The brakes have been put on long-running proposals to create Lerwick’s new £214,000 skate park until fuller plans have been scrutinised by councillors.
Shetland Skate Park Association had asked permission for the concrete slab structure to be built at Knab Road in Lerwick.
However today’s planning committee voted five-two in favour of holding off a decision until further details are submitted.
The meeting heard the association had been unable to provide a noise impact assessment, and the environmental health department had been unable to confirm the skate park would not give rise to a “statutory nuisance”.
But planning officer John Holden said officials were confident that any problems could be ironed out during the design stage.
That was enough for SIC political leader Gary Robinson. He moved the application be approved to allow the long-running project to finally get off the ground. He gained support from David Sandison.
However Peter Campbell was less than convinced. He argued the decision should be deferred until full plans are presented to the committee.
“If somebody had come wanting to build a house on that site we would have had to see full and detailed plans. I would move that we defer this until such time as we know the precise design of the project.”
He also questioned the wisdom behind offering the skate park at the Knab at a time when the public toilets adjacent to the site were facing possible closure.
“We need to see the full plans, because there is the possibility of things progressing with a large concrete slab at the Knab, and nothing else.”
Mr Campbell was seconded by Billy Fox, who said he was “fairly agnostic” about the application, as it was a “legacy issue of the last council” – previous plans for a skate park have been scuppered for various reasons over the years. Those included difficulties in acquiring land, and complaints from neighbours about the prospect of noise and disturbance.
Mr Robinson said the question of public toilets was not a “planning consideration”. He said further questions raised would be dealt with by planning officers.
“We can all envisage what a skate park is going to look like. It will be designed and constructed to meet all the current standards. Provided environmental health is satisfied and health and safety considerations are taken into account I think we should let this one go.”
Mr Sandison insisted the report seemed “straightforward to me” – that the skate park could be built “subject to the imposition of satisfactory conditions”.
“I can’t see how they’d do anything different from that. If Gary wanted to support the motion, I’d second him.”
However, when it came to the vote, the show of hands was in Mr Campbell’s favour.
Planning chairman Frank Robinson told fellow members: “This will be presented with further details at a future meeting.”
The set-back represents the latest hold-up for the skate park, which has been waiting in the wings for the last 12 years.
In that time proposals have developed to build the development at the Clickimin or the Gilbertson Park.
Today’s plans are to build the development, which will incorporate a BMX track, next to the coastguard station, away from most houses.