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Environment / Loch warning made over plans for new house near Clickimin Broch

The building which the applicant wants to demolish is located on the left of this photo, near to the edge of the loch. Photo: The Shetland Flyer/Rory Gillies

THERE is danger of foul water and silt potentially running into the Clickimin loch if a new house is built near its edge, according to Shetland Amenity Trust’s natural heritage project officer Paul Harvey.

He was responding to an application for planning permission in principle to demolish a derelict building and build a four-bedroom house in its place, not far from the Clickimin Broch.

The application, from Raymond Slater, follows a similar submission which was ultimately rebuffed by planners last year over concerns that a new house would have an impact on the setting of the broch.

Responding to the latest application, Harvey said the Loch of Clickimin is classed as a local nature conservation site, with aquatic macrophytes and wintering wildfowl key features.

He said there has been a “marked deterioration” in the loch’s water quality following the construction of the nearby Anderson High School, which has had a negative impact on aquatic plants and the numbers of wildfowl which use the site.

Harvey said that while the proposed house is set back and is close to other properties, construction would potentially see foul water and silt run into the loch.

“It is this very material that contributed to the loch’s current demise during the construction of the Anderson High School,” he said.

Harvey said if the development goes ahead, Shetland Islands Council needs to be satisfied that appropriate measures are in place during construction to ensure no pollutants, waste or silt are allowed to enter the loch.

“It should also be incumbent on SIC to enforce any such condition attached to the consent to ensure that we don’t see a repeat of the issues that arose due to lack of adequate monitoring during construction of the AHS,” he concluded.

The council’s roads department, meanwhile, responded to the application by saying that the current plan for access – via South Road – has limited visibility and does not meet current development standards.

It said it could potentially be possible to improve visibility by removing the existing physical obstructions, or the applicant could consider relocating the access point.