Consultation launched on the Associations Staneyhill Site in Lerwick

Hjaltland Housing Association recently bought an area of land on the North Staneyhill which it intends to develop in order to help meet the high levels of demand for housing in Lerwick.  It’s hoped to accommodate approximately 300 houses, though the eventual figure might be between 250 and 400, depending on how the site is developed.  Some of the housing may be provided through the sale of serviced sites to private house-builders and it is possible that other uses might find a place on the site.  For example, there will be public open space and some office development may be involved.

When the site was purchased planning permission in principal was in place for housing to be built but it stipulated that a ‘masterplan’ must be prepared.  The masterplan will specify the layout of housing, roads, open space and other facilities.  To prepare it, the Association has commissioned a team led by Redman Sutherland Architects of Scalloway.  The other firms involved include AB Associates, who will help with public consultation and planning; Iglu Studio, Edinburgh-based urban and landscape designers; and Mott MacDonald, who will offer engineering advice.

Iain Malcolmson, who leads the project for Redman Sutherland Architects, said:

“Building on the Staney Hill site obviously presents challenges.  Parts of it are very steep and elsewhere it is boggy.  It’s very exposed, too.  Views from the Broch of Clickimin are to be protected, so there is to be no development on the skyline when see from that direction.  Our job is to work out how the area can be transformed into a place that offers a really attractive environment, with good provision of all the essentials for modern living.”

The Association and the masterplan team want to involve a wide range of people who may have an interest in how the site is developed. The consultation programme includes several events between May and the end of 2016, including exhibitions, drop-in sessions and workshops.  These will take place at three main stages:

1. Initial Ideas for the development of the site – opportunities and challenges

2. Consideration of Draft Options

3. Consideration of Draft Plan

 Iain Malcolmson explained:

“We’re now at stage 1.  Before work gets under way in earnest, we’d like to find out how people feel about the area and we’d welcome initial ideas about the best way of developing the site. We’re making available a questionnaire, which can be completed online via a link from the project website,  Paper versions will be distributed to households living near the site, too.”

Exhibitions illustrating the site and encouraging people to get involved will be in place from Saturday 14 May at the Clickimin Centre and the Toll Clock Shopping Centre.  On Wednesday 25 May, there will be a drop-in session between 1pm and 6.30pm at the Staney Hill Hall, where members of the public can meet the team and discuss ideas for the site.  That evening, there will be a workshop in the hall from 7.30pm until 9pm at which options will be explored in more detail.

"Hjaltland Housing Association want to see a development of high quality on the site.  It is also anticipated that there might be some benefits for those living near it, for example through more convenient footpath links to the new Anderson High School or more tree planting.  It’s important that the new development integrates well with neighbouring areas and makes a positive contribution to the locality and Lerwick as a whole.  The Association would encourage anyone with an interest in the area to take part in the consultation events.”

The second phase of consultation is likely to take place after the school summer holidays and the last will be towards the end of the year.