HNP to vacate site in December

The legal battle between Lerwick engineering firm HNP and the company that leases the land it’s workshop is on – Shetland Leasing And Property (Slap) – would appear to be over.

A statement released by Slap today said that Shetland Leasing and Property Developments Limited and HNP Engineers have agreed HNP will vacate the Commercial Road premises by 12th December and have resolved their obligations under the lease.

HNP will leave its home for the last 47 years almost a year after Slap started legal proceedings to evict the firm that provides specialised engineering services to the marine and fishing industries.

Ian Walterson
HNP owner Ian Walterson

HNP, which employs 16 people, is in the process of moving to a new site it purchased at the Lower Blackhill Industrial Estate.

In late 2014 Slap decided to sell the site that housed HNP to property developer Cityheart to build accommodation for Shetland College, which is based out of town at Gremista. That sparked controversy when it emerged HNP had also bid for its site, but made a lower offer than the Chester-based firm.

HNP and Slap then became locked in a legal battle last December and HNP owner Ian Walterson lodged a complaint with charities regulator Oscr over Slap’s handling of the sale in February.

Oscr last month ruled that directors of Slap and trustees of its parent Shetland Charitable Trust acted properly in the sale of the site.

Slap said there would be no further comment on the matter while Mr Walterson was not available for comment.


Add Your Comment
  • Ali Inkster

    • September 8th, 2016 13:51

    No doubt that it will be dismissed as too late, but since the school at clickimin has been on da cards for a fair few years now, I can’t understand why the old site at the knab was not earmarked for the college and student accommodation? There is plenty of room it would be fulfilling the terms which the grounds are leased free to the people of Shetland and would of saved this problem for an established company from ever arising.

  • Lorna Moncrieff

    • September 8th, 2016 15:24

    What a shame. Good luck Ian and H.N P.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • September 9th, 2016 10:08

    It would clearly be better for the students if the college was in town and using the Knab would mean Shetland College saving rent, but this could mean less money for SLAP which rents part of the Gremista site. The college moving might not be good for SLAP’s bottom line, SCT and the quality of life of the people of Shetland, so presumably the college should stay where it is.

    Moving the college to the Knab would open up space for Shetland businesses allowing for investment and growth but it might lessen the rent SLAP takes overall as the ground rent arrangements are complex – don’t ask – so change here might not be good for SLAP, SCT and our quality of life.

    Legally SLAP’s decisions are not a matter for SCT trustees so long as proper business decisions are made. People’s legitimate interest in whether the best use is being made of their assets (SLAP’s land is the people of Shetland’s land) should therefore be neither here nor there for SLAP or SCT. Wonderful isn’t it?

    We developed liberal democracy because capitalism does not always deliver what’s best. All should be well if the establishment is open to change.


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