New Life Knab plans in a tight spot over parking issue

Attempts by a Lerwick church to relocate to what was the old Anderson High School’s science block has been discussed again by the town’s community council.

New Life pastor John Rollo told of limitations he faced in securing parking in the area.

A shortfall in parking spaces was the reason behind a community council objection.

The work is regarded as a key part of the major Knab redevelopment masterplan.

Earlier this year the church was successful in its application for a community asset transfer.

Mr Rollo said the area had the potential to be “one of the most exciting in Europe”.

But he said only 72 spaces would be made available for the four Anderson High School buildings that will remain once demolition is complete.

“We knew at the start of this that parking would be a challenge in terms of what was available.”

He said a pre-planning application for parking had initially been developed, but added this was turned down.

However, he added parking had never been an issue at the Sandveien Neighbourhood Centre where New Life currently worships.

And he said initiatives such as car-share or park and ride had been considered.

“Our heart is to be a blessing to the community and not a hindrance. Hopefully, we can see that become a reality.”

Community councillors commended the efforts of the church to serve the community.

But chairman Jim Anderson said he was disappointed no consideration had apparently been given to disabled parking.

Mr Rollo said that, while the planning application did not contain details of disabled parking, “that wouldn’t reflect where we are at”.

But Mr Anderson said the community council could only examine the application before it, and asked whether the church was considering resubmitting a planning application.

He invited the church to go back to the council and “renegotiate the red line”.

Mr Anderson said the community council looked forward to seeing any revised applications.


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