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Glasgow no longer prepared to bail out Scottish Water...
Glasgow no longer prepared to bail out Scottish Water

Glasgow City Council leader Charlie Gordon has expressed his concern that hundreds of new houses and industrial developments in Glasgow could be at risk because of the lack of investment in the city's decaying water and sewerage infrastructure.

Speaking at 'The Future for Scottish Water' conference held in Edinburgh, Mr Gordon said that potentially thousands of new jobs and homes for Glasgow were under threat.

'Scotland's cities are the drivers of Scottish economic growth and Glasgow is booming. However Glasgow's regeneration is being threatened by the lack of investment in the ageing water and sewerage infrastructure which is constraining our future development.

'Scottish Water's own assessment shows that 83% of Glasgow's housing land supply is constrained as is 45% of the city's industrial land supply. The removal of water related development constraints is a major issue for the future growth in Glasgow and indeed all of the West of Scotland.

'The city has in the past helped to bail out Scottish Water by giving them cash to help pay for improvements to the ageing water and sewerage network as we did in the east end of Glasgow in September last year with a£4.5m financial contribution. However Glasgow City Council is not in a position to repeatedly implement 'alternative' funding measures on such a scale on a regular basis.

'Nobody underestimates the scale of capital investment required to implement upgrading of water and sewerage, however, if national strategic and local growth aspirations are to be effectively delivered, access to the appropriate scale of investment from Scottish Water is of vital importance.

'We want to take ministers at their word when they say that there is nothing to stop our continued regeneration and development. We look forward to ministers responding to the development constraints on Glasgow caused by the lack of investment in the water and sewerage infrastructure so we can get on with pushing forward our city's further growth and regeneration.'

Glasgow has 25% of the national total of constrained housing units which is more than twice the combined figure for the other Scottish cities.

Scottish Water Q+S III Assessment showed that 83% of Glasgow's housing land supply is constrained, of which 84% are brownfield sites and 16% greenfield. It also showed that 45% of Glasgow's industrial land supply is constrained, of which 46% are brownfield, and 54% are greenfield sites.

In January, a Glasgow City Council report identified about 150 housing developments, 48 industrial schemes, a business park development and rented accommodation which are being hampered by the poor water and sewerage infrastructure. The report, which went to the policy and resources committee, warned that it could cost£1bn to sort the problem out and anything less than a substantial increase in investment would hinder the momentum of Glasgow's regeneration.

The Scottish Water Business Plan related to Q+S III is due to be published later this year and will confirm the priorities against which available expenditure will be set. Last time round, in the course of the Q+S II process, Glasgow received£35m over three years to address such constraints. However independent consultants Grant Thornton subsequently suggested that had the available funding been allocated on a more equal basis, for example using population data, Glasgow should have received some£205m, almost six times the actual amount.

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