UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Friday 19 July 2024
 13.8°C   S Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Parking and housing a focus for lanes architects as options presented for feedback

Photo: SIC

THREE options which juggle housing, parking and green space have been developed as possible ideas for the future development of the Lerwick Lanes area.

It comes after a survey which attracted more than 400 responses from the public.

All three options which are being presented by architect firm 7N in a series of public events today (Monday) retain most of the spaces at the old swimming pool car park.

The architects said the options “balance the three primary uses that this site can provide for the town and local community – accessible parking, town centre living and publicly accessible seating/gathering space”.

Priorities which have emerged from the first round of consultation include a “bustling” Commercial Street, parking, housing provision, a better pedestrian environment and sympathy with the lanes character.

No decisions have been made at this stage, with the public asked to provide their feedback on the options.

A primary concern from the community which was evident from the survey is around the idea of potentially losing parking space.

Craig Nicolson from SIC housing (left) and 7N Architect Harry Kirkham. Photo: Shetland News

There are 144 spaces in the area at the moment, but the three proposed options retain 132, 128 and 126 spaces each.

A key factor in the thinking behind the decision to explore options for the lanes areas is the SIC’s current temporary accommodation along Pitt Lane, which is ageing.

Option one would see new housing created where the temporary accommodation is located.

The site of the current Park Lane community garden would make way for housing, with green space instead being introduced at the very top of the site next to Quendale Lane.

Parking would be rejigged slightly to make it more accessible and to create the opportunity to intersperse more green space and electric vehicle charging points.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Option two includes building some new homes where the temporary accommodation lies, as well as a small number of houses at the top of the site, next to Quendale Lane.

Some of the community garden space would be maintained.

Option three would see the new homes at the top too, but new housing plots spread throughout the site, with the community garden retained in the current location.

The information presented by 7N, who have been commissioned by Shetland Islands Council to create a masterplan for the lanes area, said the existing parking had been created in an “ad-hoc” manner and does not work well in certain places.

Some of the SIC accommodation in the lanes area. Photo: Shetland News

7N architect Harry Kirkham it was clear from the survey that parking was a “very important resource” within Lerwick.

“We’re trying to balance out the housing and the community garden, which does mean that there needs to be some rebalancing across the site, but retaining as much of the parking as possible and looking at how its setting can be improved,” he said.

Craig Nicolson from the SIC’s housing department added that the masterplan process gives a chance to improve the parking area.

Kirkham added that feedback from today’s events will be used in the creation of the masterplan, which should be submitted to the council at the end of March.

He said parking, housing and green space/the community garden were the key things which came out of the initial survey.

Kirkham added that housing could constitute many things from social housing to private properties, while business could be included too.

Nicolson said the council will ultimately end up with an options appraisal which will then go up for decision.

The council would decide whether it wants to take options forward “into a project, or projects, or no project”.

“It ranges from do nothing to the other end of the scale,” Nicolson said.

“If it’s decided to move into the next stage there will be more consultation on whatever option is taken forward.”

He reiterated that it is not a “done deal” for the project, which remains an evolving process.

At the day’s first event in the Islesburgh Community Centre there were a few people already in shortly after it started at midday.

One of those was Damien Ristori, who has been involved with Lerwick Community Council in recent years.

He suggested the idea of developing the site had been talked about many years ago, and said he welcomed the idea of creating housing at the very top of the site.

People can drop by the radio room at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick until 4pm, before a further event at Lerwick Town Hall’s main room between 5pm and 7pm.

At 7pm the architects will give a presentation at a meeting of Lerwick Community Council at the town hall, which is open to the public.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.