Alien monstrosities (Johann Siebert)
Amidst the SIC’s self-congratulatory hype surrounding the opening of the new AHS building, some may recall when travellers into Lerwick along Scalloway Road could turn their eyes from the unlovely Tesco car park and Sound Service Station forecourt to the timeless and enigmatic Clickimin Broch with Staney Hill its natural backdrop.
Now, sadly, their gaze alights on three outsize structures, big enough for the production of Airbus wings, but in fact educational machines for commoditised learning on an industrial scale. Historic Scotland with masterful restraint refers to the “significant impact on the setting of the broch (even) after the mitigation measures undertaken by the SIC”.
Why the Shetland public consented to the SIC’s choices of site and building design is a mystery in view of current vociferous opposition to on-shore wind turbines seen as threatening “to turn Shetland into an industrial scale wind factory”.
There may, however, be some consolation in view of the SIC’s past record in large project management: that the broch will probably still be in existence long after the disappearance of the three alien monstrosities.