Public’s views to be sought on spaceport prosposals

Members of the public will be given the opportunity to comment on proposals for a spaceport to launch small vertical rockets from Unst during a series of exhibitions in early May.

It follows the submission this week by Shetland Space Centre of its formal proposal of application notice to Shetland Islands Council prior to a full planning submission in June.

In what is deemed by planning legislation to be a “major application”, SSC is seeking 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 launch control and range control centres at the Saxa Vord Resort complex and to construct a new section of access road through Northdale, which is situated just north of the former RAF base. The latter will be the subject of two smaller separate planning applications.

SSC CEO Frank Strang said: “After a three-year battle to win recognition for Unst’s position as a prime location for launching small vertical rockets into space, we are now in a position to go to the public with our proposals.

“We have been delighted with the tremendous support we have had in Unst and hope that as many people as possible can make it to the exhibitions. If you can’t make it along, you will be able to comment online.

“This is a hugely exciting time for myself and the SSC team. Together with all our partners, we stand ready to deliver a whole new branch of the space industry for Unst, Shetland, Scotland and the UK.”

The public exhibitions will be held at the Saxa Vord Resort in Unst on 5th, 6th and 7th May from 12-7pm each day.

A dedicated section of the Shetland Space Centre website will also be created to allow anyone unable to attend the exhibitions to comment. This will be available from 5th May until two weeks after the exhibitions.

Consultation will also be undertaken with Unst Community Council, members of Shetland Islands Council, the local MSP and MP, site and neighbouring landowners and local interest groups.