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Small seeds of hope in Ardbeg Point row

A site inspection was held at Ardbeg Point this week involving local councillors, Bute Community Council members, Scottish Water and George Leslie staff and local residents.

A site inspection was held at Ardbeg Point this week involving local councillors, Bute Community Council members, Scottish Water and George Leslie staff and local residents.

 

There are small signs of progress this week in a long-running dispute over the reinstatement of a popular patch of recreational land on Bute.

A site meeting took place on Thursday at Ardbeg Point, which was used in 2011 as the site HQ for a long-awaited project connecting homes in Ardbeg and Port Bannatyne to the main Rothesay sewerage network.

Since then, Scottish Water and its contractor on the project, George Leslie, have been at the centre of a row with Argyll and Bute Council and Ardbeg residents over the reinstatement of the land to its previous state - a condition of the land being used as a work site.

The council, which owns the land, is still refusing to accept its handover from Scottish Water over the condition of the site, more than two years after the project was completed.

Local Scottish Water employee Henry Tait, who is also a member of Bute Community Council, invited a George Leslie employee, Graeme Orr, to BCC’s January meeting this week to hear the concerns first-hand.

Mr Orr, who is on the island working on a separate George Leslie contract for Scottish Water in Ascog, agreed to inspect the condition of the site with BCC members, Argyll and Bute councillors and Ardbeg residents and to take the views expressed back to his employers.

BCC convener and Ardbeg resident Grace Strong told BCC’s meeting: “There used to be a field there. It was grass, and now it’s like a muddy quagmire. It’s just an absolute shambles.”

Councillor Isobel Strong told BCC’s meeting: “We only gave permission for the use of the site on the understanding that it would be reinstated to the way it was. A programme was carried out but it was minimal: drains were not reinstated, broken glass wasn’t removed and there was no top soil put down.

“A report was commissioned by the council on what would be required to bring the site back to its natural state. Scottish Water and George Leslie both have that report, but we have heard nothing further.”

 

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