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SEPA Hears Farmers Opposition to Hike in Abstraction Charges

NFU Scotland members and staff met with SEPA yesterday to voice their opposition to proposed massive increases in charges for water abstraction licences.

In its consultation on a new charging scheme SEPA had brought forward proposals that could have led to some farmers seeing an increase of up to 600% - proposals that the union argued were entirely unjustifiable.

Following a robust discussion, SEPA took on board the feedback provided and there was agreement that aspects of the proposals needed reworked.

The consultation on the proposals closes on Friday 3 November. Any member who has received the letter from SEPA and is unhappy with what it says is encouraged to respond to the consultation and share their response with NFU Scotland. Those most likely to be affected will hold water abstraction licences.

Andrew Bauer, NFU Scotland’s Deputy Director of Policy, said: “I am heartened that SEPA appears to now understand the legitimate concerns that we and our members have about the proposals.

“Our members are aware that the water environment has to be protected and that water is a valuable asset.

“NFU Scotland believes that the best way to protect the environment is to work with farmers rather than impose counterproductive charges and regulations. In recent years SEPA has seemed to share that view and I hope that this unfortunate episode is simply a misstep on its part.”

Notes to the Editor

  • Any members with input on SEPA charges can contact NFU Scotland on 0131 472 4000.


Ends

Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4108

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 158/17


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