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Community / Former church hall could be converted into homes

St Clement's Hall. Photo © Google 2022

AN OLD former church building in Lerwick which was damaged in a fire in 2014 could be set to be revamped into four two-storey flats.

The C-listed St Clement’s Hall, which overlooks the King George V play park, has fallen into a state of disrepair.

But a planning application has now been submitted to Shetland Islands Council for converting the building into four dwelling units.

A statement to planning staff said that some of the floor is in danger of collapsing underfoot.

It said under the proposals there would be no significant change to the front of the building, which is now described as “sadly neglected”.

The plan from applicant Nigel Timberlake would be to demolish the fire-damaged rear and side extensions and create a new extension.

“The building has been vacant for a considerable length of time and has been lacking routine maintenance and repair in recent years to the extent that the building is gradually falling into a state of disrepair,” the statement concluded.

“Possible uses for the building are limited therefore the applicants proposals to convert and extend and change the use to residential will ensure the building will become occupied and used on a daily basis again.”

The distinctive building was opened in 1911 and was used as the parish hall for Lerwick Parish Church for many years.

The building was once owned by Shetland Islands Council before local businessman Malcolm Younger bought it with plans for a conversion.

In the late 1990s it was regularly in use as for sales and stalls, most notably by budget retailer Chris Hodge.