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Fair Isle water works to be extended

Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

PLANS to expand the water treatment works in Fair Isle – which will provide greater capacity during peak times – have been given approval from council planning staff.

Scottish Water wants to construct a new water treatment building and install additional storage tanks at its existing site near to the island’s airstrip.

The development has been given the green light from Shetland Islands Council planning staff, meaning that work should be free to get underway.

Shetland water operative for Fair Isle Ian Best.

“We welcome the decision by Shetland Islands Council to grant planning consent for the proposed new water treatment works for Fair Isle,” a Scottish Water spokesperson said.

“Our planned investment includes a new, modern water treatment works for Fair Isle, new water storage tanks, as well as refurbishment of the island’s existing boreholes.

“The work will ensure we can continue to provide a reliable supply of fresh, clean and high quality drinking water to the island community, with better capacity during periods of higher demand from visitors.”

The project follows on from Scottish Water’s work in partnership with the Fair Isle Electricity Company, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Shetland Islands Council and the National Trust for Scotland to secure a 24-hour power supply for the island.

The water body helped to instigate the project by supporting a feasibility study into how the future energy needs of the remote island’s water supply could be met.

It provided over £200,000 in funding towards the scheme, which uses wind, solar and battery power and has also extended a high voltage network to the north of the island where the water treatment works are located.

Scottish Water said the new electricity set-up “will help the new water treatment works to serve our customers effectively for many years to come”.

Its spokesperson added that the Scottish Water team will “continue to work actively with the community to minimise the impact of construction activity and support the island’s recovery” following last month’s fire at the Fair Isle Bird Observatory.