Shetland Space Centre objection withdrawn by Historic Environment Scotland
An objection from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to plans for the proposed Shetland Space Centre has been withdrawn.
Having initially objected due to the “extensive and adverse” impact on the cultural significance of Skaw radar station in Unst, the heritage body said a revised scheme of works was drawn up and discussions held with those behind the plans have led to a change of opinion.
A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland said: “After assessing the additional information we have received we have now concluded that the development will bring public benefits of national importance that outweigh the impacts on the nationally important cultural significance of the monument, and we have therefore decided to recommend that Scheduled Monument Consent is granted and to remove our objection to the planning application.
“We welcome the changes that the applicant has made to lessen the impacts of the proposed development, and the commitment to improving the information available to visitors to the site as part of the development.
“We recognise the benefits that this development will bring to the community in Unst.”
The RSPB has also removed its objection to the spaceport after revised plans showed no launches would take place during a key breeding period for protected birds.
Chief executive of SaxaVord UK Spaceport, Frank Strang, said: “We are obviously delighted that after many months of investigation and diligence, HES has withdrawn its objection and we look forward to councillors making a determination on this nationally and internationally significant project.
“Shetland has a huge opportunity to lead the way in small satellite launch in Europe and we must move quickly to maintain that advantage for Scotland and the UK.”