Scottish Water rethinks treatment plant as public push back

Scottish Water has pledged to review plans for the future of wastewater treatment in Gairloch after acute concern emerged from the local community and the company had “not succeeded in addressing all of the issues raised sufficiently.”

The water firm has withdrawn its application to amend its discharge licence at Gairloch Waste Water Treatment Works “to allow open and constructive engagement with local stakeholders to take place.” It said a stakeholder group will be set up with representation from it, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the local community under an independent chair.

Scottish Water’s Head of Corporate Relations, Alan Thomson, said: “We believe it is right that we should review our plans and seek to establish a closer and more constructive dialogue with local stakeholders.

“We will continue to manage the operational challenges at the existing Waste Water Treatment Works in the meantime, but we do not believe this will be the right option to protect the local environment in the long-term.

Cabinet secretary for the environment, climate change and reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I am pleased Scottish Water has withdrawn its application and will be discussing future options for waste water treatment at Gairloch with the local community.

“This approach must be environmentally sustainable, meet the required standards on a continuing basis, and ensure the area maintains its status as an invaluable natural asset to the local community and its many visitors.”