The 12-year wait for a £214,000 skate park in Lerwick is finally reaching an end following unanimous approval for a major development at the Knab.
Members of the SIC’s planning committee this morning brought a halt to long-running uncertainty by giving the plans the green light. Construction is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
David Sandison said he did not believe anything could stop the skate park from going ahead and moved approval. He was seconded by political leader Gary Robinson.
It comes almost two months after the skate park proposals last came before planning members.
At that time members held back from approving after hearing consultation was still underway over a noise impact assessment.
Back then the full design had not been submitted, and councillors wanted to see detailed plans before granting permission.
Members were today told the use of “acoustic fencing” measuring 1.5 metres (five feet) in height around the north end of the park would mitigate against any noise. The environmental health department had considered the plans and found them acceptable.
Mr Sandison wasted no time in moving for approval.
“I’m happy to move the recommendations based on the fact the previous issues have been resolved. I don’t believe there is anything now that would stop this from going ahead.”
Treasurer of the local skate park association, Kaye Williamson, welcomed the news.
“We are very pleased that we have finally been granted planning permission and secured the necessary funding for this project,” she said.
“We can now move on to the construction stage and hope to have the park completed before the end of the year.”
Once completed the skate park will comprise of a mixture of bowl and street features.
Association members insist skate boarding is no passing fad.
Plans are already in place to work with Shetland’s Active Schools team to develop sports programmes which will encourage increased use of the park.
It is hoped that experts, coaches and professionals from outwith the isles will attend sessions to provide role models to inspire future generations of skateboarders and BMX riders.
The go-ahead marks the end of a 12-year wait for a skate park complex in the town.
Funding for the plans include a £63,000 investment from sportscotland.
Further investment has been offered from various bodies, including the SIC which has earmarked £60,000 – including £10,000 from its “Quality of Life” fund. The town’s community council has also put forward £3,000.
Chairwoman of sportscotland, Louise Martin said: “We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic project – the first of its kind in Shetland – which will provide a wonderful facility for the whole community.”
Earlier proposals in other parts of Lerwick – such as the Clickimin or Gilbertson Park – were scuppered for various reasons over the years.
These included difficulties in acquiring land, and complaints from neighbours about the prospects of noise and nuisance.