Licence for controversial Uist waste treatment plant yet to be issued

Controversial plans for a new waste treatment plant in Uist are still up in the air as a licence has yet to be granted by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Local businessman George MacDonald wants to turn a former bus garage in Creagorry into an incinerator which would burn waste from local fish farms.

A petition of objection containing 35 signatures was submitted to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, largely on the grounds that the facility was to be too close to neighbouring houses — including numerous accommodation providers. Despite noting the concerns of the community, the council granted planning consent.

However, the project has yet to be assessed by SEPA, who would be responsible for issues like ensuring the smell emitted was contained to a reasonable level.

A spokesman said: “SEPA expects to receive a permit application in the near future for the proposed incinerator to burn fish farm mortalities at Crossroads filling station in Benbecula. The operator is required to provide supporting information with the application to demonstrate any emissions to air, including odour, are properly controlled.

“Before deciding whether to grant the application or not SEPA will consult with public and statutory bodies and will consider the environmental impact of the activity. In particular SEPA will consider the potential for odour and where necessary impose conditions in the permit to control this.”

The spokesman added: “If a permit is granted the operator is likely to be required to carry out and submit monitoring information to SEPA. SEPA will also carry out its own monitoring and inspections of the incinerator and can take action where permit conditions are not adhered to.”