Scottish Water will write to every resident of a Highland village as it bids to quell a storm of protest over plans for an expanded sewage works.
The agency revealed the move after holding talks with local MSP and Scottish Government minister Fergus Ewing about the controversial £11million scheme in Ardersier.
More than 1,700 people have signed an online petition against the project, which includes an upgrade of the existing wastewater treatment works in the village, as well as a replacement outflow from the plant to the Moray Firth, and a new main sewer in the area east of Inverness.
Scottish Water insists the work is essential to support plans to create a new town at nearby Tornagrain, but opponents say that their village should not be “sacrificed” to provide services for that development.
Mr Ewing, the cabinet secretary for rural economy, said he had been inundated with letters about the issue and has now asked for assurances on a series of concerns raised by constituents.
In a letter to Scottish Water bosses, he said it would be “helpful if an acknowledgement can be made that the process of consultation which took place, I believe, around 2010, was not comprehensive”.
He added: “Second, I would be pleased if you can agree that this should now be put right by a fresh process of detailed thorough and comprehensive engagement with local residents and the local community including of course the community council and elected councillors.”
In response, Simon Parsons, a director at the agency, said: “We discussed with the MSPs the background to the project and recognised that there would be benefit in providing written information to every household in the area, as well as holding a series of further information events.
“This will give everyone in the community the opportunity to be informed on all aspects of the current and proposed future waste water arrangements in the Arderseir area.
“We want to hear the community’s views to ensure their concerns are reflected in progressing these improvements.”