Fears for EU cash as Fetlar breakwater is hit by fresh delay
The long-awaited £3.2 million Fetlar breakwater and pier has been hit by another delay, prompting concern that a European grant might be lost for a second time.
Councillors on the harbour board were told today there was a problem acquiring land from one of the crofting tenants. Officials were due in Fetlar to try to resolve the issue.
North Isles councillor Robert Henderson pleaded for action to get the issue sorted out.
Council design manager John Williamson said once the new plans can be finalised and submitted it is expected to take three months for planning consent to come through. He admitted that a contractor would not now be on site before Christmas but hoped that would happen within the financial year.
It is understood that work has to be under way before 31st March to secure the £300,000 EU grant. Last year delays caused the grant offer to lapse and the council had to reapply for it.
Harbour board chairman Alastair Cooper said the council could not afford another hiccup with the grant and suggested proceeding while waiting for the land issue to be resolved. But Mr Williamson said that was a matter for the council’s legal services to rule on.
Yesterday the island was congratulated for raising its population by almost 50 per cent to 70 people.