Res­i­dents op­pose quarry pro­posal

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

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.

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