Scottish Water have said that its sewage works in Pitlochry will be screened by trees again – eventually.
The waste water treatment works, located just off the A924 on the south side of the town, had been surrounded by cypress trees until January this year.
Around half a dozen trees which were overshadowing a community garden were expected to be removed from around the unsightly plant after Pitlochry in Bloom contacted the operating body.
Scottish Water confirmed its intention had been to retain a layer of the established mature trees close to the fenceline while the new planting became established.
But in January, the body’s contractor found the trees were in poorer condition than had been anticipated.
Scottish Water said that leaving the weakened trees in place would have presented a significant safety hazard, so acted to remove them all.
The area has been replanted with a range of native trees and bushes which Scottish Water say will provide “renewed screening and improved habitat for wildlife” as they become established.
A row of laurel has been included for its relatively rapid growth and dense foliage, but organisation recognises that it will still take time for these to become well established.
Since April, the fence around the plant has been wrapped in a plastic ivy as a temporary screen, but Pitlochry and Moulin Community Council are asking the body to do more tidying up.
Chairman James Laurenson said: “We understand why Scottish Water had to remove the rotting old trees.
“We’d like them to tidy it up a bit, because it is an eyesore, but we know that it’s expensive.
“We agreed to the plastic screening reluctantly, but semi-mature trees or a row of hawthorn shrubs would be a much better screen. Scottish Water have been very co-operative but it’s their land.”
A spokesperson for Scottish Water said: “Over the last couple of years, we have been working with members of the community in Pitlochry, initially in response to a request for mature cypress trees to be removed in order to reduce shade in the community wildlife garden which adjoins our site.
“The local community council and elected representatives were consulted about the proposals last year, which involved removal of most of the large trees and replanting with native species.
“In light of concerns raised about the visibility of the waste water treatment works following the tree removal, we met representatives of the community council in late February and agreed to provide additional temporary screening along the fence-line of our site to supplement the replanting that had already taken place.
“This has now been installed to provide immediate improvement to the site’s appearance, before the development of the new trees provides improvement for the long term.”