ANGUS East and Lunan councillor Bob Spink says he is very pleased to note the declared intention of Scottish Water to make a substantial investment of about £600,000 in Inverkeilor by upgrading the Waste Water Treatment Works that serves the village.
A Scottish Water spokesman revealed on Friday: “We are planning a £600,000 upgrade of Inverkeilor Waste Water Treatment Works to ensure the facility meets the needs of future growth in the area.
“This involves the installation of new treatment equipment and increasing the capacity of the works. Work will start in the coming months.”
Mr Spink explained: “It was back in October, 2002, that an application was lodged with the council for the erection of 35 houses to be built in the Railway Field right in the heart of the village. There was much speculation and hope from those who supported the project for the benefits and economic security it was thought such a project would bring, such as some much needed affordable housing and more children to secure the primary school which itself had been the subject of recent upgrading and investment by the council.
“At this time, of course, the village also had a shop and Post Office where such investment would present a strong case for the retention of the Post Office then under threat of closure like so many rural Post Offices across the country.”
He went on: “One of the main issues that emerged was the inability of the sewage treatment works in the village to cope with the added burden which would result from the projected new build and an impasse was reached where as local councillor I had considerable complaints from existing householders troubled by persistent back-up of sewage and of flooding. The existing system just could not cope.
“In the end, for this and other reasons, only a few houses were built and the project eventually apparently abandoned. The shop and Post Office closed, as did the Chance Inn (since re-opened), a long established and popular hostelry. School numbers fell and even for a time the bus service to the village was threatened by curtailment.
“I therefore applaud the decision of Scottish Water to upgrade the village Waste Water Treatment Plant providing a much needed boost to the village. While this in itself will not re-start building of new housing or the starting again of the project of more than 10 years ago, but it certainly makes it more possible to do so by removing a significant obstacle.”
The councillor concluded: “This is the first positive movement made to encourage the economic growth and prosperity of the village for such a long time. I hope sincerely that there is a developer out there who recognises the benefit this move by Scottish Water will bring to the local area and will look again at giving Inverkeilor the shot in the arm it needs and deserves.”