Blairgowrie Advertiser

‘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.”

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