All current (live) and historic (determined) applications can be viewed either online via the planning applications search page or by making an appointment at the Council’s Planning office.
How and when to comment on an application
Any comments (representations) or objections to a current application must be made in writing as by law they have to be available for public inspection. This means verbal comments cannot be accepted.
Comments can be made (quoting the application reference number) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or online when viewing the application.
If using the latter you will be required to go through a simple registration process for security purposes. Once registered you will be able to track the progress of applications and receive notifications about the application you are interested. The registration button is clearly marked on the planning application search page.
All comments are published on the Council’s planning website so please do not include any signature or personal telephone numbers/email addresses. If they are included they will be removed (redacted) for information security reasons. Postal addresses will be included as standard practice, along with your comments. However you can request that this be removed from on-line publication although this will mean your comment will be regarded as anonymous and may carry less weight during determination of the application.
Normally representations should be made within 14 days of the application appearing on-line and/or being advertised in the Shetland Times. Comments can be submitted beyond this period if there is a reason for this.
The Council consults with a number of statutory and non-statutory organisations and their comments are also published on the website.
How to make an informed comment
It is important that any comments or objections you make are relevant to the application, commonly referred to as material planning issues, and are clearly stated. The planning process cannot, for example, take such matters as loss of view, effect on property values or moral reasons for objecting into account when determining an application.
Examples of relevant matters that the Council would take into account in determining an application include environmental impact of the development, noise pollution, interactions with other developments and conflict with recreational use of an area. This is not an exhaustive list and the reason for your concern may well be relevant and need consideration so you should make the Council aware of it.
Further information on Material Considerations can be viewed on the advice section of the PAS website.
If you are lodging an objection to a marine development that is not connected to aquaculture you should be aware that the legislation (Zetland County Council Act 1974) allows a third party right of appeal provided objections are received by the Council within 28 days of the advertisement of the application (all works licences are advertised in the Shetland Times newspaper).
This means that if you do not agree with the decision made by the Council you can appeal against it. The appeal is made to Scottish Ministers. As an objector you will be informed in writing of the Council’s decision and the letter will contain details of how to proceed to appeal.