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Pizzeria appeal lodged

Henry MacColl wants to build a pizzeria between Voe and Brae. Photo: Shetnews

AN APPEAL to overturn a decision not to grant planning permission for a proposed pizzeria outside the Shetland village of Voe has been lodged.

The issue is now likely to be discussed by the council’s planning board on 15 March.

In autumn last year, local businessman Henry MacColl applied for permission to build a 24-seat Italian restaurant opposite his home at Parkhead, off the main A970 between Voe and Brae.

His plans received enthusiastic support from the local community after it emerged that the council’s planning department had expressed strong reservations as to the location of the proposed restaurant.

As it is council policy to encourage development within established settlements, council officials argued that diners would have to use a car for a night out and the resulting fuel emissions would contribute to climate change.

In response MacColl started a Facebook campaign and an online petition to gather support for his venture.

When council officials refused permission in early December, MacColl, who is half Italian, vowed to fight the decision and has now handed in the papers that trigger a review process.

The 51 year old said he had received support from the local and national media as well as receiving encouraging messages from people as far away as New Zealand, Australia and Dubai.

“The rural comment doesn’t hold water,” he said. “They should be more relaxed about their policies and adapt these to island circumstances.

“When I look through my front window I see all the local suppliers driving past. Our new pizzeria could be another stop for them.

“This is a new business, providing employment in rural Shetland; it should be welcomed.”