Island waits for treatment works decision

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A majority of islanders who took part in a ‘have your say’ survey on a new £5.6 million treatment works for Seil, were in support of plans.

But only 310 out of about 550 of the island’s inhabitants were sent letters from the community council inviting their anonymous views as part of that, with just 94 responses were sent back.

A final decision on Scottish Water’s proposal is still awaited and islanders’ feelings were sought in the summer by the community council to help it give balanced feedback to Argyll and Bute planners.

A Scottish Water spokesperson said once it receives notice of the decision, it will be engaging with the community about the next steps.

Julie Ferris who is the convener of Seil and Easdale Community Council said  in its final submission to planners ‘every reasonable effort to consult with everyone’, had been made. People had also been told the survey was not in place of any individual comments.

By law, the community council could only write to people  who were on the open register, so word was also spread other ways encouraging people to get in touch if they wanted to be part of the survey.

Mrs Ferris said: ‘It has always been recognised that no one solution will please everyone. The Community Council hopes this survey has raised everyone’s awareness of the proposals, has given everyone the opportunity to make their views heard, and can inform Argyll & Bute’s response to this planning application.’

After years of discussions and consultations, Scottish Water’s application was eventually submitted in June.

Out of the 94 who did reply, 57 of them supported the application, 24 objected to it and the remaining 13 expressed no view either way.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is a current objector but that could change.

A SEPA spokesperson said: ‘We requested more information about the planned re-use of peat that would be excavated at the site. We have now received this and are reviewing the information. If we are satisfied with the information provided, we would expect to remove our objection to the planning application.’

Anyone wanting to see the community council’s response can go online to Argyll and Bute Council’s planning portal and search 19/01232/PP

As well as the survey findings, the community council response shares concerns about traffic and general disruption and calls for work on the Clachan Seil site and the Seaview septic tank site to be phased – if the scheme is approved.