New high school plans submitted
A planning application has been submitted for the new Anderson High School and halls of residence at its Clickimin site, marking an “important milestone” in the development of the major project.
Shetland Islands Council said the proposals, together with an environmental statement, had been submitted to the authority’s planning department.
Director of children’s services Helen Budge said the project was on track for the planned opening in August 2016.
“I’m obviously very delighted. It’s another step in the right direction. We’ve done a huge amount of work to make sure that the environmental impact assessment is included, and we let the process of planning now begin.
“We’ve now got the land, we’ve submitted our planning application, and we await that process to go through to be able to start on site later in the year, all being well.”
Her comments follow news last week the council had acquired all of the land needed for its flagship capital project after an agreement was reached with Shetland Leasing and Property to buy a plot to the north and west of the rugby pitches at Clickimin.
Mrs Budge said that process would not impact on the £42 million cost of the project.
“The land deal was not part of what I would class as the government funding. The two thirds funding from the Scottish government and one third from Shetland Islands Council, does not include acquisition of the land.”
Chairwoman of the council’s education and families committee, Vaila Wishart said: “I am delighted that the planning application has been submitted. I know that there has been a lot of work by officers of Shetland Islands Council, Natural Capital and Hubco to get the application lodged. This is an important milestone for this project .”
The planning department's John Holden said a lengthy and detailed process of consultation now needed to get underway before the proposals can go before the planning committee.
"At an absolute minimum, if everything was to slot into place ... you're looking at two and a half to three months, at least. But it could be longer because of a number of factors that can occur as we go through the process."
Earlier this year more than 100 people attended an open day at Islesburgh Community Centre to see draft plans for the school.
Negative comments were subsequently fed back to the council about proposed metal cladding for the exterior design. Mrs Budge said ideas around harling and wood have subsequently been examined as a possible alternative.
Natural Capital is a organisation with expertise in sustainable development which works with various local authorities. Hubco is a partnership between public and private sector organisations aimed at building and delivering better local services.