Ex­ca­va­tion plan gets go-ahead at coun­cil

Pro­posal could re­duce traf­fic lev­els in Black­ford

Strathearn Herald - - CLUB NEWS - Ross Gar­diner

Plans for al­most 20,000 cu­bic me­tres of sand and gravel to be ex­ca­vated from a Strath site in a move to re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion have been unan­i­mously ap­proved by coun­cil­lors.

The pro­posal will see land 200 me­tres south­east of Mil­ton of Pan­holes, be­side the rail­way line con­nect­ing Perth and Stir­ling used as a ‘bor­row pit’ to cre­ate a new ac­cess road to the Black­ford High­land Spring plant on the south side of the tracks.

A to­tal of 19,300 cu­bic me­tres of sand and gravel will be re­moved from an em­bank­ment over seven weeks, and the de­ci­sion will see “sig­nif­i­cantly less” traf­fic pass through the streets of Black­ford, ac­cord­ing to coun­cil of­fi­cials who spoke at a meet­ing of Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment man­age­ment com­mit­tee last Wed­nes­day.

The plans had ini­tially been ob­jected to by 10 in­di­vid­u­als as well as Black­ford Com­mu­nity Coun­cil – who raised is­sues over po­ten­tial noise, dust, flood­ing risk, loss of open space, dis­turb­ing nest­ing sand martins and road dis­rup­tion.

The com­mu­nity coun­cil also asked for clar­i­fi­ca­tion over the seven- week timescale.

Coun­cil of­fi­cials con­firmed that the work is es­ti­mated to take seven weeks, how­ever the ap­pli­cants have been al­lo­cated 12 months for the pro­ject.

The ex­tra time has been per­mit­ted so that, should there be any de­lays, con­trac­tors Kil­mac would not need to sub­mit an­other ap­pli­ca­tion.

The pro­posal states that “min­eral ex­trac­tion and pro­cess­ing shall only be car­ried out at the site be­tween the hours of 7am and 5pm Mon­day to Thurs­day and 7am to 3.30pm on Fri­day. No min­eral ex­trac­tion or pro­cess­ing will oc­cur on Satur­day or Sun­day. No blast­ing shall take place on site.”

This timescale does not in­clude haulage of the ex­tracted ma­te­ri­als.

Coun­cil of­fi­cials also con­firmed that any re­pairs needed to dam­age caused to the ex­ist­ing roads dur­ing the ex­ca­va­tion pro­ject will be charged di­rectly to the con­trac­tor.

While not ob­ject­ing to the plans, Black­ford Pri­mary School par­ent coun­cil chair An­drew Sin­clair high­lighted their con­cerns over road safety, emis­sions and dust pol­lu­tion and noise on be­half of the group, stat­ing: “...whilst we have no over­all ob­jec­tion to the works be­ing car­ried out we do have over­all con­cerns re­gard­ing our chil­dren’s health and well­be­ing.”

Cllr Wil­lie Wil­son de­scribed the avail­abil­ity of the ex­ca­va­tion point so nearby as “for­tu­itous”.

He added: “If it wasn’t ex­tracted from the other side of the rail­way tracks, the ma­te­rial would need to come through the vil­lage.”

Com­mit­tee con­venor Cllr Mur­ray Lyle agreed, high­light­ing the ben­e­fit of us­ing the lo­cal ma­te­ri­als rather than bring­ing the sand and gravel through the vil­lage.

The Strathal­lan ward elected mem­ber said: “There is ap­prox­i­mately 30,000 tonnes of sand and gravel needed, which would re­quire around 3000 lorry trips to be made through the vil­lage where there are al­ready traf­fic prob­lems.”

En­trance The High­land Spring plant in Blackford

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