He also said they would address the issue of broadband connections to make sure that they did not reduce the capacity of neighbouring properties who wanted to use the internet.
“It’s certainly not our intention to affect any of the services for the locals,” he said.
The developers will now have to make a separate application to Shetland Islands Council’s licensing board to ensure their plans for a bar facility meet current legislative requirements.
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