Plans to store tens of thousands of tonnes of ash from an Aberdeen incinerator in the countryside have been withdrawn.
Proposals had been put forward to use agricultural land next to Chap’s Park Quarry at Drumoak, Aberdeenshire, as a storage and processing facility for incinerator bottom ash from the Ness Energy From Waste plant at East Tullos.
Waste to energy specialists Rock Solid Processing had wanted to transform the rural site into a space capable of storing 40,000 tonnes of material.
But now, following fears from the local community around Drumoak over the potential for the project to open the area up to further development and environmental concerns Rock Solid has confirmed it will no longer be considering the site.
It is now seeking to build the bottom ash processing facility near Portlethen.
A statement issued by Rock Solid’s general manager Mark Wederell said: “During the early part of 2020, Rock Solid undertook a public consultation to ascertain the viability of locating an incinerator bottom ash storage and processing facility on land adjacent to Park Quarry at Drumoak.
“Following the public consultation event Rock Solid, along with their consultants and technical advisors, undertook a period of assessment to review the proposed project and reassess its viability from a technical standpoint.
“This has resulted in a decision being taken to formally withdraw the planning application and to now relocate the facility to a new, and more suitable location with better transport links in closer proximity to the Ness Energy From Waste facility at East Tullos.”
The East Tullos incinerator is planned to generate green energy from unrecyclable rubbish collected in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray by 2022.
Rock Solid will now be submitting proposals for the new site at Cairnrobin Quarry near Portlethen, followed by an official planning application.
Mr Wederell continued: “Rock Solid now look forward to engaging with local stakeholders and Aberdeenshire Council, and remain committed to delivering this important facility which will recycle the ash produced by the local authority-owned Ness Energy From Waste facility when operational.”
The local campaign organisation Park Bridge Action Group, which has also called for the currently-closed to vehicles Park Bridge near to Park Quarry to be reinstated, had criticised the proposals to use the quarry as a location for processing ash.
The group raised concerns for the environment, in particular around the River Dee and the impact such a facility could have on wildlife.
Anne Shearer from the group said: “The local community is delighted that the proposal to site an incinerator bottom ash processing facility at Chap Quarry on the banks of the Dee has been withdrawn.
“This was never a suitable location when there was a risk of toxins from the incinerator bottom ash getting into the Dee, a site designed as a special area of conservation supporting threatened species, including Atlantic salmon and otters.”