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Glenfarg locals set for ‘3 years of noise and dust’ from Scottish Water works

Planners are recommending a raft of road safety measures if councillors approve a major upgrade of Scottish Water's Glenfarg base.

Three people standing beside narrow road in Glenfarg while a lorry drives down it
Glenfarg residents say the Scottish Water construction traffic will be unacceptable. Image: DC Thomson.

Locals in a Kinross-shire village are bracing themselves for three years of upheaval as a major Scottish Water upgrade looks set to go ahead.

Perth and Kinross Council planners are recommending approval of the Glenfarg reservoir scheme

Water company bosses say the works are needed to safeguard the supply for households across Kinross-shire and Fife.

But Glenfarg residents say the construction phase will make their lives a misery.

And they are questioning why the new equipment can’t be installed in Fife, where the greater number of people will benefit.

The planning application has attracted 68 objections.

View of Glenfarg water treatment works.
Scottish Water’s Glenfarg reservoir is in the hills above the village. Image: Scottish Water.

However, planning officers will advise councillors to approve the scheme when they meet next week.

Their report to Wednesday’s planning committee will not make comforting reading for opponents.

It predicts: “The construction period will generate noise and dust spread over approximately three years.”

But planners will also recommend a string of conditions designed to limit the impact on the village while construction is ongoing.

Scottish Water could be asked to provide a crossing officer to protect pupils going to and from Arngask Primary School.

General view of Glenfarg
Glenfarg is set for three years of Scottish Water construction traffic. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

Speed reduction measures, anti-skid surfaces, new signs and verge improvements are also being proposed.

Scottish Water forecasts 50 vehicles a day through Glenfarg

The Scottish Water site is at East Blair, a mile or two outside Glenfarg.

It was built in 1984. Bosses say improvements are needed to boost the resilience of the public water supply to 179,000 customers across Kinross-shire and Central Fife.

The plans include a new pumping station and pipes, a new backwash tank and chlorine contact tank and associated buildings.

The company’s traffic management plan suggests there will be around 50 light goods vehicle movements a day during construction.

Another 20-30 heavy goods vehicles are expected every week

Narrow country road at Glenfarg with 30mph sign and overhanging trees
The roads to Scottish Water’s Glenfarg plant are narrow and winding.

The proposed route to the Scottish Water site is through Glenfarg and along steep and narrow country roads, which are currently designated as ‘cyclist and pedestrian friendly’,

Congestion and road safety figure highly in residents’ objections.

Locals have also raised concerns about the likely impact on air quality, as well as noise and light pollution.

Glenfarg community council secretary Ian Pilmer previously told the Courier surrounding roads are already overburdened by chemical tankers and other traffic going to and from the site.

Scottish Water objectors Gordon and Linda Low and Ian Pilmer at the bottom of Church Brae, Glenfarg, a steep narrow street which leads to the water treatment works.
Gordon and Linda Low and Ian Pilmer live next to the Scottish Water plant and say roads like Glenfarg’s Church Brae cannot cope with any more traffic.

“It’s a single track road. It’s not adequate to support a major construction project,” he said.

“There’s also a feeling that this additional water storage is not going to benefit Glenfarg. That there must be places in Fife where it could be built, rather than here.”

Balance tipped in favour of scheme

Scottish Water says it can put in place a range of measures to limit disruption in Glenfarg. These could include parking restrictions, avoiding peak traffic hours and the use of convoys.

The report to the planning committee notes: “Representations raise concerns over the walking, scooting and cycling route to the primary school.

“To address this concern the applicant has committed to the provision of a crossing officer at the Ladeside junction.”

Glenfarg village shop on Ladeside road
Glenfarg’s Ladeside. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

But the planners’ report also recognises “the wider benefits to the economy of a more resilient clean water supply”.

It states: “The proposed three-year construction period may also have an economic impact on the village of Glenfarg and its businesses, however this may include both positive and negative effects.

“It is however considered that the necessity of the infrastructure upgrades tilts the
balance in favour of the development and that mitigation of adverse impacts can
be achieved via an updated Construction Traffic Management Scheme.”

Perth and Kinross Council’s planning and placemaking committee meets at 9.30am on Wednesday March 13.