New round of space site consultation events to be held in October

A second round of public consultation events is to be held prior to the submission of a full planning application for a vertical launch site at Lamba Ness in Unst for small rockets.

Following the success of the pre-application events held in May, they will again be held online.

However, face-to face-meetings with members of the Shetland Space Centre team will also be available by prior appointment and in compliance with prevailing Covid-19 regulations.

The online events will be held between 4pm and 8pm on Tuesday 13th, Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th October with face-to-face appointments available in half-hour slots from 10am-12pm and 1-3pm on these days.

The online events will be accessible via www.consultation.shetlandpsacecentre.com and appointments can be booked by emailing [email protected] or telephoning Carol Duncan on 07766 231239.

SSC is seeking planning permission to build a vertical launch spaceport, including a launch pad complex, mobile tracking stations and assembly/integration hangar buildings with associated security fencing, access and servicing at Lamba Ness.

It also intends to create a launch and range control centre at Saxa Vord and construct a new section of access road at Northdale, just north of the former RAF base.

The online consultation events will be attended by the project’s lead planning consultant Alan Farningham, SSC project director Scott Hammond and a variety of specialists who have been carrying out detailed studies as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment that will be submitted in support of the planning application. They will be available to answer questions and provide any additional information or clarification as required.

Similar to the public consultation events held in May, for those interested parties unable to attend or who do not have access to the internet, alternative means will again be made available to contact Shetland Space Centre via post, telephone and email to obtain further information and ask questions.

An updated publicity leaflet and accompanying questionnaire will be delivered to all domestic properties in Unst with the relevant contact information and further details of the proposals.

Although a second round of pre-application community consultation is not a Scottish Government statutory requirement, SSC considers it important that everyone has a further opportunity to comment on the draft proposals before formal submission to Shetland Islands Council for consideration and determination.

SSC project director Scott Hammond said: “Despite some limitations with the online format, the first round of public consultations in May went very well and, following discussions with Unst Community Council, we are conducting the same type of event again in October.

“For those who are unable to attend the online events, face-to-face meetings on each of the days listed with Alan Farningham and myself will be available on request. These will be by appointment only and strictly follow the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 protocols.

“We look forward to engaging with everyone as our proposals progress towards a full planning application being submitted to the council.”