New Scalloway Co-op is approved

Plans for a new Co-op in Scalloway have been approved by councillors.

But construction can only go ahead with an additional condition aimed at improving road safety in the area.

The news follows a lengthy hearing at Lerwick Town Hall on Monday afternoon.

It comes after long-running concerns about the potential impact the development could risk having on Scalloway – although officials say the risk to existing businesses can not be taken into account as part of the planning process.

Scalloway Community Council had raised a petition against the £1.2 million proposal, which secured 359 signatures.

Speaking at today’s [Monday’s] meeting, SCC chairman John Hunter insisted the objection was not about protecting industry.

“It’s the heart of the community that needs to be protected,” he said.

Shetland Central member Davie Sandison argued that a report before the planning committee provided “scant” details on how it complied with the development plan.

He added concerns highlighted by the Scalloway Community Council had not been properly addressed.

Mr Sandison called for an additional condition that a stretch of pavement on the opposite side of the East Voe road directly adjacent to the store be developed.

He was speaking after council convener Malcolm Bell warned fellow members not to be swayed by concerns held by existing retailers.

“This is a planning committee – it’s not a competitions committee,” he said.

“We can be very clear about that, and be very clear about the limits, because otherwise we open the authority up to an appeal.”

Mr Bell added: “Are we really saying that people in Scalloway shouldn’t have the same amenities, and the same choices as people in Lerwick? People in Brae? People in Sandwick, shortly?”

Mr Bell said that, as a Lerwick councillor, he had repeatedly heard complaints about services being centralised to the town.

“‘Why does the town get everything?’ Yet here we are, seeking – it would appear – to deny a rural area of Shetland enhanced amenities.”

Shetland Central member Moraig Lyall said she remained concerned about the proposal, adding it was important nothing was done which could compromise the future economic outlook of the area.


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