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Nature / Community councillor thinks unused land near hostel has potential as green space

The land in between the hostel and the roundabout. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

A LERWICK community councillor has suggested that unused land near the Anderson High School halls of residence could be developed as an open green space.

Damien Ristori feels the area could potentially be used for flower beds and seating.

He believed seating could also be “handy for people wanting to watch sports and other events” at the Clickimin playing fields.

The land in question is located between the hostel and the roundabout at North Lochside.

During a meeting of Lerwick Community Council last night (Monday) Andy Carter questioned if any future use of the land could incorporate parking bays for motorhomes and caravans.

It follows the closure of the campsite at the Clickimin, which left Lerwick without a facility of this kind.

Ristori, however, felt the community might not be won over by the prospect of having campers located close to a school.

The community council agreed to ask to the council for more information about land ownership and any planned future use.

Speaking after the meeting, Shetland Islands Council convener Malcolm Bell – who is a community council member – said he believed the SIC does own the land.

He encouraged the community council to contact the education department about future use, but stressed caution over the idea of having camping ground near to the school and hostel.

Bell also said the council has previously worked hard to assist various groups in finding suitable space for a campsite in or near Lerwick.

Community councillors, meanwhile, discussed an application submitted to the SIC for retrospective planning permission for the extension to the Park Lane community garden.

The garden work hit the headlines earlier this year after the council’s legal team called for an end to the project because relevant permission was not in place.

The community council had no objections to the retrospective application, but some members were keen to see permission – if granted – expire when the consent for the main Park Lane garden runs out in 2022.