Spaceport notifications - direction withdrawn: Chief Planner letter - June 2023

Chief Planner letter to Shetland Island Council, updating the position on a Direction associated with Spaceport planning applications. This Direction was withdrawn as of 23 June 2023.

To: Iain McDiarmid, Executive Manager, Shetland Islands Council
From: Fiona Simpson, Chief Planner, Scottish Government

The Town and Country Planning (Notification of Spaceport and Ancillary Development at Unst) (Shetland Islands Council) Direction 2021

On 5 March 2019, Scottish Ministers issued the above location-specific notification direction to Shetland Islands Council requiring them to notify Ministers of any spaceport and ancillary development where the council is minded to grant planning permission. This direction was given to assist in providing an overview of applications for spaceport development in the planning system.

A planning application for the principal SaxaVord Spaceport was notified to Ministers on 2 March 2022 and cleared back to Shetland Islands Council who granted planning permission on 30 March 2022. Since then, further applications for related ancillary development have been notified to Ministers and cleared back to Shetland Islands Council who have since granted planning permission.

Now that the principle of the spaceport has been approved, it is considered unlikely that further ancillary development at this site will require Ministerial intervention. It is considered that the above direction has fulfilled its purpose and is no longer required and it has therefore been withdrawn today with immediate effect.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Scotland-wide direction put in place by Scottish Ministers on 11 June 2020 - The Town and Country Planning (Notification of Applications) (Spaceport Related Developments) (Scotland) Direction 2020 - requiring planning authorities to alert them of the details of any spaceport planning applications that come into the planning system, remains in place.

Kind regards

Fiona Simpson
Chief Planner

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