Hjaltland seeks ‘masterplanner’ for hundreds of Lerwick homes

HjaltlandHjaltland Housing Association is seeking proposals for a “masterplan” to transform a hillside in the north of Lerwick into a development featuring hundreds of new homes.

Earlier this year the association bought the North Staney Hill site from Shetland Charitable Trust’s property company Shetland Leasing and Property Developments (SLAP) after obtaining planning permission in principle for a development which could see between 300 and 400 homes built at a cost of up to £50 million.

HHA chief executive Bryan Leask told the Shetland News: “We are now looking to appoint a consultant to take us forward to the next stage, which is the development of a masterplan for the site.

“A masterplan is a strategy for the physical, economic and social change of an area. They are not finalised designs for development, but show how places can work and what needs to be coordinated and controlled to achieve this over a period of time.”

Proposed masterplans will be expected to overcome “key strategic challenges” and offer “innovative, affordable architectural and design solutions for the site” – along with a strategy to develop the area in phases.

The successful applicant will draw up a plan to encourage investment and turn the area into a “vibrant, safe and desirable” place.

In March, Shetland Islands Council planning committee chairman Frank Robertson said it was important to ensure the development did not leave neighbouring properties living on the doorstep of a building site for 10-20 years.

The closing date for tenders is no later than 2pm on 2 October.

Mr Leask added: “Given the size of the development it is important that we appoint the right people to take the process forward. We are looking for consultants with a proven track record in the masterplanning process as well as those who understand the needs of the local community and can involve the community throughout the process.”

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