Winter lecture series - Three kirks and a cathedral - 26 September 2019
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Letters / It is going to stink (proposed Toft net washing plant)

Plans have gone in for a huge net washing plant to be built near the Toft pier (Plan lodged for salmon net cleaning plant at Toft; SN, 21 March 2019) This came as a big surprise to Toft residents as nobody had received any notification at any point, even though the local councillor had apparently been aware of it before Xmas.

Harry Scott-Haylock who lives above the pier is the worst affected with the boundary fence just a few metres from his house. A cursory look at the plans would suggest that the company involved wish to take over his septic tank.

The Toft residents I have spoken to, which is most of them, want to know why this atrocity can’t be built in an industrial area, Sellaness suggested several times. Our local councillor is quoted as saying: “There’s not a cat in hell’s chance of it being allowed there, they’re testing the water all the time.”

Well, as far as I’m concerned if it’s too dirty for Sellaness, it’s too dirty for Toft. Build a water treatment plant at Sellaness if that’s required.

Of course Toft has strong tides and that can whisk any pollutants and toxins away very quickly and that is why it has been chosen. These pollutants will needless to say go elsewhere and over time build up there, but it won’t be noticed hopefully.

There were plans to build a gut factory at Sellaness at one time, that one mercifully wasn’t built. It would have been a disaster financially as it happens, but it was considered. There are several businesses in the area and they apparently don’t cause any problems

Looking at the company leaflet I notice they are saying all the right things. Jobs will be created, even apprenticeships. It also says that five jobs will be created and possibly up to 20 in five years. Wow!

Hardly a major employer I would suggest, there are more people working at the Brae Co-op, and the Co-op isn’t wrecking the area. The apprenticeship thing intrigues me. Net washing? Net mending perhaps, but I always assumed fishermen learnt that as they went along, must be missing something here.

As far as I know there is no unemployment at Toft, and everyone I have spoken to is against this being built at the pier. For want of a better word, it is going to stink.

But then we are fighting a huge international company here , and unfortunately that means they may well prevail.

However they have handled the whole project so far with “Brexit like” efficiency, they have managed to alienate just about all the households in the vicinity.

Perhaps they employ the same advisors and consultants as Theresa May, maybe, just maybe, that will ensure their failure on this one.

John Laurenson
Brough
Toft