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Space Hub Scotland legal action can proceed

January 20, 2021

By Chris Forrester

A legal challenge over the proposed Space Hub Sutherland can go ahead, according to a ruling made at the Edinburgh Court of Session, in Scotland.

Danish billionaire retail tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen (owner of retail sites Bestseller and a major shareholder in retailer Asos) is objecting to the planning approval granted to develop a spaceport for small rockets in the extreme north of Scotland.

The Highlands & Islands Development (HIE) board and the Highland Council granted permission for the project last summer 2020. The launch site is expected to create around 61 highly skilled jobs in Caithness and Sutherland. At a regional level, the HIE estimate this figure will multiply to 250 jobs, with launch activities making Caithness and Sutherland the hub of a significant new space sector.

Povlsen’s local business Wildland Ltd has asked for a Judicial Review of the decision, and it has been reported that he has already invested £1.4 million in an alternate site at Unst in Shetland.

Wildland Ltd, in its objection, says the scheme is flawed. A spokesman for Wildland Limited said: “Wildland welcomes the court’s decision to give permission to proceed with the review of the Highland Council’s grant of planning permission in the months ahead.”

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