The ongoing campaign by River CC and residents in the Lochloy area to have the sewage and drainage systems in that area officially “vested” and the roads adopted by the authorities after many years of mystery, delay and confusion seems to be bearing some small fruit at last. Speaking at the regular monthly meeting of Nairn River Community Council in the URC hall last night, the Chair, John Hume stated:
“We have some progress on that, just to update you, we received an indication on the 25th of February that has changed matters slightly. Scottish Water have now indicated that where previously they had said they would not adopt the sewage systems in Lochloy unless and until they were brought up to standard including SUDS drainage systems – that’s still the position – but they have now said they have had some discussions...there’s ongoing work, the work has not been completed, it will be completed possibly by the end of March, but they are also in discussion with Highland Council about the maintenance of the SUDS system.”
He continued: “Highland Council and Scottish Water had a meeting the other day, I haven’t heard the outcome of that but what Scottish Water have now told us is that irrespective of whether Highland Council adopt the SUDS system or not Scottish Water will take responsibility for that system which is a big step forward. It doesn’t resolve the issue in the short term but what it means is that they have put in black and white is that if they don’t get a resolution sorted with Highland Council then they will take responsibility for it. I’m not sure what that means between them and Highland Council. They have told us that they believe they have an agreement with Highland Council dating back to 2001 that Highland Council would take responsibility for the SUDS system. If they don’t Scottish Water have told us they will adopt it and relieve the residents of that worry of the system in Lochloy.”
He added that it sounded like good news but he didn’t think that anything would happen quickly. He went on: “After an agreement is in place between themselves and Highland Council they expect to take a further ten weeks to adopt the sewage and waste water systems. If there is no agreement with Highland Council I suspect a lot longer than that, I’m not sure where that dispute will then go between Scottish Water and Highland Council.”
John added that that left the roads and the only issue stopping the adoption of the roads was the sewage system. He said that progress was being made and he expected to get another communication from Scottish Water shortly.
After a quick discussion John added that his gut feeling was: “If there is not an agreement between Scottish Water and Highland Council it is going to end up in court.”
Iain Vernal, a Lochloy resident said he had a letter that said they (Scottish Water) were going to try and get a deal within 10 working days and if there was no response in that time that the project would look at an alternative solution and the legal team would be involved.
John added that he knew there had been a meeting with Highland Council but he hadn’t heard anything about that but he had heard one disappointing thing and that was that the official dealing with the matter at the operational level at Highland Council had resigned. John anticipated another update at the next meeting of the Community Council.
There was a good attendance from members of the public at the River CC meeting last night and a very busy list of issues discussed. The Gurn team will report on some of them if time permits but best reserve your copy of the Nairnshire Telegraph for next Tuesday as they will no doubt have full coverage of both the River CC from last night and the West/Suburban meeting on Monday where there was another busy programme of discussions.