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Ghufar, thank you for giving us your views which certainly clarify things a bit.  Sounds to me that although you were in favour of the community project but quite naturally did not want to take a large loss on what the place has cost you so far.  Seems reasonable to me.  And though of course the price you put on the property is a matter for you and you alone I think in view of mutters about boycotting your shops it is sensible to put your views on this forum.

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I have been absent for some years from Shetlink, but I have dusted off my old account to post in my capacity as a committee member of Transition Shetland.



We have been in contact with Ghufar throughout the process, he has been nothing but supportive of our plans for the glasshouse - what he said regarding this in the above post is fully in line with our understanding of the situation.


The discrepancy between the valuation conducted on our behalf and what Ghufar is willing to accept for the property is only one aspect of our decision to stop pushing forward with the project.


The valuation, because of a lack of comparable sites, was conducted using a reductive method, the low valuation was due to the apparent non-profitability of the site if used in it's current state. When proposing alternative development plans, the valuation would be different. This is a lesson for future projects when attempting to balance funding and costs, especially when the benefit will be overwhelmingly social.


In our research we received a strong public support for the glassshouse project, but this failed to materialise into active support when we needed people to come on board. We are a small group and saw our role as initiators, testing the project's feasibility and providing ongoing support to a new group of people which would have taken on it's practical development.


If this group had come forward we would have persevered in our efforts to find a way to purchase the building. This would be a challenge, but we are confident this would be possible, and we would have loved to continue this project.



As to the proposal to boycott a local business, we would seriously ask that this idea be dropped. At Transition we wholeheartedly support local merchants, producers and businesses, because it is our belief that building a resilient local economy a key in tackling the challenges we all currently face. We are completely against the use of the unfortunate state of this project to advocate a behaviour that is not in line with this aim.



We had always known this was an ambitious project, and we always understood that it may not have the outcomes that we desired. But it has resulted in a feasibility study and business plan containing research that can be used for future projects, and was a good learning process.


At the very least, we tried, and hopefully generated greater awareness in the local community of the massive challenges facing all of us in the form of climate change and peak oil, as well as some idea as to what we may be able to do about them.



We have placed all our results on our website http://transitionshetland.org.uk.

Edited by DeMascus
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How will this affect the Transition Group with future bids? I know that in some cases you only get one shot at Lottery Funding.

The EU are always up for these sorts of projects, as you have the part funding already in place, it may help. They have already spent money in Shetland, via the North Islands New Energy Systems with the Power Station in Lerwick, Sheap and the Quantum heating system. It may be worth getting to look at this as it will be the first.

We have similar problems here with attendance, plenty of willing though.



Edited by shetlandpeat
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