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Shetland spaceport application rejected by local monument authority

The application to build a spaceport on one of the Shetland Islands has been rejected by a local monument authority because it would cause “extensive and adverse impact on the cultural significance” of a WWII radar station.

Mr Strang [head of the spaceport organization] said he was “greatly surprised” by the decision, claiming HES [Historic Environment Scotland] had “done nothing to preserve the site for the last 50 years”.

Skaw is the UK’s most northerly Second World War radar station and protected as a scheduled monument of national importance. The proposed space centre would be built almost entirely with in the RAF radar station site. It would require the removal of nine buildings, including air raid shelters, guard huts and those associated with the radar system. More than 200 archaeological features, such as foundations of buildings, gun emplacements and bomb craters would also be removed.

The Shetland Islands are very remote with few job opportunities for its residences. Putting a spaceport there seems like an excellent idea, especially because it will create hundreds of jobs where none exist now.

The radar facility did the same, but it did so more than seventy years ago, during World War II. Protecting these old and unused buildings for the sake of those long gone jobs seems utterly foolish.

The spaceport people say they will oppose this decision, but it is not clear from the article what they can do. The law as written appears to give this historical agency full power to veto.

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3 comments

  • eddie willers

    From the first comment at the link: At a time when ‘mainland’ Shetland will be scarred for life by 103 wind turbines,.

    Just last night I decided to watch a little series with two male stars from the Scottish based STARZ series Outlander. It’s just the two of them riding around Scotland showing off life and history in their native country. And almost every long shot shows those damn windmills in the background. They are everywhere.

    It’s hard for me to think that windmills will be anything other than a major boondoggle of the 21st century.

  • I’m not going to say that it’s the Windiest place on the planet but I’d guess that it couldn’t pass wind speed criteria most of the year.

  • Ian C.

    A spaceport in Scotland? That racist, socialist, oppressive regime that runs the Scottish nation and keeps half the population hostage, what would they do with a spaceport? A traitorous regime that wants to leave the Union (“a prison”) and rejoin the EU (“true freedom”)? And even if, which I do not for a moment believe, they’d manage to break off, the English would have to see Spaceport Shetland as their Cuba and nuke it.

    My bet is still on https://www.spaceportcornwall.com/

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