Letter submitted to Perth & Kinross Planning Department regarding Myreside drainage issues.
Dear Mr Baxter,
Drainage and Downstream Flooding Issues
Balmyre Farm owns and farms some of the land adjacent and directly downstream of the proposed development at Myreside. We wish to object to the development as we believe that the effluent 8 additional houses will have on the system of field drains into which our land drains will be detrimental to our ability to farm our land. The last two years have been very wet and the local drainage system has struggled to cope with the volume of water in the system.
I do not feel the points raised in my previous letter have been addressed and I would like to reiterate the following very basic points:
• Soil Type – This part of the Carse is heavy clay and very flat. We have invested in our drainage heavily but are still unable to farm all the land because the water table appears to have risen due to the heavy rainfall of the past two years.
This will be exacerbated by the addition of the foul water and run-off from the development but none of the reports have considered the concerns raised by neighbouring farmers or the likely impact on land downstream and to the East of the development.
• Water Table – There are areas of standing water on our land and the land around the proposed development which suggest that the water table is currently very high and has been for much of the last two years. In these conditions, I am concerned that the waste water will place an additional burden into a system that is already saturated, meaning that the land drains much more slowly and that there is standing water on for long periods on arable land.
• Flooding – The Carse suffered a major flooding incident in September 2009 with the Myreside road impassable due to a huge stretch of deep water. The Grange Pow was flooded downstream and the downstream bridges were full which meant that on our land and at Myreside the water was backing up the field drains and there was extensive flooding. The flooding in July/August 2008 was nearly as bad and again the Grange Pow was running to capacity. In this situation, I am concerned that effluent from any septic tanks will contaminate the local water system and badly affect the local ecosystem. None of the reports have considered this or suggested that this could be prevented. It is not unusual for this area to be flooded more than once every autumn/winter.
• The Grange Pow – The report by The Urbanwater Technology Centre at Abertay mentions that waste water will feed in to the Grange Pow, without demonstrating any understanding of how the Pow works. The Grange Pow was designed to cope with the drainage requirements of the agricultural land around 1800, when there were far fewer houses in the Carse, and it is fed by a huge network of field drains. When The Pow is running full or has not been recently cleaned, water inevitably backs up these field drains into the surrounding agricultural land. The maintenance of the Grange Pow is organised by the Pow Commissioners, who are volunteers, and mostly funded by a levy on some of the local proprietors and farmers. PKC do not contribute at all. The Pow is designed for farm drainage and should not be expected to cope with the large volumes of water produced as waste by modern households. The land round Myreside has the heaviest levy rates as it is recognised locally that this area is particularly vulnerable to flooding with a high water table.
I am very disappointed that SEPA have not considered the full impact this development will have on all the surrounding farm land, especially land downstream of the development and its waste water; and astonished that they should have withdrawn their objections. The restrictions they suggest, will not alleviate the problems likely to affect those farming downstream of the waste water from the development.
The Developer bought this land in 2005 and so has no long term experience of the drainage in the Carse, and inevitably has a short term perspective as it will develop and sell the houses it builds. It is not being made to take responsibility for the long term impact on the field drains and local eco-system or the long term problems any houses may suffer. I ask the planners to consider most carefully the long term impact any development will have on an old and already overworked drainage system.