Official Report

 

  • Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill Committee 26 September 2018 [Draft]    
    • Attendance

      Convener

      *Tom Arthur (Renfrewshire South) (SNP)

      Committee members

      *Mary Fee (West Scotland) (Lab)
      *Alison Harris (Central Scotland) (Con)

      *attended

      Clerk to the committee

      Nick Hawthorne

      Location

      The Sir Alexander Fleming Room (CR3)

       

    • Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill: Consideration Stage
      • The Convener (Tom Arthur):

        Good morning and welcome to the seventh meeting in 2018 of the Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill Committee. The first item on our agenda is to consider the merits of the two objections that were lodged on amendment 9 to the bill. Evidence on the objections was taken at our meeting on 12 September 2018.

        We will now consider the merits of each objection on the evidence that we have heard and received to date. Although the committee is required to consider the merits of objections, it is optional for it to accept or reject them.

        The first objection that we will consider is that of Mr and Mrs Watkins. I invite members of the committee to share their views.

      • Mary Fee (West Scotland) (Lab):

        Mr and Mrs Watkins’s objection contained five reasons for objection. The promoters have accepted the first two parts of the objection and have made amendments to adjust the charge that Mr and Mrs Watkins are liable to pay. Taking account of the evidence that the committee received at our meeting on 12 September, I do not believe that there is merit in the rest of the objection, and I suggest that we do not uphold it.

      • The Convener:

        Is Alison Harris content with that position?

      • Alison Harris (Central Scotland) (Con):

        Yes, I am content with that position.

      • The Convener:

        To summarise, the committee notes that the promoters have agreed with the basic premise of the Watkins’s objections, which are that part of the plot is owned by another party and that some of their land should have been categorised as amenity, rather than residential, land. Accordingly, having agreed with those points, the promoters have adjusted the schedule, which has reduced the Watkins assessment from nearly £1,400 to £538.

        We note that Mr and Mrs Watkins sought a further reduction of the amount of their land that should be assessed as residential land, but that the promoters did not agree with that. The promoters have established more accurately the exact boundaries of the protected monument site with Historic Environment Scotland and have produced an updated assessment schedule. The committee is satisfied that the assessment of the Watkins property, as it now stands, is appropriate.

        Therefore, the committee upholds the part of the objection that concerns the ownership and categorisation of land, and is satisfied that that has been addressed by the promoters. The committee rejects the other parts of the objection, which relate to methodology and appeals, as they are not affected by the amendment.

        We turn to consideration of the second objection, in the name of Mr and Mrs Macgregor. I inform the committee that we have received a further submission from Mr Macgregor and a response from the promoters, both of which are available on the Parliament’s website.

        I invite the committee to make comments on the second objection.

      • Alison Harris:

        The Macgregors’ basic objection is that they view the property to be on land that is not benefited, and that rainwater from their property and their stream do not drain directly into the pow. However, the promoters came back with strong evidence that showed that the Macgregor property is on the plot and on benefited land and, as such, should be treated in accordance with the provisions of the bill. I support what the promoters produced and agree with them in this instance.

      • The Convener:

        Does Mary Fee have any comments?

      • Mary Fee:

        No. I agree with the comments that Alison Harris made and that we do not uphold the objection.

      • The Convener:

        Is the committee content to accept the promoters’ reasons for saying that the Macgregor property is, and always has been, on benefited land, and that it seems appropriate that the property should be assessed as set out in the bill?

        Members indicated agreement.

      • The Convener:

        Therefore, the committee rejects the objection in full.

        That concludes our consideration of the objections. Objectors will be contacted by the clerk and informed of the decisions taken.

        Our next item is consideration of a draft report in private. At the committee’s next meeting, which will be on Wednesday 24 October at 12 pm, we will consider amendments to the bill at consideration stage.

        12:04 Meeting continued in private until 12:20.