A housing development near Upper Scalloway featuring over 30 new homes has been given the green light from planners – despite strong concerns from residents and staff from a range of organisations including the local school and health centre.
Concerns were stressed, from Upper Scalloway residents to the NHS, Disability Shetland and nursery Hame Fae Hame, over the proposed traffic access in what was described as an already “extremely busy” area.
A number of the worries centred around the suitability of the access route and the road safety of people using the school, health centre and preschool facilities in the area.
A point of contention was that although roads would be upgraded, vehicles would access the development via existing infrastructure rather than through its own, purpose-built route.
Locals also expressed worry over the impact of blasting rock for the development near to the existing housing.
A planning application was submitted last year by developers E&H Building Contractors for 32 social houses at Utnabrake for Hjaltland Housing Association.
A stream of representations were submitted against the plans over the last year in a process which is understood to have been draining for local residents.
In one final letter to the planning service in July, around 20 residents of Upper Scalloway said that they had “endured nine months of stress and uncertainty as a direct result of the shambolic nature of this planning proposal”.
E&H managing director Bobby Elphinstone said: “It has taken much longer than we had hoped or expected to go through the planning process, but we hope that the approval will now allow us to proceed with the construction of 32 badly needed social houses which will go some way in helping to reduce the SIC and Hjaltland’s large waiting list of families who have Scalloway as their preferred location to live.”
The council’s planning department said in response to concerns over traffic volume that “while the proposed development could be expected to generate a 36 per cent increase in daily traffic volumes the overall combined level of movements is under 1,000 vehicles per day, which is well within the capacity of the road infrastructure”.