The rejection of Shetland Space Centre’s plans has been labelled “baffling and short-sighted”.
The Liberal Democrats’ Shetland candidate Beatrice Wishart said Historic Environment Scotland’s decision was “extremely disappointing”.
HES rejected SSC’s scheduled monument application on Monday saying it would cause “extensive and adverse impact” on Skaw radar station.
SSC’s chief executive Frank Strang said he would “vigorously contest” the refusal.
Ms Wishart said: “The proposed spaceport project will bring job opportunities for people who want to live and work in the North Isles, and will have a significant and positive impact on the supply chain throughout Shetland.
“Of course considerations must be made about what impact new projects have, but this decision by HES will be seen as one that is as baffling as it is short-sighted.”
HES said it would welcome the opportunity to work with the applicants to explore alternative options that would reduce the impacts on the scheduled monument.