Council / Appeal lodged against planning refusal for Lerwick home

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)

ANOTHER planning decision by Shetland Islands Council has been taken to the Scottish Government on appeal.

It relates to the refusal of full planning consent for a single-storey home in Lerwick.

The applicant’s agent Née Gibson Architects said it felt the decision of the council’s planning committee earlier this year was “unjustified” when taking into account planning policy.

The agent also said it felt that “committee members had made their decision prior to the hearing”.

It comes after another appeal against committee refusal – for changing the use of the science block at the old Anderson High School – was lodged earlier this year.

The conclusion of that appeal was that change of use planning consent was never needed for the building.

The application for a small, single storey two-bedroom house on land behind the church at Clairmont Place was refused by councillors on the planning committee in April who felt concerns over parking and traffic in the area had not been fully addressed.


There was also concern raised over the health and safety of residents during construction.

The applicant, who currently resides at a house next to the site, was keen to provide additional accommodation which could be used for their family, with possible rental in the future.

The access to the building would be for pedestrians only.

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.

Lerwick Community Council had also objected on similar grounds, which meant the application went in front of the planning committee for determination. The planning service itself had recommended approval with conditions.

Planning consent in principle for a house on the site, which is located just inside the boundary of the Lerwick Lanes Conservation Area, had also already been approved.

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Documents have now been lodged for an appeal to the Scottish Government.

In its appeal statement, the applicant’s agent said the “local authority and planning department deems that parking is not a primary consideration based on that there should be sufficient parking in the general area”.

The architects said no parking survey was required, but “if one was carried out, we believe it would have shown that parking would be available during daytime and limited at evenings, but sufficient parking would be generally available as highlighted by SIC roads during the consultation”.

They noted that previous applications for building conversions and extensions in the last ten years have been submitted to the local authority within the Lerwick Lanes Conservation Area and have been approved.

The statement notes that at the same meeting plans to turn the Havly Cafe into three flats within the same conservation area, similarly with no parking proposed, was approved with no concerns raised.


As part of the appeal process Shetland Islands Council will be able to provide its own statement in response.

A number of local decisions from the planning committee have been referred to the Scottish Government’s appeals department in recent years.

In addition to the science block development, an application for a house near the Clickimin Broch was taken to the government last year.

Whilst the committee was happy to approve with conditions imposed, the matter was referred to the government because of an objection from Historic Environment Scotland.

The application was ultimately refused after the planning reporter shared the concerns over the proximity of the house to the broch.

Last year a refusal of planning consent to change the location of two Viking Energy concrete batching plants was overturned.

In early 2020 the government also overturned a refusal to extend the temporary permission of the Sella Ness accommodation block.

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