Councillors, Lerwick community councillors and business owners were among those to criticise proposed plans for the future of the Lerwick Lanes.
All three options currently being presented by 7N Architects would see a reduction in parking in the area, Monday’s Lerwick Community Council meeting heard.
The meeting was told 457 people had responded to a survey about the masterplan, with 71 per cent of those saying parking worked well in the area currently.
Living Lerwick chairman Steve Mathieson questioned why, if most people had spoken of the importance of the parking spaces, the three options all proposed reducing them.
He asked whether there was an option which stuck with the “status quo”.
But 7N’s Lisa Blyth said that if parking remained the same then the popular community garden in the Lerwick Lanes “has to go” to make way for more housing.
She said it only had temporary planning permission, and was in a site used by housing.
James Paton suggested that if the council’s bus services were improved substantially there would be “no need for any parking there at all”.
Development chairman Dennis Leask called that a “complete fantasy”, however.
“It’s just not going to happen,” he said.
“We need to be supporting the businesses on the street.”
No. 88 owner Ross Manson was also in attendance, and said for his business the parking was “hugely important”.
Council depute convener Gary Robinson said he was not sure that parking was “absolutely the best thing we can do for the town centre”.
Citing examples of newer car parks at North Ness, Mareel and the Shetland Museum, he said there was “quite a lot of car parking when you think about it”.
He also suggested that was not always being used fully.
But Arwed Wenger disagreed strongly, saying that those car parks were “stacked full” almost every day.
A number of consultations have been held about the Lerwick Lanes masterplan, which 7N Architects will now bring together the responses from.
They will be brought before the SIC for consideration shortly.