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Planning board round up

Mid Yell ‘heat cabin’

A WOODCHIP heating system for the Mid Yell leisure centre was given the green light by the Shetland Islands Council’s planning board on Tuesday morning, despite an objection from a local community development company.

Northfish (Shetland) Ltd has permission to install a biomass heat cabin at the back of the leisure centre to produce heat for the leisure centre and the adjacent junior high school.

Speaking in support of the application, Northfish director Angus Grains said his company had a contract with Shetland Recreational Trust, which was keen to explore ways of powering its leisure centres in a more affordable way.

He said the trust had proposed Mid Yell as the first to be connected, and the technology they would use had been tried and tested by Fort William based HW Energy.

The Mid Yell heat cabin will be fuelled with wood pellets from a Lerwick processing plant, for which the company received planning permission just before Christmas.

Mr Grains said he could see no reason why this development would jeopardise ambitions of the Mid Yell Development Council to build a district heating scheme for the village.

“We don’t see how us putting in the heat cabin would hinder other community enterprises,” he said.

No one from the objectors was present at the planning board meeting.

Voe cemetery extension

A PLANNING decision to extend the burial ground in the village of Voe has been deferred for three months to allow the community council to come up with an alternative site for a new cemetery.

The council’s planning department had received two objections and a petition with 34 signatures opposing plans to extend the burial ground near the shore at Olnafirth, creating extra car parking and widening the access road.

The planning board heard the proposal was well within existing policies, but a public meeting in the village last year expressed concern about the extension.

Councillor Bill Manson proposed to defer a decision until the last planning board meeting of this council on 6 March.

One of the possible alternative sites for a new burial ground is near the Vidlin junction, which would have easy access, provide ample space for parking, and is regarded as cheaper to develop.

New offices at Mareel

COUNCILLORS approved an application by Shetland Arts to convert void space within Mareel into a 112 square metre office with meeting room and teaching space.

The application had to go before councillors because the SIC has an interest in the music and cinema venue as one of its main funders.

Planning board members unanimously agreed to approve the application, with only the council roads department voicing concern over the additional pressure on car parking spaces in the built up North Ness area.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021