Online consultation due over space centre plans

A second round of online consultation is due to be held prior to the submission of a full planning application for a vertical launch site at Lamba Ness in Unst for small rockets.

It comes after a series of pre-application events held in May.

However, face-to face-meetings with members of the Shetland Space Centre will also be available by prior appointment and in compliance with prevailing Covid-19 regulations.

The online events will be held on 13th, 14th and 15th October with face-to-face appointments available in half-hour slots.

Shetland Space Centre is seeking planning permission to build a vertical launch spaceport, including a launch pad complex, mobile tracking stations and assembly/integration hangar buildings with security fencing, access and servicing at Lamba Ness.

It also intends to create a launch and range control centre at Saxa Vord and build a new section of access road at Northdale, just north of the former RAF base.

The consultation events will be attended by the project’s lead planning consultant Alan Farningham, SSC project director Scott Hammond and specialists who have been carrying out studies as part of the environmental impact assessment that will be submitted in support of the planning application.

SSC says they will be available to answer questions and provide any additional information or clarification as required.

Those unable to attend – or who do not have access to the internet – are being invited to contact space centre staff via telephone, post or, where possible, email.

An updated publicity leaflet and accompanying questionnaire will be delivered to all homes in Unst with the relevant contact information and further details of the proposals.

SSC says the second round of pre-application community consultation is not a Scottish government statutory requirement. But it considers it important that people have further opportunity to comment on the draft proposals before formal submission to Shetland Islands Council for consideration and determination.

Project director Scott Hammond said: “Despite some limitations with the online format, the first round of public consultations in May went very well and, following discussions with Unst Community Council, we are conducting the same type of event again in October.

“For those who are unable to attend the online events, face-to-face meetings on each of the days listed with Alan Farningham and myself will be available on request. These will be by appointment only and strictly follow the Scottish government’s Covid-19 protocols.

“We look forward to engaging with everyone as our proposals progress towards a full planning application being submitted to the council.”


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