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Government suffers another blow to sewage treatment scheme

MU chairman insists overall strategy 'isn't flawed'

Government has been dealt another blow in its bid to deal with the Island's waste, after plans for a sewage treatment works in Peel were withdrawn.

An independent planning inspector recommended the designs for the Glenfaba Road facility be refused.

Reasons included the 'adverse visual impact' and the effects on woodland and wildlife.

Proposals for a similar site in Laxey were rejected in July.

Patrick Commissioners had long been opposed to the plans and raised concerns at a three-day planning hearing in September.

The designs were part of the £23.5m Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy, which was aimed at preventing waste being pumped into the sea.

Although the commissioners called the building of a sewage treatment works in the area 'critical', they commended the work of the inspector.

In a statement, the commissioners said: "Not only has this proposal wasted time in resolving this long outstanding matter, it has wasted phenomenal amounts of taxpayers money."

Manx Utilities Chairman Tim Baker has called the latest decision 'disappointing'.

"The inspector has pointed quite clearly to a couple of other sites in the Peel area that he doesn't feel MU had given sufficient consideration to", Mr Baker said.

He added: "He's not saying that the provision of a local sewage treatment facility is a bad idea, he's saying that he had, on balance, concerns over the particular proposal at Glenfaba House."

Policy and Reform Minister Ray Harmer, who serves the Peel and Glenfaba constituency in the House of Keys, has said the 'fight must continue'.

"[The withdrawal of the plans] is so disappointing after all the efforts made over a long period of time to find a solution.

"It is incredible that Peel is still pumping raw sewage, wet wipes and plastics into our sea with the damage that causes our wildlife and natural environment.

"For Peel and the West this is the fight we must continue", he wrote.

Mr Baker says despite setbacks for both the Laxey and Peel plans, the overall strategy is still the same:

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