Perth and Kinross Council has said it cannot take any action against housebuilders to compel them to repair or rebuild faulty sewers under one of its new developments in Kinross despite repeated complaints from residents.

A spokesperson for the local authority insisted this week it had no power to make Persimmon Homes fix the network of pipes it built beneath its Lathro Meadows development and suggested Scottish Water had a role in ensuring the infrastructure worked properly.

The spokesperson was reacting to continuing criticism of the current situation at the troubled scheme whereby Persimmon Homes are using tankers to suck waste out of its sewers and dump it elsewhere as the system it has installed is unable to cope with flows.

But when asked if it could intervene in the situation, a spokesperson for Scottish Water said this week it could only “support a resolution” to the problems new residents of the scheme are said to have suffered for well over a year now.

Speaking to the PA following an incident where contractors were spotted dumping waste from the development down a drain in another part of Kinross, last week local councillor Callum Purves said he could not believe neither PKC nor Scottish Water could force Persimmon Homes to fix the sewers once and for all.

Councillor Purves told the PA: “This development has just been one disaster after another.

“Clearly the drainage system is not working as it should and this is something they [Persimmon Homes] need to rectify. It’s just not good enough.

“The council gave permission for this development but it’s clearly not been completed to the plans because the drains don’t work. The council needs to take responsibilty for that and if they’re not going to then Scottish Water needs to provide some assistance.”

Local resident Ken Whitcombe of the Lathro Action Group added: “It is completely unacceptable that this council thinks it can leave the serious problems [to residents] to take up with the developers while continuing to collect council tax for services they have a statutory responsibility to ensure residents are provided with.”

A council spokesperson told the PA: “We understand how frustrating this situation must be for residents.

“Foul drainage is considered as part of the planning application assessment. If there is a public drainage system, as there is in this case, applicants are advised the granting of planning permission does not guarantee connection to Scottish Water’s network.

“This is because Scottish Water will not adopt drains until all new mains, sewers, pumping stations and surface drainage infrastructure meet their standards. Planning and building standards staff do not have a role in enforcing the standards of other agencies.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Water said: “When developers approach Scottish Water to obtain a connection, our team reviews proposed designs for the drainage infrastructure within the site to ensure it meets required standards.

“Developers are solely responsible for installing the infrastructure in line with the approved designs. Before taking over responsibility for new infrastructure, Scottish Water carries out inspections and any remedial work has to be completed by the developer before vesting can take place.

“There is a financial contribution from Scottish Water which developers receive at the conclusion of this process, which is withheld until the site has been vested and ownership of the infrastructure has formally transferred to Scottish Water.

“We recognise the current situation is a very difficult one for residents and will continue to do all we can to support its resolution via the processes in place.”

The spokesperson added: “We are investigating a recent incident when a tanker discharged waste to the local sewer network rather than taking it to a licensed site for disposal. We are following this up with the developer and their contractor to understand the circumstances and to ensure there is no recurrence.”

A spokesperson for Persimmon said: “We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and remain committed to the completion of works under current COVID-19 restrictions.”