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Community / Community council looking to hear from groups who might be interested in space near hostel

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

LERWICK Community Council is keen to hear from groups and individuals in the town over the potential development of unused land near to the Anderson High School halls of residence.

The idea of using the area has been raised at the community council’s last two meetings and the organisation is now looking to hear from folk who might be interested in not only contributing suggestions but also putting resources into taking ideas forward.

At a meeting of the community council on Monday a list was presented of ideas of people have expressed on social media and elsewhere in the last couple of months.

While some were more realistic, such as a dog park, flower park and a seating area, some suggestions included a night club, a supermarket and hairdresser.

Lerwick Community Council chairman Jim Anderson said one of the next steps is to sort the “wheat from the chaff”.

One proposal which did get a show of support during Monday’s meeting was a dog park, with Karen Fraser backing the idea of having a fenced off area where the dogs can run off their leads.

The meeting also heard that the community council has also had contact from the local rugby club, which uses the Clickimin pitches near by.

Damien Ristori, who first raised the idea, felt the suggestion of a picnic and seating area had proved popular with the public.

“To me that would be the most logical, cost effective one to do,” he said.

Lerwick councillor John Fraser said the process now needed to be formalised, and that there should be a way for community groups and individuals to get in touch with “tangible and feasible” ideas in a form of consultation.

He stressed that the community council would only be a “conduit” between the community and landowner Shetland Islands Council, saying that the organisation would be not making decisions on any future use.

Community councillor Gary Robinson said it was also vital to engage with groups which have the go-ahead to pursue ideas, rather than just suggest them.

“We really should be asking for organisations, groups, that are willing to come forward and take the suggestions forward,” he said.

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