Splashing out on water works site

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IT is one of the most unusual properties on the market – ideal for a buyer who can dream up some use for a historic water tank and a set of giant water filter beds.

The former water treatment works in the heart of Pentlands Regional Park will be up for grabs after it was announced it is to be sold off by Scottish Water.

The site at Torduff Reservoir, which spans more than three acres, includes three large filter beds, a C-listed stone built circular tank – which dates from 1848, and some small buildings associated with the former water treatment use.

It is one of more than 30 lots being auctioned by Edinburgh-based SVA Property Auctions at the Swallow Hotel in Glasgow on September 21.

Shaun Vigers, director of SVA Property Auctions, said the site was expected to fetch around £100,000.

“It’s very difficult to determine where it’s going to finish up,” he said. “It’s one of these sites that if somebody thinks they have got a use for it or stand a good chance of getting planning permission for an alternative use, then they are probably going to be prepared to pay a bit more than £100,000.

“It’s certainly not a short-term opportunity. Anything that does happen there is going to take some time to get the right planning through for it.”

He added: “This is part of Scottish Water’s programme of disposing of redundant assets. The sale proceeds are then reinvested to provide new and better water supplies for Scotland.”

The Torduff water treatment works was decommissioned in 2000 following the completion of the Marchbanks water treatment works, which serves large parts of north and west Edinburgh into West Lothian.

The Torduff site had been used as an operational water treatment works since the 1840s.

Colinton/Fairmilehead councillor Jason Rust said: “The local community will be watching developments closely, given the location within Pentlands Regional Park and the listed status of part of the property. Hopefully there can be a new, appropriate future for the site.”

Mr Vigers added: “Anything you do there is going to need planning permission.

“If there was to be housing there, I would think that it would have to be a very exclusive development, or might even just be a single unit. You could do something very interesting, perhaps incorporating the stone-built water tank.

“The listing on the circular tank is to preserve its external features. It has been there since 1848 so it will have been one of the original Victorian water treatment works supplying the city.

“I’m sure somebody will come up with a bright idea for the site.”

A spokesman for Scottish Water said: “This site is redundant and we are therefore required under Scottish Government rules to promote it for disposal and to seek to obtain the maximum price on its sale.

“The proceeds from the sale of the land will be reinvested in other projects across Scottish Water.”

laura.cummings@edinburghnews.com