Views from the Scord 24.04.09

Harbour activity

Scalloway Harbour was dominated for much of the week by the presence of the Northern Lighthouse Board vessel Pharos.

She was berthed in Scalloway as a base for her regular “storing” operations of the lighthouses throughout Shetland, all performed by her onboard helicopter which operated throughout the week at around six flights per day.

Entering service in 2007, the Leith-registered ship boasts a level of technical sophistication “second to none” and represents the latest in a line of lighthouse board vessels working out of Oban and familiar and welcomed in the isles. She left Scalloway on Sunday afternoon.

In midweek the freight vessel Sea Eagle arrived with just under 700 tonnes of fertilizer. The cargo was discharged on to the commercial pier, from where it is rapidly being despatched to customers throughout Shetland by road.

Friday saw the arrival of the Bridgetown-registered standby vessel Dea Clipper, built in 1981 and converted for her current role in 2007. She was in for a crew change, bunkering and supplies while the Montrose-registered Vos Vedette arrived on Monday for a similar visit.

The Ronja Settler returned to Scalloway last Monday from after a brief trip to Norway for repairs and continues to deliver salmon to the factory at Blacksness.

Fishing activity was a good average with a total of 1,342 boxes through the market, with around 1,000 landed on Friday alone. The Fertile, Comrades, Radiant Star, Valhalla, Tranquility, Athena, Prevail, Guardian Angell, Atlantia and Opportune contributed to the total with 17 boxes of farm-produced halibut also sold on the market from the Shetland Halibut company. The highest single landing of the week came from the Guardian Angell with 354 boxes.

Baptist fund-raiser

A coffee morning was held in the Burra Baptist Church hall recently in aid of the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal.

The event was said to be very busy for the two hours it ran for, with the hall full throughout. Apart from the teas there were home bakes on sale and a bric-a-brac stall.

The organisers thanked everyone who baked, served and attended and announced that over £600 was raised on the day.

CLAN sale

The recent “needle to anchor sale” at the Bridge-End Hall in aid of CLAN 1,2,3 delivered on its promise of being an interesting and varied event.

With much more on offer than just the sale, so far an admirable running total of £2,510 has been accrued, with more still coming in.

The Burra and Trondra community event drew people from all over Shetland as well as from the local area. The sale included, as promised, everything from a needle to an anchor as the name suggested and a silent auction that attracted much interest with, for instance, a top price being paid for a small antique cupboard. There was also a raffle for which tickets were punted out to “all that moved”.

A kitchen team served food and a “kids’ corner” kept the youngsters happy with crafts and activities. Face-painting provided a range of colourful and exotic creatures, seasonal, well known or just plain bizarre.

Outside the hall a team of car washers formed a conveyor system and did a marvellous job in cleaning a total of 33 cars on the day. Other local stalwarts sold furniture, firewood and freshly cut daffodils, fuelled with cups of tea from inside for warmth throughout the day.

Community council

The Scalloway Community Council met for the April sitting on Monday with the first part of the evening taken up with the proposed housing development at Utnabrake.

A presentation was given by Brian Leask of Hjaltland Housing Association and John Halcrow of JHB, the two parties combining to develop the site, assisted by architect Alan Skinner.

The planning began as far back as 2006 when JHB approached landowner Ronnie Eunson with a view to developing the site and subsequently sought to involve Hjaltland.

This development is proposed to extend from existing housing at Upper Scalloway north, following the natural ridge line, to slightly beyond the existing dwellings at Utnabrake.

The development would go ahead in five phases, beginning with that closest to Scalloway, eventually providing perhaps as many as 100 more houses in the area. The first phases would include Hjaltland with private housing proposed further through the development.

Hjaltland had no difficulty in identifying the need for such a development with 285 people applying for housing in Scalloway at the time of appraisal, a substantial percentage of the total on the housing waiting list for Shetland as a whole.

Recent Hjaltland developments at Endavoe and the Anderson Buildings attracted approximately 120 applicants each, displaying a clear need for this type of housing in the area.

The current design of the proposed scheme has been deliberately formulated to emulate existing housing in Scalloway, presenting street-like frontage with backstreet parking, divided into “home-zones” with an emphasis on pedestrian movement rather than vehicular.

The plans also include a new health centre for Scalloway, as approved in principle for further investigation by the NHS board, which could eventually include a dental surgery.

There are also plans for a core housing unit and supported accommodation for the elderly, planned in co-operation with Crossreach which run the Walter & Joan Gray Eventide Home in the village.

Access to the whole site, including the health centre, will be via a new road layout, starting at a new roundabout at the head of the East Voe. A road from there will head north alongside the new site before taking a turn east toward the existing Tingwall valley road.

Within the next few months Hjaltland will begin a process of public consultation on the development.

Local councillor and NHS board chairwoman Betty Fullerton said: “This is a really exciting project for Scalloway provided that it is properly planned, particularly the health and care aspects of the development.”

The health centre aspect of the proposal will go before the NHS board again in May or June and if the planning of the main development goes ahead as planned the developers will be applying for planning consent in August.



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