The Shetland Islands Council gave the project and community council a lot of support throughout the process. The development planners and planning officers provided a professional view, which could be an effective addition to help the consultation and the final place plan achieve its ambitions and ultimately improve the village. At the same time the external design professionals allowed for suggestions and issues to be considered with a town planning and a wider consultation perspective, but without prejudice of prior knowledge of issues and local planning.
To keep the project on track, so that outcomes in the end would be deliverable and not disjointed from the community, Scalloway Community Council found it important to support the consultants by feeding in their local knowledge to make sure that the consultants were aware of the practicalities of the ideas suggested.
The community council was aware that engaging the public from the start of the project was important. As advice, Scalloway Community Council recommends focussing on ‘the art of the possible’: a few ideas coming from the workshops would not be workable because they would require access and permission to use someone else’s land. Other things that came out from the consultation were not necessarily relevant to the development of a place plan but were other issues and ideas that people were interested in.
Scalloway Community Council advises identifying short term goals as well as medium- and long-term goals of consultations. This will help people to trust that their opinion is being heard and that something worthwhile will come from their contribution and the consultation as a whole.