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How to appeal if Scottish Water refuses to connect you to the mains water or sewerage systems

This advice applies to Scotland

If Scottish Water has refused your request to be connected to the public water and sewerage systems you can appeal using a standard environmental appeal procedure.

Who to appeal to

Your appeal should be sent/delivered to:

Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals
4 The Courtyard
Callendar Business Park
Callendar Road

Fax: 01324 696444

Appeal process

Step 1 – Write a formal appeal letter

You must put all the details of your reason for appealing into a formal written document. You must have evidence for thinking that the decision of Scottish Water is unreasonable, for example, because an adjacent property did have the piping provided. If your property is new there may be survey reports and other letters or email messages between architect surveyors etc that also provide evidence for your appeal.

If you need help to put your appeal together into a document with copies of evidence to back your appeal from other professionals you might be able to use your architect/surveyor if you have one.

You might be able to get help from your local authority environmental health department because it regulates any private water source and sewerage that is not provided by Scottish Water and therefore not part of the public system. It may be prepared to support your case to be part of the public supply.

By writing the formal appeals letter you are preparing a formal document. It is more than a letter but our fact sheet on what to put in a letter may provide some helpful advice.

Step 2 – Receive a reply from Scottish Ministers

You will receive a formal reply from the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) answering on behalf of Scottish Water.

You may decide to accept the explanation but you don’t have to at this stage.

If you want to comment on their response you can do so and you can ask for the situation to be investigated more fully as described at Step 3.

Remember to note what your reference number is for your appeal.

Step 3 - Further investigation by a DPEA reporter

When you ask for further investigation to be carried out this will be done by a reporter. This is the technical job title for a member of DPEA who can go to the site of the dispute and ask for more information from everyone involved.

The reporter can usually make a decision at this stage. If your case is complicated the reporter can ask for an appeal hearing to be held. If there is no hearing the reporter will write to you with the decision. In some cases the reporter might write to Scottish Ministers with a recommendation rather than a decision.

Step 4 – Appeal goes to a hearing

You might be asked to go to a hearing about your appeal. This is because the reporter probably wants to ask you more questions. You should have copies of all your original paperwork and you may want your architect/surveyor to accompany you too. A decision made at an appeal hearing is usually a final decision.

You can only appeal against it on a point of law to the Court of Session but it would be wise to get the advice of a solicitor first.

How much does it cost

You can’t claim your own expenses from any agency and depending on the circumstances you might have to pay other expenses, for example, your architect’s time. If the reporter thinks that your appeal is unreasonable you might be expected to pay other costs too.

How long does it take

There are time limits for each stage of the process. You will be told what these are from the DPEA.

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