Work on new development plan begins
The areas where future developments should be allowed are being considered in a plan by Shetland Islands Council.
Work has started to form a new five-year local development plan (LDP), which will come into force in about four and a half years’ time.
Members of the the special development committee were told about how the new plan would be pulled together, and discussed the importance of community and business engagement in deciding how Shetland moves forward.
Shetland’s first LDP was adopted by the council in September last year.
It is expected to last for five years and all planning applications for all types of development in Shetland are measured against the LDP.
Committee chairman Alastair Cooper said there needed to be engagement with young folk who were the future of developments in Shetland.
He highlighted the issues of a lack of accommodation in the isles and the increased workforce.
“We need to be absolutely sure this [the plan] meets our needs and the needs of the community,” he said.
Afterwards he added: “We have a temporary situation with incoming construction workers, but we also have a situation now where folk applying for jobs in Shetland are put off because there’s no housing available.
“Somehow or another we have to try and improve the situation so people can live and work in Shetland.”
In this morning’s meeting members also heard the council has completed its Housing Land Audit 2014 – a study including information on housing development in the isles and house prices from 2009/10 to 2013/14.
According to the report there were 464 homes completed in that period.
Of the new houses completed 66 per cent were private homes and 34 per cent were affordable homes.
More in Friday’s Shetland Times.