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Anderson High School land deal in sight

The proposed Anderson High School with the halls of residence in the background. Image: SIC

THE FINAL piece of the jigsaw to site a new Lerwick secondary school at Clickimin is almost in place after the landowner agreed “in principle” to sell a crucial parcel of land to the council.

Shetland Islands Council has been negotiating with Shetland Charitable Trust’s property arm SLAP for the land to build a new halls of residence, as well as access roads and parking for the new £42 million Anderson High School.

On Thursday morning SLAP issued a press release announcing they had reached an agreement “in principle” to sell the land that lies to the north and west of the Clickimin rugby pitches.

SLAP chairwoman Susan Groat said: “We are very pleased to have reached an agreement in principle for the sale of this area of land to Shetland Islands Council. Both parties will now continue to work together to complete the deal.”

The announcement was welcomed by the council, with SIC leader Gary Robinson describing it as a “key milestone” on BBC Radio Shetland on Thursday evening.

However the announcement clearly came as a surprise to the local authority, who had not heard of the decision prior to SLAP’s release earlier in the day.

SIC education and families chairwoman Vaila Wishart said: “I welcome the agreement in principle.

“This is another step forward in delivering the much needed new school, which will be of benefit to everyone in the community.

“The council is fully committed to the project and will work tirelessly to complete this deal.”

The council is hoping to submit plans next month for the 1,180 pupil school and the 100 bed halls of residence, along with the layout for roads, car park and bus drop off points.

The council’s timetable for detailed final plans to be submitted in the late summer and for the school to open its doors for the first time at the end of the 2016 summer holidays.