Frank Strang, CEO of Shetland Space Centre, said: “We are greatly surprised that Historic Environment Scotland (HES), an organisation that has done nothing to preserve the site for the last 50 years, has refused Scheduled Monument Consent, particularly given that the Shetland regional archaeologist saw no reason to object to our plans in principle.
“We will now review in detail the reasons behind the HES decision and our understanding of that will inform our next move. Our team will take stock and hopefully enter into constructive dialogue with HES to allow them the appropriate comfort to allow consent.
“But be in no doubt: we will vigorously contest HES’s refusal of permission to develop and enhance a site which, while evidently of national significance, has for years been left in a dilapidated state. Our mitigation plans include the provision of resurfacing and repairing the visitor road access, building of an interpretation centre and public conveniences as well as the creation of local jobs. Our plans show little or no negative impact on the old RAF concrete buildings and by melding the old with the new will create economic prosperity in Unst and Shetland for years to come.”