Planning inconsistencies (Mike Bennett)

“I’m an elected councillor and the people I represent want this to happen.” So says Jonathan Wills (Shetland Times, 11th December) on the subject of a local call-handling centre.

How true that a councillor should represent the will of the electorate, but how frequently and conveniently this is forgotten when it comes to a vote.

If our elected members do the right thing and apply this premise across the board then Henry MacColl’s appeal to the council’s planning committee should be a forgone conclusion in his favour.

Like so many others who have supported the notion of a pizza restaurant between Voe and Brae, I can see only inconsistencies in the arguments against when weighed against other permissions.

For example, the council planners welcomed Tesco with open arms yet this encourages shoppers to drive past their local shops, adding many extra miles of pollution. Has anybody ever seen anyone walking or cycling away from Tesco with their weekly shop?

Perhaps the planning “logic” could end up being turned on its head with permission being refused for houses to be built in remote rural locations because they are not close enough to shops and other facilities.

If council elected members and officials think these arguments are a bit far fetched then I hope it will encourage them to take a step back and have a look at their own arguments in the same light as the people they represent.

Mike Bennett
The Back,


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