New Life Church plans for old Anderson High School recommended for approval

Controversial plans to create a place of worship as part of the Knab redevelopment have been recommended for approval – despite facing strong opposition.

The SIC’s planning committee will be asked to approve the New Life Church’s application for the old Anderson High School science block when it meets next week.

A decision on the the application had been deferred last month so that concerns over parking could be considered.

Lerwick Community Council had objected, saying the 35 proposed temporary parking spaces failed to comply with the SIC’s own policy.

Further concerns were raised around the safety of having the church in use while construction of the wider development takes place around it.

Since then, the SIC’s assets manager Robert Sinclair has provided an “information note” updating members on the parking situation.

Based on that information, members are again being urged to approve the plans, which would see the old science block converted into a place of worship and a community hub with crèche or youth rooms and café facilities.

The report makes no mention of an investigation the council had instigated following a complaint from campaigners Peter Hamilton and Kerrie Meyer .

They had called for the application to be withdrawn, saying it had wrongly claimed the NHS was a partner of the plans.

Ms Meyer and Mr Hamilton had also raised concerns about the church’s alleged stance on homosexuality.

Church pastor John Rollo refused to withdraw the application, saying the NHS was never referred to as a formal partner.

He strongly rejected all allegations of homophobia, saying the church was there to “serve the community”.

The SIC paused its investigation after the campaigners redirected their complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Members will decide on the application on Monday.


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