Residents oppose quarry proposal
A PACKED Appin Village Hall voted overwhelmingly to oppose a plan to build a sand and gravel quarry at Glasdrum, Fasnacloich, on Glen Creran Estate, writes Sandy Neil.
Eighty people gathered last Thursday (June 16) for a pre-application consultation presented by William Booth, director of the agent Dalgleish Associates, on behalf of prospective Argyll applicant A& L McCrae, which mines Barrachander Quarry near Kilchrenan.
Mr Booth explained the 5.35-hectare site beside the river Creran, on land owned by Belgian quarrier Baron Dominique Collinet, would yield 95,000 tonnes over six years. It would employ four people excavating Monday to Saturday, with on average six despatch lorries per day.
The site lies outside several conservation designations, said Mr Booth and wouldn’t disrupt walkers or archaeology.
He added: ‘The operations are very small scale, the noise levels are very low, there is very good screening.’ He argued that the quarry was needed due to a local shortage of sand and gravel which had increased costs. ‘It’s predominantly sand that’s needed, not gravel,’ he said.
But Glen Creran resident Tony Kersley asked: ‘What is the sand element from the quarry, because that can be excavated from other quarries? With that figure we can demonstrate there is not a local need. It doesn’t merit ruining a local glen for that.’
Another resident asked: ‘Can you guarantee there’ll be no more extraction beyond 95,000 tonnes?’ Mr Booth replied: ‘No.’ But said any further development would be subject to a planning application.
A third resident said: ‘Any quarry relies economically on a large scale. You’re just using the planning system to get the first little bit, and then the rest of it. We are subject to a severe case of salami slicing. There is a total lack of consideration about the way the lorries will affect our everyday existence.’
Community councillor Penny Cousins added: ‘You have no idea about the potential for accidents on this road – it’s huge.’
Jamie Smith said: ‘Your presentation is an apology in advance [for] clawing away the quality of life of people living in the glen.’
A neighbouring Duror and Kintallen community councillor said they unanimously opposed the development.
A resident urged a vote to gauge local opinion: four raised hands in favour of the pre-application, the rest voted against it.