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Sandwick housing gets green light despite concerns

Image from Shetland Islands Council's planning website.

A PROPOSAL to build 12 new homes in Sandwick has overcome concerns from the community to receive planning permission.

Hjaltland Housing Association had lodged plans for six two-bedroom houses and six three-bedroom units at Houlland.

It also sought planning permission in principle for four private sites for future development.

The site is located between Houlland Road to the southeast and the main road to the northwest, with a new junction due to be built on the main road to connect to the development.

But Sandwick Community Council expressed concern over a number of issues relating to the plans, including housing density, the additional traffic on an existing access road and drainage on site.

“The community council is concerned by the concentration of housing proposed for this relatively small, rural site,” it wrote.

The application also received objections from local people.

One letter of objection said “our impression is that it is not favourable for the surrounding environment, community and residents”.

“We do not object in principle to the land being used for housing but would suggest that a less condensed, smaller scale project would be more fitting in this area and have less of an impact overall on the environment and community”.

Another objector said: “The Houlland road is already busy and the extra traffic would pose an additional risk to the safety of walkers, cyclist and the many children that live in the area.”

Giving the green light to the social housing, planners ruled that “the proposed development will not have an adverse impact on the natural or built environment”.

“The proposed scale, form and design of the proposed twelve buildings is appropriate,” they added.

Planning staff also said that the site is “located in an Area of Best Fit where housing is encouraged”.

“The planning service encouraged the developer to consider a higher level of density for this site as it is in an area that has been identified for growth,” they continued.

“‘Urbanisation’ has been raised as part of an objection. Again whilst this site is currently open and beside farm land it has been identified as part of the Shetland Local Development plan as part of the best area for Sandwick to develop to,” the decision report added.

“The neighbouring developments are of similar densities and there are existing houses surrounding.”