Applicant MacColl ‘thrilled and overwhelmed’ after pizzeria plan approved

A pizzeria between Voe and Brae was given the green light by the council’s planning committee today in a unanimous decision, to the relief and joy of applicant Henry MacColl and his family.

The application for the eatery at Parkgate had previously been refused by planning officials as being against the council’s local development plan.

The jubilant MacColl family who can now proceed with their pizzeria. Henry MacColl, his wife Denise and son Joshua. Photo: Rosalind Griffiths
The jubilant MacColl family who can now proceed with their pizzeria.
Henry MacColl, his wife Denise and son Joshua. Photo: Rosalind Griffiths

According to the plan developments should be adjacent to existing settlements and should ideally be accessed by public transport, or by walking or cycling. But in spite of being on the main A970 road, it was deemed the pizzeria was too far from Brae or Voe and would contribute to climate change as people would be likely to drive there.

But Mr MacColl, who is half Italian, did not give up and received huge public support for his proposal. After the meeting he said he was “overwhelmed” that he could go ahead with the 24-seat building next to his house, to produce authentic Italian food in a clay oven.

The planning refusal prompted public disbelief and Mr MacColl received massive support for his proposal, with hundreds of comments to the planners in favour of the pizzeria, from Shetland and beyond, plus support from MSP Tavish Scott.

At the meeting, planning official Richard MacNeill said the Shetland local development plan had been drafted after much consultation. It was a statutory document for sustainable growth, to ensure “vibrancy and vitality of settlements” and to enhance employment opportunities – and if the application had been for Brae or Voe, it would have been passed.

Mr MacColl, addressing the committee, said the location would be ideal because of its unrestricted views over the “serene backdrop” of Olnafirth. His family had counted the traffic going along the road, and in the space of three hour, between 4pm and 7pm on weeknights, there had been an average of 600 vehicles passing, and on Sunday, between noon and 7pm, there had been 1,041.

He said Tesco vans, as well as many food wholesalers, passed the location, and he was prepared to deliver pizza to minimise people’s travel.

Another point, not mentioned by planners, was that the Mediterranean diet was very healthy and was “instant food, not fast food”, unlike some of Shetland’s offerings.

He added that the “overwhelming majority of the Shetland public want this to happen”.

Councillors questioned the exact meaning of a “settlement”, and what being “adjacent” to one meant.

Peter Campbell asked if Busta would have been given planning permission, and Andrea Manson raised the same issue about Braewick in Eshaness. And, she asked, is a bus route defined as somewhere the bus passes? If so, there were many buses passing Parkgate.

Drew Ratter moved that the application be granted, and Ms Manson, like Mr Ratter, a councillor for Shetland North, was “happy” to second him.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr MacColl said: “I’m thrilled and overwhelmed by the positive reaction of the members of the planning committee. I was unsure how things would go, but I was struck by the positive comments and common sense has prevailed. The planners need to review how they process applications.”

Chairman of the meeting Frank Robertson said it was likely the local development plan would be reviewed.


Add Your Comment
  • Steven Jarmson

    • March 15th, 2016 19:34

    I have to say I’m pretty surprised by this decision!
    For once, common sense and has won the day.
    I’ve spoken to many people about this restaurant, and I think we were all in agreement that not only should the establishment be given consent, but that it would most likely CUT carbon emissions as people from the North will have another eating option without having to drive all the way to Lerwick.

    Well done Henry.

  • George Dickson

    • March 16th, 2016 9:01

    What a complete waste of time (and, no doubt, money) the planning department has caused Henry McColl. They should hang their heads in shame – and also repay the salaries paid to them over the period covered by this farce. It was certainly not money well earned by them, it was completely and utterly wasted in the name of climate change, or more likely making themselves feel big, powerful and important. How many of those involved choose to drive to work rather than walk or take the bus? Now, that is where they are a more justified source of climate change!!!

  • john ridland

    • March 16th, 2016 20:13

    Man made climate change..!!! PROVE IT..????

    • Brian Smith

      • March 17th, 2016 13:59

      The UKIP line.

      • John Tulloch

        • March 18th, 2016 15:39

        What do you mean by that, Brian?

        Does being “the UKIP line”, of itself, render John RIdland’s query devoid of substance?

        Or him some kind of a pariah for venturing to ask it?

        Not very academic that, is it?

        I hope you don’t take that kind of approach to your theories about history, that’s the kind of thing they did in the Soviet Union?

  • Haydn Gear

    • March 17th, 2016 20:59

    John. You ask” man made climate change? Prove it!!” I think it’s fair and logical to recognise that climate changes have taken place many, many throughout the existence of planet Earth. The question is “how could they not have occurred?”Consider tectonic plates for instance. Planet Earth is an organism which is ever changing and will continue to do so. Climate will change in tandem with all the other changes which tend to be so slow that we don’t notice. Pollution which is man made adds to what we call a problem but with or without that pollution the climate will still change. It’s normal and natural.even the extensive life forms add to the problem AS WE SEE IT. Humans think they can save the world. What stupid, blind arrogance.

    • Ian Tinkler

      • March 18th, 2016 12:19

      “man made climate change”, perhaps. The reason is simple “World over population”. The cure, we either all cross are legs and in moments of passion plunge into a bucket of ice. The intelligent answer is so obvious I will not insult anyone’s intelligence, however, all aid, overseas and domestic, should have mandatory condoms atached. Sorry folks, not very PC, just a fact of life.

  • Jim bell

    • June 21st, 2016 11:48

    When is it supposed to open? I can’t wait!!!

  • Catherine Marshall

    • December 17th, 2016 15:10

    Just so glad that they can go ahead as I am dying for a proper Pizza.

    Catherine Marshall


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