The historic Peerie Dock at Symbister in Whalsay could be filled in on safety grounds, a meeting of the SIC harbour board heard on Wednesday.
The dock is crumbling and collapsing and is now deemed to be in such a dangerous state of repair that part of it has been fenced off to prohibit public access to the worst affected areas.Chairman Alastair Cooper said that due to demands on council finances the project should look for external funding and go back to Historic Scotland to discuss their providing grant aid. He did not see that happening, however.
Two years ago specialist architects Groves Raines had estimated the cost of the renovation at £900,000. Rick Nickerson said the board should “spread the net wider” than just seek money from Historic Scotland, and suggested lottery funding.
Independent member Jim Tait said the dock could possibly be filled in “on a temporary basis” with chippings that could be easily excavated later. This could be done for health and safety reasons and would stop the dock deteriorating further.
Mr Cooper said that could be a solution for the dock, which had “limited” use but to which many people felt emotional attachment.