‘Delight’ of locals
Local residents have said they are delighted that councillors rejected controversial proposals for a major quarry development on the outskirts of Blairgowrie.
The plan for the Marlee Quarry development – which would have seen the excavation of up to 75,000 tonnes of sand and gravel a year for up to 17 years – had been recommended for approval by council officers.
However, councillors unanimously refused the planning application, which was submitted by Laird Aggregates Ltd, at a planning and placemaking committee meeting on Wednesday last week.
Afterwards, local resident Tim Baynes said:“We are obviously delighted with the decision by the planning and placemaking committee.
“The possibility of this huge quarry on our doorsteps has been a real worry, especially over the last 18 months.
“We realise that there may be an appeal but because the vote of the council was unanimous and unopposed, we hope that would also be refused.
“But it is important to maintain the campaign, which people can follow on our Facebook page,‘Stop The New Quarry’.
“The Blairgowrie Advertiser has been an important conduit of information over the last 18 months and it was timely to read the article in last week’s edition about the Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association (BEPTA) campaign to promote tourism for the future of this area.
“That future could only be harmed by a large open cast quarry on the edge of town.”
Blairgowrie and the Glens ward councillor Tom McEwan lives near the site.
He said:“The proposals brought forward were only of community detriment and were of no community benefit.
“No major planning application can go forward if there is no benefit to the local and wider community.”
In a statement, Jamie Laird from Laird Aggregates said:“We are very disappointed with the committee’s decision to refuse the planning application.
“It appears that the committee has chosen to base the decision on the unfounded assertions of local residents as opposed to the consideration of the detailed specialist reports submitted in support of the application, these reports having been subject to confirmation by statutory consultees, who are independent experts, and who have accepted that the proposed extension could be undertaken without any significant environmental or amenity impacts.
“The committee decision was contrary to the report of handling, by the head of planning and development, which confirmed that the proposal was in compliance with the Local Development Plan and gave a strong recommendation for approval.
“I can also confirm that Laird will be appealing the decision.”