Posted on March 15, 2023
A £1.3 million sewerage treatment works at Palnackie Port is “at risk” amid claims unregulated dredging collapsed the harbour wall.
The Scottish Water plant, completed in 2013, was built to boost capacity and reduce the risk of flooding.
The reinforced concrete structure was protected by a three-metre grass banking at the water’s edge.
Three giant chambers underneath process the waste water before it is discharged into the River Urr.
But unlicensed dredging work has been blamed for causing historic stonework to give way along with the banking behind it.
A Scottish Water spokesperson said: “Following the dredging work at Palnackie Harbour which has caused the harbour wall to collapse, our waste water treatment works has been put at risk.
“Our legal team is currently looking into the issues here but have not taken legal action as it stands.”
The utility confirmed it installed security fencing as a health and safety risk mitigation measure to prevent public access from the area, which is visibly subsiding.
It also warned people to be cautious when using a public right of way at the site because of the ground condition.
Scottish Water has been keeping the community council and local elected representatives updated with its actions on this issue.
The spokesperson added: “We are currently reviewing what work is required to protect our asset in the short term and looking at what work may be required to stabilise the harbour wall in the long term.”
Ownership of the harbour is complex.
Local charity Buittle Quest has acquired the northern part for the community while Scottish Water owns the southern side.
Rights to a narrow strip in the middle are currently the subject of a dispute.
The dredging work horrified Buittle Parish Community Council which informed Scottish Water about the situation.