Staney Hill site agreed for potential Lerwick vegetable growers
Part of Staney Hill is to be turned into council allotments for Lerwick people. The decision to offer land between the Hoofields houses and the Shetland Marts ends a long search for a suitable site for the Lerwick Allotments Association.
The site takes in land which is let to the Marts for grazing. The allotment association still has to get planning permission and hopes to win funding from the Climate Challenge Fund.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the infrastructure committee, chairwoman Iris Hawkins backed the development. She said: “It’s a great idea to have a buffer between an abattoir and housing.”
Councillor Jonathan Wills questioned the wisdom of offering such an exposed site, asking whether there might be somewhere else low-lying with a bit of shelter.
But councillor Laura Baisley disagreed with him. She said it did not matter if a site was exposed as long as shelter could be provided and if the land was poor quality it could be improved.
Jim Grant of the council’s environment and building services admitted the site was not ideal but after many months of investigation it was the only one in council ownership available for allotments. The first site earmarked was the former hockey pitch at Seafield but that was knocked on the head after horse-riding groups protested that it was their show park in Lerwick.
Mr Grant said remedial works would be done by the allotment association to make the land more suitable for cultivation.
Around 190 requests have been received by the council for allotment spaces all over Shetland. Sites have been agreed for Mossbank and Sandwick. The Mossbank group hopes to gain access next month to be ready for this year’s growing season.