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Housing / Scottish ministers call in planning application for house near Clickimin 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

SCOTTISH Government ministers are to decide on the fate of an application for planning permission in principle for a new house near the Clickimin Broch in Lerwick.

Scottish ministers have decided to ‘call in’ the application because of the “potential significant adverse impact” on the setting of the historic broch.

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

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

Shetland’s regional 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 the 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 broch setting.

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

In a letter written to Shetland Islands Council’s planning department on 18 August, a government representative confirmed that Scottish ministers will now determine the application – with their decision final.

The application will be examined by a reporter from the government’s planning and environmental appeals division.

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They will submit a report, with recommendations, to Scottish minsters for their determination.

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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