Coastal Developments – Discussion Session

Coastal Developments – Discussion Session
Chaired by Gordon Mackie, Moray Firth Partnership

Q: Stewart Fulton (SF): Why is there no publicly funded research for marine sites such as the SAC – voluntary implementation of a statutory designation but no associated funding package? Local Authorities have a green framework plan – why does it need to stop at the coast. How about a blue framework plan?
A: Rhona Fairgrieve, Scottish Coastal Forum: The ‘blue framework’ is on its way from Scottish Government – Marine Plan and ICZM. RF read out quote from (Marine Bill) paper. Marine Bill will be launched in the summer with a 12 week public consultation that is due to end October 2008. Everyone is encouraged to take part.

Q: Pocock/Fortrose: Re creation of harbour and authority status – will there be restrictions on uses of water around Whiteness?
A: SF: No. Byelaws to be observed. The purpose will be to underwrite environmentally friendly sailing. Will not be doing anything to undermine the right of existing users. The Marine advisory Plan is not intended to exercise controls over anyone.

Q: Pollard/Holm Community Council: Has adequate sensitivity been given to disposal of storm and foul water / waste from residencies and other industrial toxic waste – what assurances that his will not end up in the Firth?
A: SF: SEPA objected to the initial waste treatment plant located on site due to flood risk. Waste water treatment plant located on site was another option. SW take the waste to Ardersier WTP via a pumping station located on site. Costly but saves ‘space’ by not needing a treatment plant at Whiteness. SW and SEPA regulated and monitored and we have to assume that the regulatory authorities are doing their job. We are operating within the legislative framework. If this pump system proves not to be sufficient / efficient then we may look again at having a treatment plant on site.

Q: Lord Burton: Increase in recreation, building and development adds pressure – foul water – salmon decline – the SAC is an ignored designation – has an environmental assessment been made for everything that goes on in the Firth?
A: SF: The Company did what was asked by the regulatory authorities. The existing outfall is the responsibility of the reg. auth., not Whiteness. SW and SEPA regulate and monitor. If the pollution levels are as you say, then the regulatory authorities are failing in their duties, shifting the problem if more than just the outfall.

A: Richard Hartland (RH): Re the EA, it is now a legal requirement that all local authority plans are subject to a SEA to determine any environmental impact from the plan. There needs to be buy in from infrastructure providers and get agreement and understanding.

Q: Sue Edwards/Seawatch: Why does waste have to go into the Firth at all? Why always the cheapest option?
A: SF: Waste water proposals re outfalls all undertaken with SW – not breaking any rules re the pumping to Ardersier option. The company are being responsible with their approach to all these issues.
A: RH: There will always be discharge of surface waters to rivers and the Firth. Need to move to SUDS. Re-use of grey water being implemented around the country e.g. in toilet systems. Use of sewage cake as fertiliser in Lothian.

There were more questions than there was time and chair of session called it to close.