Housing / Planning refused by government for new house near broch – despite council approval last year

The Scottish Government was notified of the application because of an objection by Historic Environment Scotland

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 turned down a planning application for a new house near the Clickimin Broch in Lerwick – despite councillors giving it their approval last year.

The decision revolves around to the proposed house’s potential effect on the setting of the historic broch.

Shetland Islands Council’s planning committee moved last year to approve the application, which included demolishing an old outbuilding on the site, with a number of conditions.

But as Historic Environment Scotland – the custodian of the Clickimin Broch – objected to the plans, the matter was referred to the Scottish Government.

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

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 had been sought to demolish a derelict building near the Clickimin Loch and create a one 1.5 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.

But the application, submitted by Raymond Slater, did not win over Scottish ministers.

Their decision was informed by a document compiled by a planning reporter which recommended the application be refused.

The decision notice said: “Ministers share the reporter’s view that the proposed development would have a significant adverse effect on the integrity of the setting of the scheduled monument”.

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It added: “Ministers share the reporter’s conclusion that the lack of any specific need for the development to go ahead, and the lack of any wider public benefits of the proposal, means that there are no exceptional circumstances which would outweigh the harm to the integrity of the broch’s setting.”

The decision of Scottish ministers is final, but any person “aggrieved” by the decision can apply to the Court of Session within six weeks of the decision.

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