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10 August 2006

Stevenson Welcomes Progress With Development Constraints

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the news that SEPA and Scottish Water are considering proposals to relieve the problems developers are facing in obtaining planning permission due to water and sewerage infrastructure constraints.

Speaking from his Constituency Office, Mr Stevenson said:

“SEPA is proposing to withdraw its standing objection to private sewerage systems, e.g. septic tanks in areas where there are plans to upgrade the sewerage system. In settlements where the population is less than 2000, SEPA states it will consider applications on a case by case basis.”

“Clearly, if these measures are adopted, they may make some difference to the housing situation in our more rural communities, where the shortage is often particularly acute.”

“These measures have not been put in place yet, and still need to be ratified by both Scottish Water and SEPA. They do however constitute an improvement over the current situation, and demonstrate that the consistent lobbying by politicians, developers and private individuals over several years, has proved effective.”

“At present, people wishing to build or develop a property commonly find themselves in a Catch-22 position, where they are advised that the sewerage system is at capacity and that they will not be allowed a connection. On amending their plans to include a septic tank, if one can be installed, they are informed by SEPA that they cannot do that since the property lies within an area served by the public sewerage system even though that system has no spare capacity.”

“This frustrating situation, which has persisted for years now, is testament to an inflexible and overly-bureaucratic approach to the problem, which has effectively strangled a good deal of development across the North-east.” Categories [Environment and Rural Development]
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