Listed former store building set for demolition over safety fears

Linkshouse dates back to the 18th century but was gutted by a fire in the 1990s and now poses a risk to locals, it has been claimed.

Historic C-listed building on Shetland Island of Yell recommended for demolition over safety fears LDRS

A historic ruined building in Yell which dates back to the late 1700s could be demolished amid fears over its safety.

Linkshouse, which is C-listed, “poses an unacceptable risk to members of the public who could be affected if it were to collapse”.

A prior notification of demolition application has been submitted to Shetland Islands Council (SIC).

Application agent Stewart Douglas said structural reports and investigations “conclude demolition is the only viable option”.

He said applicant Lindsay Laurenson currently has no plans for future development on the site and the decision to demolish is based on safety grounds.

The ex-merchant’s house sits next to the former Linkshouse shop in Mid Yell.

There was a fire inside in the early 1990s, leaving the building with no roof, internal walls or floors. The windows and doors are also not present.

It was given a C-listed status in 1992.

Last year concern was raised that that part of the front wall appeared to lean inwards more than it did previously.

This then sparked a detailed inspection of the building, which included a laser scan to determine the extent of the lateral movement of the walls.

There was “notable” lateral movement found on three of the four sides.

The structural report concluded that highest risk area is the north elevation, which sits next to a road that is also used by pedestrians. The recommendation is for this to be removed.

The risk attached to the west gable and south elevation are less, but still significant.

Douglas said that “given the historic nature of the building it will be for SIC to now decide if the building can indeed be demolished”.

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