Blue Flag will be lost

A LACK of investment and new stricter standards which come into force next year could mean that Broughty Ferry beach may never regain its Blue Flag status.

It will lose the accolade later this year after it failed to achieve the required water quality last summer.

At a meeting of Dundee City Council’s scrutiny committee on Thursday, assistant chief executive Chris Ward stated that Broughty Ferry will have substantial problems applying for Blue Flag status in future.

He believes that achieving the required standard would require major investment from Scottish Water and said that they have priorities elsewhere.

The Blue Flag is an internationally accredited award which is judged against a total of 32 criteria. It requires all beaches achieve the ‘guideline’ water quality standard of the EU Bathing Water Directive. Broughty Ferry fell short of the required mark last summer after freak weather conditions.

Ferry councillor Derek Scott said: “I think Blue Flag status is now beyond us unless Scottish Water invest hugely - and that’s not going to happen because it will cost them too much money.

“Broughty Ferry is still an excellent beach. We just won’t have the Blue Flag status and that’s a real shame.”

He added, “To secure Blue Flag status you have to get the ‘guideline’ water quality and unfortunately we only managed to get the ‘mandatory’ water quality.

“From 2012 new EU water quality directives are being introduced, which will make it even harder.”

Leisure and communities convener Bob Duncan stressed that the loss of the Blue Flag is not the end of the world for Broughty Ferry. He said that the facilities are first class.

A Scottish Water spokesman said that Scottish Water is working closely with Dundee City Council and SEPA to ensure that Broughty Ferry beach achieves its maximum potential as a bathing water. He revealed that the company’s assets in the area are compliant with regulatory consents and revealed that diffuse pollution is now the major cause of poor bathing water quality in Scotland.

He said that Scottish Water has invested significantly to improve the quality of the River Tay as part of their programme.