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Council / Cullivoe road development restriction lifted for now

The SIC says annual patching has been sufficient to maintain the road into Cullivoe, which is due to be replaced in the coming years

Photo: Shetland News

A BLANKET restriction on development in areas accessed by the road to Cullivoe has now been lifted.

This is in part due to the road, which has been in poor condition and is due to be replaced, being maintained through annual patching.

A restriction had been in place since December 2019 due to the deterioration of the B9082 road, which is used by HGVs taking fish from the Cullivoe pier.

It was deemed necessary to ensure the deterioration was not accelerated through the delivery of materials and plant equipment.

But a spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council confirmed that instead of a blanket restriction, developments will now be assessed on a case by case basis.

Where there are concerns that a development has the potential to accelerate damage to the road then conditions may be imposed.

“The road will be inspected on a regular basis and should there be accelerated deterioration the lifting of the restriction will be reconsidered,” the spokesperson added.

One development which has been affected is North Yell Development Council’s (NYDC) new marina and extended business park next to the Cullivoe pier.

In this case some materials had to be shipped in by boat to get around the road issue.

It has also put the brakes on ten serviced business sites and five caravan pitches at the revamped business park, which was formally launched last month, being brought into use.

NYDC is now asking the council if a planning condition prohibiting the new business park being operational until a new road has been completed can be discharged.

Director of the community group Andrew Nisbet also said the restriction has already resulted in one tenant pulling out of the business park due to concerns about not being able to proceed.

“As the restriction is now lifted, we see no reason why it [the planning condition] should not be discharged,” he said.

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“We really hope that the condition is discharged, and that the benefits of our development can then be realised.”

In late June an extension to a house in Cullivoe was also approved by planners.

First patching repairs of the road were undertaken in May 2020, and further defects have been dealt with every year since.

In an update to councillors in June, roads manager Neil Hutcheson said monitoring has shown that annual patching has been “sufficient to maintain the carriageway”.

With work on the new road estimated to get underway in spring 2024, the roads department said it was now satisfied the restriction could be lifted.

“The proviso is that the roads service will continue to monitor the road and may impose the restriction again should the deterioration of the carriageway accelerate to the point where it cannot be managed by the annual visit of the jetpatcher,” Hutcheson added.

A final business case for the Cullivoe upgrade was approved by councillors in 2021, with a 6.3 metre wide, two-lane road on a new alignment the preferred option – priced then at £5 million.

But subsequent amendments to the process mean that a revised version of the full case, including the tendered sum for the project, is due to be presented to council for decision in December.

Agreement has been reached with land owners and tenants regarding land acquisition, so there has been no requirement for compulsory purchase.

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