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Housing / Government needs more time to consider plans for house near broch

The plans were to demolish this old building and construct a house behind it. The photo was taken from just outside the broch. Photo: Shetland News

THE SCOTTISH Government has requested more time to consider whether or not to call in a planning application relating to a new house near the Clickimin Broch in Lerwick.

If Scottish ministers do call in the planning permission in principle, it means they could determine the outcome.

Shetland Islands Council’s planning committee agreed at a meeting in June that it was minded to approve the application, with a raft of conditions, and the government was notified of the decision.

It came to the committee because of an unresolved objection from Historic Environment Scotland, the custodian of the Clickimin Broch, due to the possible impact on the historic monument’s setting.

Shetland’s archaeologist Dr Val Turner also spoke out in strong terms against the plans due to the proximity to the broch.

Planning permission in principle was sought to demolish a derelict building near Clickimin Loch and create a one storey house behind it.

It would be located to the right of the pathway down to the broch, if looking down towards the loch.

It was a revised application following a similar submission which was ultimately rejected by planners in 2020 over concerns that the house would have a negative impact on the setting of the well preserved remains of the historic monument.

This time around the planning service said it felt the revised distance from the broch minimised the impact on the monument, and was on balance acceptable, and councillors on the committee went with the recommendation.

After the decision the matter was then referred to the Scottish Government, due to the objection from  Historic Environment Scotland.

It had until 8 August to make up its mind, but an extension has now been put in place to 6 September.

During this time the council is unable to formally grant planning permission.

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In a letter to the planning service last year Dr Turner said the location was “totally inappropriate for a house and could end up at public inquiry” if it was consented.

But the planning service felt the proposal “respects the predominant development pattern of the existing settlement within the area and environment, and landscape”.

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