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How to appeal if Scottish Water refuses to connect you

This advice applies to Scotland

This information applies to Scotland only.

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

You should send or deliver your appeal to:

Scottish Government
Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals

4 The Courtyard
Callendar Business Park
Callendar Road

Tel: 0300 244 6668

Appeal process

There are four steps in the appeal process:

  1. formal appeal letter
  2. formal reply
  3. further investigation
  4. hearing.

Step 1: 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 Scottish Water's decision not to connect you is unreasonable, for example because an adjacent property was connected to the supply. If your property is new, there may be survey reports and other letters or emails between architect surveyors that 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 or 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 isn't 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 a formal appeal letter, you're preparing a formal document. It's more than a letter, but our fact sheet on what to put in a letter [ 260 kb] may provide some helpful advice.

Step 2: Formal reply

You'll receive a formal reply from the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) 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 the DPEA's response you can, and you can ask for the situation to be investigated further, as described at step 3.

Remember to note your reference number for your appeal.

Step 3: Further investigation

If 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's no hearing, the reporter will write to you with the decision. In some cases, the reporter might write to the Scottish ministers with a recommendation rather than a decision.

Step 4: 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 or surveyor to accompany you too. A decision made at an appeal hearing is usually final.

You can only appeal against a decision 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 an appeal 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 an appeal take

There are time limits for each stage of the process. The DPEA will tell you what these are.

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