PLANNING permission in principle has been refused for proposals to build new houses near the Clickimin Broch in Lerwick.
The five houses would create a “significant adverse” impact on the setting of the broch and the archaeology of the site, according to Shetland Islands Council planners.
The decision is set to be appealed by the applicant.
Two proposals were submitted by the same applicant, with one focusing on building four detached 1.5 storey homes just off Westerloch Drive in a corner of the grassland in front of the Clickimin Broch.
The three and four bedroom houses would have been located 130m southwest of the broch with the access to the development via Westerloch Drive.
The other application was for permission in principle to demolish an existing derelict agricultural building 25m southeast of the broch and build a new home in its place.
The applications – both submitted by Raymond Slater – received objections from Historic Environment Scotland, which maintains the broch, as well as the local archaeology service.
Concern was also voiced from Shetland Amenity Trust’s natural heritage project officer Paul Harvey, who said the condition of Clickimin Loch had deteriorated in recent years and that the “last thing” the water needed was additional developments nearby.
Both applications have now been turned down by Shetland Islands Council’s planning service.
Planning officers said the plans for four houses would create a “barrier to the open views” across the field to Clickimin Loch and the broch, “which is not in keeping with the surrounding landscape and settlement pattern”.
In relation to the application for a single house, planners said that any solution to overcome its risk of flooding would not be in keeping with the landscape and setting of the broch.
The effect both developments would have on the broch area, and the local nature conservation site, was also raised.
The applicant’s agent Farningham Planning Ltd had previously said that that the edge of the loch had already been the subject of “significant change” in recent decades without detriment to its setting through the building of the Clickimin Leisure Centre and the new Anderson High School.
The company had said that the housing developments would not adversely affect the broch or the “integrity of its setting”.
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