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Council / Knab traffic access a worry for Lerwick Community Council

Redevelopment of the Knab site is a key part of the SIC's plan to tackle a housing shortage in the isles.

LERWICK Community Council has added its concerns on the latest plans for the redevelopment of the old Anderson High School site.

Supporting an objection from local residents, chairman Jim Anderson expressed worry over the proposed access on Gressy Loan, as well as other traffic matters.

He said having four vehicle access points onto Gressy Loan from the redeveloped site, which could host up to 140 new homes, would be a “recipe for disaster”.

It came after residents of Gressy Loan wrote a letter of objection to the local planning service about the plans.

The application in question is for the infrastructure and public realm elements of the Shetland Islands Council project.

The objection from Gressy Loan residents was submitted on the grounds of parking, traffic flow, road safety and the welfare of the general neighbourhood.

Lerwick Community Council then agreed at a meeting on Monday evening to add its own objection to the plans.

There are four proposed access points in the plans, including one which is relocated 30 metres north of its current location.

A planning statement says: “There are existing residential driveways opposite the proposed relocated access, however the presence of the proposed access will not affect the visibility along the road for pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles or the safe movement of drivers into or out of existing driveways.”

Anderson referenced the number of cars which park on Gressy Loan as it is.

Community councillor Amanda Hawick also expressed concern about the access onto the steep road.

“I think the road is pretty much at capacity as it sits at the moment,” she added.

The planning statement meanwhile concluded: “On-street parking on Gressy Loan has also been reviewed in response to comments raised during public consultation events.

“Comparison of the existing maximum parking capacity to the maximum parking capacity on-street in context of the proposed infrastructure, shows there would be a similar number of parking spaces available.

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“In addition, on-street car parking demand is expected to be within the maximum capacity available.”

Meanwhile Gary Robinson, who is also a senior SIC councillor, said people should “not get too hung up on cars”.

Robinson mentioned the Hjaltland housing scheme at Grantfield in Lerwick, which he said often has many free spaces.

“I remain unconvinced that there’s such as a demand for having cars in town centre living, or close to town centre living,” he said.

Highlighting Shetland’s variable weather, Hawick then said: “It’s a fair point – if you’re living in the middle of France.”

“Well Grantfield isn’t in France,” Robinson replied.

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