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Council / Track at Dale set to be closed off to allow for electricity cable works

PUBLIC access to the track which runs past the north of the Dale golf course outside Lerwick is set to be prohibited for a period of nearly two years to allow for work involving the burial of new underground electricity cable.

Shetland Islands Council has made an order authorising the ‘temporary stopping up’ of the existing public right of way at Dale, Gott.

The order is about to be submitted to Scottish ministers for confirmation.

The 1.7km track is described as the “old road to Lerwick” and it stands to be closed to all traffic from 1 September 2023 to 31 May 2025.

This is to enable development involving the burial of underground cable as part of a new electricity circuit between Kergord and Lerwick.

Developer SSEN is proposing that the burial of the cable takes place under its permitted development rights.

Any objections to the stopping up can be made to the council’s planning service.

The new electricity set-up between Kergord and Lerwick will feature both underground cable and overhead lines.

There will be underground cable from Lerwick to the Veensgarth area, with overhead lines then running along the A970 route to Sandwater before it goes underground again.

It is needed as part of Shetland’s new energy set-up once the isles are connected to the national grid via a subsea transmission link and are producing large amounts of renewable energy.

A new 132kV transmission network is needed to provide Shetland wind farms with a connection to the grid. Electricity is currently distributed on Shetland via a 33kV distribution network.

A grid supply point at Gremista in Lerwick will enable Shetland to connect to the network.

Meanwhile Shetland Islands Council said its outdoor access team has been dealing with a number of issues regarding vehicles accessing land recently.

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The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 establishes a right of responsible non-motorised access to land throughout Scotland with few exceptions, for recreational, educational and some commercial purposes.

Access rights in Scotland do not include motorised activities which include things such as motor biking and scrambling or off-road driving.

The council said these activities still require the permission of the relevant land owner or manager.

It added that folk need to be aware of any special environmental or scientific designations a site may have that could prohibit accessing it with a vehicle. More information can be found here.

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