Council / Funding go-ahead for repairs to Nesting and Lerwick retaining walls

The Stendaal housing estate in Nesting is due to undergo refurbishment. Photo © Google 2023

COUNCILLORS have approved funding of nearly £380,000 to pay for work on walls in Nesting and Lerwick – with a final sign-off due next week.

More than £210,000 has been earmarked for the demolition and replacement of sections of the existing concrete retaining wall that runs through the Stendaal housing estate in Nesting.

Meanwhile around £165,000 is in line to go towards repairs to a retaining wall that runs around 150 metres along the west side of south St Olaf Street in Lerwick amid concerns over structural stability.

The business cases were given the thumbs up at a meeting of Shetland Islands Council’s policy and resources committee on Monday. However, they need final approval at a full council meeting next week.

The wall in Nesting is due to be replaced as part of refurbishment works planned for the estate by the council.

Investigations showed there was insufficient drainage behind the retaining walls, with water ingress causing concrete blocks to become weak.


At St Olaf Street the wall in question was constructed approximately one hundred years ago to facilitate the extension of St. Olaf Street to the south, but there are now a number of concerns about its stability.

The scheme would also address drainage issues resulting from rainwater being concentrated at the foot of the retaining wall.

A report to councillors on the SIC’s policy and resources committee said both the walls, if left to deteriorate further, could become hazardous and a safety concern.

Elected members on the policy and resources committee also gave their approval for spending £37,000 on the construction of two new parking areas at the West Gaet access to the Hamnavoe Primary School in Burra.

It would provide additional space and formalise the parking in the area, which often becomes congested at the end of the school day – something which has been exacerbated by extended learning at the nearby nursery.

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Warm councillors Moraig Lyall and Davie Sandison both said they were pleased to see the long-running issue addressed.

Around £15,000 is set to be approved for a storage container for the council’s youth and employability services, although it will be grant funded by the Scottish Government’s Emergency Cost Crisis Fund.

Some elected members questioned why that business case came in front of the committee given it would be funded by government money.

Assets, commissioning and procurement manager Robert Sinclair said all capital spend projects above £10,000 go in front of councillors.

Meanwhile Shetland Central member Catherine Hughson said there was a “whole lot of red tape and bureaucracy” around the business case process.

Ward colleague Davie Sandison conceded the council seems to “get ourselves into a bit of a witter” in these instances.

Councillors also retrospectively approved the large scale repair and replacement of fenders across ports.

The work has already been completed, with the total cost of £835,000 funded from harbour charges.

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