New AHS: Alternative sites considered for helipad

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The coastguard rescue helicopter Oscar Charlie lands at Clickimin shortly after the landing pad was opened in 2010. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The coastguard rescue helicopter Oscar Charlie lands at Clickimin shortly after the landing pad was opened in 2010. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The emergency landing pad at the Clickimin will be moved to make way for the new Anderson High School.

Talks have emerged over the possible relocation of the helipad less than four years after the development was officially opened.

It comes as preparations gather pace to finally get the council’s flagship project underway and completed within the next three years.

Information on how the plans are developing are being discussed at an open day at Islesburgh today, whcih has been attended by an estimated 100 people already.

Architect Gordon Murray provided a presentation on the proposed four-storey development, along with environment and sustainability consultant, Annie Say, at last night’s meeting of Lerwick Community Council.

Questions were raised about the materials used and the possible impact the school could have on the surrounding environment.

Director of the SIC’s children’s services, Helen Budge, said the SIC was moving “ever closer” to lodging a planning application. She anticipated this would be done by the end of next month.

But she said a relocation of the helipad was being studied. The council’s emergency planning service are examining alternative locations.

At this stage it is not known exactly where the emergency pad will go, although Mrs Budge acknowledged it was widely regarded as an essential community resource.

“After subsequent communications with the emergency services we are going to have to look at relocation,” she said, adding progress was at a very early stage.

The landing pad was opened in May 2010 as part of a bid to bring incoming patients to the Gilbert Bain Hospital as quickly as possible. It was approved after NHS staff insisted emergency patients stood the best chance of survival if they were treated within the so-called “golden hour”.

Responding to news of the relocation, director of public health at NHS Shetland, Sarah Taylor, said it was important the landing pad stayed in Lerwick.

“There’s work being done through emergency planning that is looking for alternative sites and where it might go to because it’s something that is important and needed.

“We’re looking for somewhere in Lerwick because the alternatives in terms of formal landing sites are obviously Tingwall and Sumburgh, and the issues around those are the time it takes for ambulances to get there and transfer times for people coming in who are emergencies.”

The architect's impressions of how the new school will look.

The architect’s impressions of how the new school will look.

Meanwhile, today’s public event on the Anderson High at Islesburgh runs until 8pm.

Mrs Budge said “A key part of the new Anderson High School project is ensuring people are kept up to date on how plans are progressing. I hope that as many people can come along to our second event, ask questions and see how the proposals are developing.”

Anyone unable to attend the public event can view the proposals at Hayfield House, Hayfield Lane, Lerwick. Comments can also be made in writing to Helen Budge, Director of Children’s Services, Hayfield House, Hayfield Lane, Lerwick, ZE1 0QD or by emailing.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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4 comments

  1. Michael Grant

    I have said it before and will say it again,There will be no new school here in 3 years time because this council (like previous councils) can’t agree on anything.

    Reply
  2. Colin Mckearney

    Is that an actual architect’s drawing of whats proposed ??? Looks more like a bairns lego
    set ! Honest to god thats like two small grain silo’s with a flat roofed join , and this is to cost what ? 42.000.000 ??? Phone Sean Casey in Sumburgh , he’ll soon rattle yun up , he’s a dab hand at agricultural buildings.

    If this is as good as the sic can manage to come up with , whilst closing down good schools then it just shows what an out of touch , ill informed bunch are presiding over this idiotic proposal and even worse designed building………..Specsavers , Kelly’s and Millars are all on the street you know…………..

    Reply
  3. Bill Smale

    Couldn’t a helipad be incorporated into the flat roof of the proposed new school? I was watching a programme about the FIAT building in Turin which has a rooftop helipad as well as the famous test track.

    Reply
    • John Tulloch

      Given the recent catastrophe in Glasgow, I think it would be preferable to keep helicopters away from the school, however, helicopters routinely land on ships in the oil industry and navies arounf the globe so – with no knowledge of unforeseen civil engineering obstacles – couldn’t a purpose-built helipad be built into the existing hospital, for example, as an extra storey on part of the car park with a direct route to A&E, perhaps, fitted with a conveyor to speed up the process of getting casualties safely into the ward?

      Reply

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