Another planning farce! (Mike Bennett)

I write in support of Henry Francesco MacColl and his proposed Italian pizzeria/restaurant between Voe and Brae.

That council officials should reject his plans on the grounds that people would have to travel by car to eat at the restaurant thus contributing to climate change, beggars belief even for a council not renowned for its clear thinking on planning decisions.

This surely comes under the same agenda as shutting rural schools. If it’s in the town we are all urged to support it but if it’s in the country then forget about it.

Extending the idea that a facility should be within walking or cycling range then heaven help us in the country if we are seriously ill because as far as I am aware, the only hospital requires the use of a car or ambulance unless planners have a scheme for a new generation of electric buses with racks for stretchers.

Our local mobile dentist surgery in Bixter closed down some years ago and it seems that it is fine for us to drive to Brae for treatment as long as we don’t call in for a pizza on the way home.

Perhaps customers at Frankie’s should be required to bring ID to ensure that they haven’t travelled more than a couple of miles.

Will there be an embargo on Sunday teas and other events in the country halls as week in and week out folk head out for a drive, with car parks and roadsides around the halls full most Sundays in the summer?

Folk in the far north would surely save fuel driving to Brae rather than Lerwick or maybe they should be banned from eating out altogether. Perhaps the council should start a campaign for Lerwick restaurants for Lerwegians only!

We are all encouraged to support commercial enterprises in the town with special events put on to pull in the crowds. Perhaps, reversing the argument, country folk should be more mindful of climate change and boycott the town by not driving in to attend functions and spending their money in the shops.

If council officials could step out of the shadow of their own pomposity then they might see how they continually set themselves up for ridicule, not least through their dual standards. Failing that, they could always check out Tamar and Beenie’s next performance as they must be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of highlighting this latest farce.

However, there is still hope for Mr MacColl and all those who would be delighted to support his enterprise, given that council officials rarely make their minds up once – eg in deciding the best place for the AHS and even the library!

Mike Bennett
The Back,


Add Your Comment
  • Ali Inkster

    • November 25th, 2015 22:49

    Here here, I would also suggest an immediate and significant reduction in our council tax outwith the metropolis.

  • Lynda Page

    • November 29th, 2015 20:36

    How would the council suggest the visitors travel around the islands if not by car?
    we have had many great visits to Shetland, we hope to come again and an Italian restaurant would be a welcome change. After closing some schools and making longer journeys for the children I would think a short trip out for a meal occassionally would hardly make an impression on the climate

  • Andrew Marwick

    • October 18th, 2018 21:07

    Wow – decisions like this provide great entertainment to those of us who live in the real world! Hope these Councillors aren’t planning holidays that involve travelling by plane, boat or even a bus. And clearly tourists should not be encouraged to travel to Shetland given the excessive travel involved. A sad decision for the applicant. Hope he appeals it – and wins!


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