The council’s planning chairman Theo Smith is resigning from the committee.
Mr Smith has cited the time-consuming workload as a reason for his decision.
But in a resignation letter he has also highlighted a conflict of interest regarding Viking Energy as being behind his decision.
“This has caused me considerable angst as I feel it is unfair to leave decisions on future applications to my vice-chair and committee members,” he stated.
“A new chair would be free to steer these difficult decisions through without compromise.”
Mr Smith said he sat on the Board of Hjaltland Housing Association.
“If future housing applications are presented to the committee, as they may be before the end of this council, then I shall again have to declare an interest and remove myself from the proceedings.”
He added he had originally been persuaded by colleagues to be nominated as planning chairman following the local elections two years ago.
He thanked vice-chairwoman Andrea Manson and committee members “for their support over the last two years”.
“I leave behind a strong, sensible, and capable committee who have the confidence to make the right decisions in the best interests of Shetland.”