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Transport / Community council hears parking concern over Lerwick house plans

The proposed development would be behind the church, which is located on the left of the road in this picture. Photo © Stuart Taylor (cc-by-sa/2.0)

PLANS to build a new house in Lerwick have drawn concerns over the extra pressure it could potentially put on parking availability in an already busy area.

An application for a small single storey, two-bedroom house on land behind the Congregational Church at Clairmont Place was discussed at a meeting of Lerwick Community Council on Monday.

The applicant, who currently resides at a house next to the site, is keen to provide additional accommodation for friends and family, with possible rental in the future. Access would be for pedestrians only through an existing path.

The development – located in a conservation area – already has planning permission in principle, and in the previous application the council’s roads department accepted the idea of a dwelling there and that primary parking would be outside of the boundaries of the site. It would have timber cladding and a flat roof.

But people who live in the area expressed concern to planners over the extra demand it could bring to parking in the area, such as Ronald Street and Rechabite Place.

A local resident told Monday’s community council meeting: “I just wanted to stress about the fact that parking is such a big issue.”

There was also concern expressed about the impact construction could have on the surrounding area due to the enclosed location of the site, particularly as access is through a path.

Lerwick South councillor Neil Pearson said in his short time as an elected member he has already heard from constituents a few times on the general issue of parking in the area.

This included an instance where elderly/disabled residents could not get parked at night.

Community councillor Stewart Hay also said he has been approached by a constituent – a rare occurrence, he added – on parking in the area and said the issue was “severe”.

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“I think the matter of parking in a very confined place will have implications for parking and access and will, I think, increase the pressures on an already pressurised area of the town,” he said.

In submissions for the planning in principle application the council’s roads department also acknowledged the parking pressures in the area.

In a statement to planners the applicant said that “it has been demonstrated that parking is available for the development”, in compliance with the Shetland local development plan.

Lerwick Community Council agreed to relay the concerns raised at Monday’s meeting to Shetland Islands Council’s planning department.

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