Quarry blow

PLAN­NING of­fi­cials in Ar­gyll and Bute have dealt a blow to plans for a quarry at Glen Cr­eran by say­ing it is not con­sis­tent with the lo­cal de­vel­op­ment plan.

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

A PRO­POSAL to build a quarry in Glen Cr­eran has been dealt a blow by coun­cil plan­ners, who ar­gue it is not con­sis­tent with the lo­cal de­vel­op­ment plan.

Ar­gyll-based ap­pli­cant A & L Mc­Crae Ltd, which mines ag­gre­gates at Bar­rachan­der Quarry near Kilchre­nan, lodged a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion last Oc­to­ber to ex­tract and process sand and gravel at Glas­drum, in par­tic­u­lar high-qual­ity build­ing sand for which, it ar­gues, there is a short­age in Ar­gyll and Bute.

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s plan­ning depart­ment wrote to the ap­pli­cant’s agent, Wil­lie Booth of Dal­gleish As­so­ciates, to say it was now in a po­si­tion to de­ter­mine the ap­pli­ca­tion.

‘The pol­icy states that a need must be demon­strated for the open­ing of a new site. Within a 30-mile ra­dius of this area there are Kil­martin, Clachan, North Con­nel, Ben­der­loch and Dornie quar­ries all pro­duc­ing sand and gravel.

‘The num­ber of sites pro­duc­ing ma­te­rial would not sup­port the ar­gu­ment of an ex­ist­ing short­fall in de­mand. Feed­back from ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tors would sug­gest the ma­te­rial is avail­able but de­vel­op­ers are choos­ing to go else­where, per­haps as a re­sult of al­ready na­tion­ally agreed con­tracts.

‘You com­ment that one-third of the ma­te­rial will be build­ing sand with the rest other prod­ucts and would meet the needs of the ap­pli­cant as a con­trac­tor and for their ready-mix con­crete plant. I don’t see how this will meet an ex­ist­ing de­mand.

‘Con­crete is al­ready avail­able from Ben­der­loch and the ap­pli­cant could pur­chase sand from any of the ex­ist­ing sites nearby. From a pol­icy per­spec­tive, the ap­pli­ca­tion is not con­sis­tent with LDP 10 or SG LDP MIN 2.’

In re­sponse, Mr Booth ar­gued that ‘a lo­cal need has been rea­son­ably demon­strated’. He said: ‘The coun­cil has not un­der­taken a de­tailed sur­vey of min­er­als de­mand or dis­tri­bu­tion within Ar­gyll and Bute for over a decade and can make no de­fin­i­tive com­ment on re­gional or lo­cal de­mand. How­ever, the lat­est ag­gre­gates sur­vey un­der­taken by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment states that Ar­gyll and Bute is de­pen­dent on sup­plies from out­with the re­gion to meet de­mand.

‘ While it is ap­pre­ci­ated the coun­cil has sought to gauge de­mand/dis­tri­bu­tion in the Ar­gyll and Bute area, it has to be ac­knowl­edged the op­er­a­tors re­spond­ing to the con­sul­ta­tion would in fact be in com­pe­ti­tion with Glas­drum and, as the pro­posed site would be in a po­si­tion to pro­vide sand at a more com­pet­i­tive cost com­pared to ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions, haul­ing ma­te­ri­als over sig­nif­i­cantly greater dis­tance. Any re­sponse is likely to be guarded and un­likely to be sup­port­ive of po­ten­tial com­pe­ti­tion.

‘We are con­cerned the coun­cil has made no ref­er­ence to rep­re­sen­ta­tions re­ceived from de­vel­op­ers and build­ing sup­pli­ers.

‘Th­ese pro­vide a con­sis­tent and al­ter­na­tive view from quarry op­er­a­tors; the re­sponse be­ing a con­certed agree­ment that build­ing sand, and other prod­ucts, have not been avail- able lo­cally for var­i­ous projects in the past and that, un­der cur­rent cir­cum­stances, they are con­cerned that ma­te­ri­als will con­tinue to be lo­cally scarce for fu­ture projects as well.

‘One such let­ter, from Jew­son, states, “We have used lo­cal quar­ries pre­vi­ously but un­for­tu­nately due to the qual­ity of sand we were forced to move to a sup­plier from the east coast of Scot­land.

‘If it is found that this lo­cal quarry has sand that my cus­tomers are happy with, I would be more than happy to sup­port this new ven­ture and get all my ag­gre­gates sourced from here in the fu­ture.”

‘This is a clear state­ment in re­la­tion to the qual­ity and avail­abil­ity of sup­ply cur­rently avail­able lo­cally and clearly demon­strates that the main UK distrib­u­tor is not tied to a na­tion­ally agreed con­tract.’

An ap­pli­ca­tion has been lodged to quarry at Glen Cr­eran.

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