Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scottish Water accused of ‘corporate arrogance’ in Ardersier waste plant dispute

Post Thumbnail

Scottish Water has been accused of “corporate arrogance” and treating Highland residents “with contempt” over its expansion of a waste water treatment plant in the village of Ardersier.

The Scottish Government agency built the extension on the village plant to deal with increased capacity.

Ardersier residents had campaigned vigorously against the plans for the £11 million project to expand the treatment works in the village.

Highland Council eventually approved the plans, but they have recently served an enforcement notice on Scottish Water for a breach of planning control, relating to the erection of a gantry over the plant which was not shown in the original plans – increasing the height of the development by more than 6ft 7ins.

As a result, the water authority has applied for retrospective permission for the changes they have made to allow increased heights of the picket fence thickener tank and inlet works and installation of electrical substation.

But councillors on the south planning committee yesterday issued a damning statement on Scottish Water.

Local councillor Roddy Balfour said: “This was contentious from the beginning. This was corporate arrogance from the start.

“We were simply not informed about the changes. There is severe suspicion of culpability, if not contempt. There was a breach of trust between Scottish Water and the community.”

Councillor Carolyn Caddick added: “I cannot believe Scottish Water are so complacent that they have not designed it correctly in the first place. The assumption is they did this on purpose.

“It is a failure to adhere to conditions and they think it is a done deal. It is a disregard to the community and to the council, as we spent time deliberating the original application.

“I am deeply, deeply disappointed by Scottish Water in this action.”

Councillor Ron MacWilliam added: “Scottish Water has expressed contempt to the community, to this committee and to planning process.”

Councillor Andrew Jarvie added: “It is quite a cheek for a major public agency to go down this route. They clearly had consent and went against it.”

A report by officials to the committee said: “It is not for the planning authority to provide an explanation of how or why Scottish Water has developed in this way nor should it be excused.

“It is the case that the development, as now proposed, will sit higher within the site. It will therefore be visible from greater distance.

A Scottish Water spokesman said: “We recognise the disappointment that the local community and councillors feel about the need for a retrospective application to revise the planning consent for our project at Ardersier.

“Unfortunately, in the course of our detailed design work, the need to engage with the community and with the planning process about an increase in height, including the addition of an access gantry and handrail to one of the structures, was missed.

“A review is taking place to understand how this happened and minimise the risk of a similar situation recurring.

“Since this omission came to light, we have discussed this in some detail with the Community Liaison Group that we have been working with in recent years.

“We understand the councillors’ decision and will continue to work with the Liaison Group and  the planning service to provide the further information that is needed. We are sorry that this situation has arisen and will continue to do all we can to resolve it appropriately via the planning process.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in