A SHETLAND businessman has vowed to appeal after planners this week refused his bid to build an Italian restaurant two miles north of the village of Voe.
Henry MacColl said the overwhelming majority of the Shetland public supported his plans for a 24-seater family eatery at Parkgate, overlooking Olna Firth.
But on Thursday, the Shetland Islands Council’s planning department said his application contravened a number planning policies as it was outside a built up area.
One of the planners’ arguments was that customers would have to drive to the restaurant, thus increasing Shetland’s carbon footprint and contributing to climate change.
Last month the 51 year old kicked off a Facebook campaign to win public support, which has accumulated more than 2,100 “likes”, representing almost 10 per cent of the islands’ population.
A story run by Shetland News on 23 November generated an unprecedented amount of comments in favour of his plans.
MacColl, who is half-Italian, said he wanted to create an authentic Italian eating experience in a stunning setting.
“My local councilor Alistair Cooper and the whole Delting community supports this – I just can’t get my head around the grounds for refusal, I’ve got to appeal this,” he said.
“We are on an island, and you’ve got to drive. The timetable for public transport doesn’t suit anybody.
“The whole ethos of Italian cooking is based on family values where people sit in as a family to eat together as a family; I think we have lost some of that.
“Some of the best restaurants in Scotland are in rural areas where people have to drive to.”
The council’s planning committee is unlikely to hear the appeal until February, setting back his plans to open the restaurant next summer.
MacColl has now started a petition to support his venture which can be found here.
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