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Welcome to the fifth newsletter from Space Hub Sutherland. Thank you for signing up to receive our updates. Please feel free to share this newsletter with anyone who may have an interest in the project. If you wish to receive paper copies to display or hand out, please email
Since September we have been working hard to address the requirements for the planning application. This included pre-planning engagement events in Melness Community Centre on 2 October and 25 November. Also in November we held events in Thurso, Tongue, Skerray and Durness to ensure we could capture feedback from members of the public on all aspects of the project. The final event on 25 November outlined how we had listened to feedback and implemented design changes that will go forward in the planning application.
We are now finalising all the documentation required for the planning application which we aim to submit to The Highland Council in early 2020.

Environmental updates
Design work and scoping for a wide range of in-depth environmental impact studies continues. This will be fully defined soon to allow the planning application to be submitted. 

Measuring noise
The noise measuring is now complete and the findings from several specialist microphones that were installed at different locations will form part of the Environmental Impact Assessment required for planning. 

Site investigations
A contract for the site investigations has been awarded to BAM Ritchies. Discussions with the company are taking place in December with work expected to commence in January 2020. The work is being carefully scheduled to avoid any impact on nesting birds. The methodology has been discussed with SNH and SEPA. It is expected that a small compound will be set up just off the A838 where there is an existing stone track to accommodate vehicles/materials required for these investigations. The investigation works will involve a mixture of trial pits and boreholes carried out using suitable vehicles to gain access across the sensitive peatland. An independent Environmental Clerk of Works will be on site to monitor the work as it progresses. Restoration of any disturbance to the land will be carried out once these investigations are complete.

Safety aspects of the site, launch and range services continue to be progressed. Consideration of all safety and security aspects are being factored into the design of the space hub.

Airspace change
Stage 1 of the airspace change process is in progress. Stage 1 (DEFINE Gateway) establishes the design principles to underpin any final airspace design solution. Further public engagement will be undertaken, and this is currently expected to be around April 2020.

Marine licensing
As this project progresses there will be a requirement for a Marine Licence. This process will commence following submission of the planning application and will include consultation with Marine Scotland, other statutory and non-statutory marine consultees as well as local groups with a marine interest. 


UK Space Agency (UKSA)
The UK Space Agency continues to update its website.  You can view the latest articles by the UKSA at


Community events
We continue to hold informal drop-in sessions at the Kyle Centre, Tongue each Wednesday from 10am to 1pm where a member of the project team is available. During the winter months we plan to reduce our attendance to twice monthly and therefore project members currently plan to be available on:
  • 18 December 2019
  • 8 January 2020
  • 22 January 2020
  • 5 February 2020
  • 19 February 2020
  • 4 March 2020
  • 18 March 2020
Got questions? Check out our website
Our website has been updated and we hope that you like the new design, which will work much better across all devices and browsers. We are currently uploading content and will have all information that has been shared at our public events published shortly. In the meantime, we would welcome your thoughts. The address is the same as before:

Christmas and New Year holidays
Our offices will be shut for the Christmas holidays from Wednesday 25 December until Friday 3 January 2020. We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.


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