Aberdeenshire Council has been accused of “sitting back” and leaving residents near an alleged illicit quarry to suffer.
Residents of Whitecairns have been complaining about activities on the site at Bruntland for years, and were pleased earlier this year when the local authority issued a temporary stop notice after uncovering unauthorised work was being carried out in part of the quarry.
Ellon-based Jim Jamieson Ardlethen Developments had been granted planning permission to carry out some heavy work to the land, including the creation of hard standings.
But an investigation uncovered the firm had formed a borrow pit at the top of the hill and that material had been extracted below the approved slope profiles.
After the temporary stop notice was issued in March, the council indicated a further notice would be served in “due course” seeking the restoration of the hillside.
But last night local resident Alistair Leslie questioned why the notice had never been issued, and accused the council of failing to take action on their behalf.
Mr Leslie said: “It has been almost four months and yet again the residents have been badly let down by the planning department.
“It seems that the initial piece in the paper had an effect but now everyone is sitting back, thinking they’ve done their bit by issuing the stop notice.”
An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said an enforcement notice had not been required as the firm has since lodged an application to fill the borrow pit.
But Mr Leslie said: “I think the council should have dealt with this rather than it being a further planning application. The frustrating thing is that they have acted on something we have been complaining about for more than two years. I hope they issue the enforcement notice because they seem to be a bit lax following up conditions that have been set.
A total of 35 objections against the latest application have been submitted, with residents arguing the borrow pit should be filled with the material that was illegally extracted rather than unknown “inert materials”.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council said last night: “An enforcement notice was not required as a planning application to fill the borrow pit had already been received.
“We anticipate that the application will be determined in the autumn.”