A KILMACOLM community group has claimed that a plan to install a top-up tap for water bottles in the village centre is ‘tantamount to vandalism’.

Scottish Water proposals to add the filling up point at a site on Lochwinnoch Road are set to be considered by Inverclyde Council’s Planning Board this week.

Council officers say they have received two representations objecting to the move from the Kilmacolm Civic Trust and the board of the nearby Kilmacolm Community Centre.

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The installation of the tap is part of a wider Scottish Water project to help cut down on plastic bottle usage in Inverclyde.

The firm has already installed fountains which were welcomed in Greenock and Gourock, and have dispensed almost 16,000 litres of water between May and August.

Officials have produced a bullet point summary of the concerns raised by the two groups in their representations ahead of the meeting, with the 'vandalism' claim listed among the issues raised.

The bullet point reads: “Not a suitable site. It is tantamount to vandalism.”

It is not stated which of the two objecting parties made the remark.

A further item in the list highlights concerns about the ‘vast sum’ of money spent by the council to lay a new pavement at the site, which they say would have to be dug up to accommodate the proposal.

Another point raised in the objection summary suggests that there may be more suitable sites nearby.

It states: “No water source is close to the proposed site.

“It is believed that there is a water source directly across the access to the public car park.

“This would therefore be a better site as it wouldn’t involve digging up of pavement.”

The fourth and final item in the objections list highlights yet more alternative sites.

It says: “An alternative and preferred site would be on the curved piece of tarmac pavement that is backed with low hedging and two green BT cabinets, opposite ‘Cairns’, and projects outwards towards Lochwinnoch Road from Elphinstone Court, at the start of Station Road.

“Many pedestrians and cyclists stop here.

“Another alternative site would be on the edge of the Piazza a little further up the lane, but this would not be as visible, or the historic freshwater drinking fountain at the junction of Lochwinnoch Road with Bridge of Weir Road could be brought back into use - although that may also require new paving to be dug up.”

In their report on the application, officers state that Scottish Water’s application was accompanied by a supporting statement which explained that the site was selected following community requests, a feasibility review, a site visit and was based on several factors, including its proximity to water supply.

They are recommending that the plans be approved subject to conditions at the Planning Board meeting on Wednesday.