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Business / Sandwick Co-op gets green light from planners

Photo: Malcolm Younger for Shetland News

A CO-OP store in Sandwick has been given planning permission.

In its decision notice, Shetland Islands Council’s planning service said the shop would “contribute to the viability of the existing Sandwick settlement and will promote employment opportunities”.

The Co-op plans to build two new stores in Shetland – one at Stove in Sandwick and another at East Voe in Scalloway.

But the proposals provoked strong concern that they would they have a negative impact on the existing local retail and wholesale sector – potentially leading to job losses.

The Stove store for instance is located just metres away from the Sandwick shop.

The location of the proposed Co-op in Sandwick. © Google 2021

But the decision notice reiterated that the planning system in Scotland “does not protect the interests of individual businesses that are likely to be in competition with one another and therefore the representations in objection in regards to this would not constitute a material planning consideration”.

The planning service ruled that overall the proposal is “considered to be in accordance with the [Shetland Local] Development Plan and there are no material considerations which would outweigh the proposal’s accordance with the Development Plan”.

The two stores in Sandwick and Scalloway would result in an investment from the Co-op worth £2.4 million.

Around 40 new full and part time jobs would be created between the two.

They would be similar in size to the Brae Co-op.

As of Friday afternoon the planning application for the Scalloway shop does not yet have a decision.

The national retailer also has a larger supermarket in Lerwick.

Alastair Ness from the store’s property developer Seamount said: “We have engaged extensively with the local community and other stakeholders throughout the planning application process and I’d like to thank all of those that took time to respond to the consultation.”

He added that a local company would be appointed to carry out the construction.

“We anticipate that construction will begin in the new year with the store welcoming customers by Christmas 2022/early 2023.”

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