New Life church decision deferred over parking concerns

Councillors have deferred a decision on plans to transform the former Anderson High School science block into a place of worship.

SIC planners had recommended that the application from the New Life church was accepted when it appeared before the council’s planning committee on Monday afternoon.

But Lerwick Community Council chairman Jim Anderson spoke against the plans after they objected on the grounds of a lack of parking in the area.

The meeting heard that 35 parking spaces would provided on a temporary basis at the site, with the SIC to lodge a planning application for this purpose.

Mr Anderson suggested this would create a “dangerous precedent”, however, if the council was going to “use public money to provide parking for this kirk”.

Speaking on behalf of New Life, pastor John Rollo said they had satisfied concerns from the council’s roads department.

He said they currently met at the Sandveien Neighbourhood Centre, where there had been “no complaints” from residents about parking – despite it being a smaller site.

However Cecil Smith said he was concerned about the issue of parking at the Knab site, and said it could instead be used for housing.

And Catherine Hughson raised the issue of health and safety – saying the church would be “in the middle of a construction site” while works on the Knab site were taking place.

Having initially suggested the application be rejected, Mr Smith instead motioned that the application was deferred to a further meeting until councillors could get more clarity on the situation regarding parking.

If approved, the plans will see a cafe, soft play area and place of worship built in the former science block of the old school.


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