Delays to £1.3m Knab demolition continue despite new plans coming forward

Demolition of the former Anderson High School remains on pause due to contractual negotiations – despite the submission of new plans.

The SIC published “prior approval” plans last week outlining details of its proposed demolition schedule as part of the multimillion pound Knab redevelopment.

The application highlighted how the buildings have deteriorated into a “disused and derelict condition” and represented a “considerable security risk and financial burden”.

It said they need to be removed to prepare the site for redevelopment and “implementation of the Knab masterplan”.

Most of the documents were first submitted last summer when the second phase of demolition was hoped to get under way – and include details on proposed working hours, transport routes and plans for recycling the materials.

When asked why the plans had been resubmitted and whether it meant the long overdue demolition could finally begin – the council said it could not comment due to “ongoing contractual matters”.

The SIC awarded the £1.3m contract to Central Demolition Ltd last September – however no work has yet taken place. Last month, councillors were presented with a report highlighting ongoing “contractual negotiations” around the project.

Development director Neil Grant, who presented the report, said the council was “reviewing various parts of the project”.

Once the contractual issues are resolved, nine of the former high school buildings are to be torn down to make way for around 140 new homes, student accommodation and community facilities. It represents one of the SIC’s biggest projects of the decade.

Development chairman Dennis Leask told The Shetland Times this week the project was “progressing” – albeit not as quickly as he had hoped.

“There are a lot of elements to the project, including the historic building that need to be maintained, so it’s quite a complex project,” he added.

“It is moving forward, I would like to see it move quite quickly, particular where the new housing is concerned.”

Meanwhile, scaffolding went up this week at the Bruce Hostel – one of the buildings that is to be retained – to enable inspection and repair works to take place.


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