THE FIRST 40 houses of a proposed major housing development in Lerwick could be ready to move into as early as 2018/19.
Plans to build up to 300 new houses over a ten-year period on the fringes of Staney Hill in the north part of the town were presented to the public on Monday.
The houses will be built by Hjaltland Housing Association on land owned by SLAP, the property arm of Shetland Charitable Trust.
On Monday, a masterplan for the area was on show at the Staney Hill Hall for final comment before being submitted to Shetland Islands Council for planning consent.
Should the local authority’s planning board grant planning permission in principle in March next year (the final meeting before May’s local government election), developers are hopeful that the first phase could be completed within 18-24 months.
Lead architect Iain Malcolmson of local firm Redman & Sutherland said the plan was to start with a cluster of houses above the new Anderson High School’s hall of residence facing southeast.
Other “distinct communities” within the overall site, described as the Escarpment, the Bowl and the Plateau, are more to the east and the north of the rocky and steep site. The areas will be connected by a newly-built road.
Comments made by local people visiting the exhibition included concern over weather impact on the exposed hill, as well as local amenities such as play parks, community spaces and public transport integration.
Malcolmson admitted that the site was not the easiest to build houses on but added that it was “the only available large site in Lerwick”, where “demand for housing was the largest”.
Around 85 per cent of the proposed housing will be affordable homes with a few private housing sites also being made available.
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