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Community / Planning sought for new water works which could cost at least £45m

The current water treatment works near Ollaberry. Photo: Scottish Water

PLANNING permission is now being sought for a replacement water works in Northmavine which is expected to cost at least £45 million.

Scottish Water intends to replace the Eela Water facility, which was built in 1978 near Ollaberry, with a new one on nearby land.

The existing facility can supply up to 4.3 millions of litres of water per day (Ml/d) to about 5,400 people, and it also serves Sullom Voe Terminal which accounts for 60 per cent of the overall demand.

The new water treatment works would have a greater capacity, up to 5.7 ML/d, and provide a “long-term low carbon” solution.

The indicative investment value at this stage is at least £45 million but that is dependent on the outcome of the planning process and final approval.

The new facility would still continue to treat water from current sources, the Eela Water and Roer Water lochs.

Last year Scottish Water submitted an environmental impact assessment screening opinion request to Shetland Islands Council’s planning service for the development.

The site would be nearly 20,000 square metres in size – around 5,000 square metres larger than the current facility.

Scottish Water’s project manager John Shaw said: “We would like to thank members of the local community, landowners and crofters who have already contributed to the development of our plans.

“We would encourage anyone interested to look at the details of our proposals online and provide any further comments via the planning process.

“The existing plant has been serving local communities for over 45 years – and we hope the project we are preparing will ensure the continued production of clear, fresh and great-tasting drinking water for many decades to come.

“We look forward to continuing to engage and work with the local community over the course of the planning process and beyond.”

Full details of the planning application can be found on the Shetland Islands Council website under reference 2024/078/PPF, where representations can also be made during the statutory consultation period.

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