Sullom Voe Harbour Area Masterplan

The public consultation on the Draft Sullom Voe Area Harbour Masterplan and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) closed on Friday 13th August.  Shetland Islands Council is currently processing the comments made and considering possible amendments to the Masterplan.  We intend to take the finalised version of the Masterplan to the Council’s Development Committee and Full Council meetings later in 2021 for adoption.

The Masterplan and SEA documents can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

Draft Masterplan

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) – Environmental Report

SEA Non-Technical Summary

Habitat Regulations Appraisal


Background to the Draft Masterplan

In 2018 Shetland Islands Council decided to review the current and future use of the Sullom Voe Harbour Area (SVHA).  The aim was to create a Masterplan to provide a plan-led approach to the future management and development of the SVHA. 

The NAFC Marine Centre UHI were appointed by the Council to undertake the master planning process. Extensive community consultation took place in 2019 to inform the drafting of the Masterplan. 

The Masterplan and accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment were finalised in early 2021 and are now subject to a period of further public consultation.

What Does the Masterplan Cover?

Given the current operations, activities and designations in the Sullom Voe Harbour Area, extensive mapping of potential constraints and areas for development was undertaken to inform the Masterplan.  This formed the basis of the public consultation in 2019 with a series of maps being created based on best available information. 

All data has been categorised into either “Excluded from Search” or “Potentially Excluded from Search” based on the level of policy or legal protection afforded to the data type.  This has resulted in a number of potential development zones being identified in the Masterplan which could possibly accommodate a range of future development types.

What Happens Next

Following the public consultation, all comments received will be considered by Shetland Islands Council and the Masterplan will be amended where appropriate.

Once finalised, it is intended that the Masterplan will be adopted as non-statutory planning guidance to the Shetland Islands Regional Marine Plan (2021).  It will be a material consideration in planning decisions for marine planning (aquaculture) and works licence applications.  It will also be used to inform future leasing and licensing decisions, thereby contributing to the future regulation and management of the SVHA.

It is the intention of the Council to review the Masterplan within 5 years of it being adopted so the identification of additional areas for potential development can be considered.

Crown Estate Pilot Project – Seabed Leases

In August 2018 an application was also made to Crown Estate Scotland’s Local Pilot Scheme to enhance local involvement in the management of seabed in the Sullom Voe Harbour Area.  This application was successful and it became a ‘preferred project’ in May 2019.

Shetland Islands Council is currently working with Crown Estate Scotland on the future leasing arrangements and process.  It is anticipated that the leasing round will commence once the Masterplan is finalised and published.