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Highland quarry plans generate “unprecedented” number of objections

Tony Kersley, local resident and protestor in Glen Creran
Tony Kersley, local resident and protestor in Glen Creran

A controversial plan for a quarry by a nature reserve in a Highland glen has lead to an “unprecedented” number of objections.

The campaign group set up to oppose the sand and gravel quarry in Glen Creran claims there have been 1,000 objections submitted to Argyll and Bute Council.

A spokesman for the authority confirmed that, so far, they have received 700 but admitted the objections are taking several days to process.

The glen, near Appin in North Argyll, is home to Glasdrum Wood National Nature Reserve where otters, badgers, pine martens and bats can be found.

The firm A&L McRae is seeking permission to quarry for five years on Glen Creran Estate, owned by Baron Dominique Collinet.

Objectors fear this could mean up to 2,000 lorries a year on a road frequently used by cyclists and ramblers. They also say the quarry would damage nature and destroy the peace in the glen.

A special notice on the www.quarryprotest.com website explains that the high number of objections means the council is “having some difficulty in dealing with them within their normal timescales”.

Tony Kersley, local resident and protestor, said: “I would like the landowner and the A&L McRae to reconsider their position and decide to respect the wishes of the communities of North Argyll and withdraw their application. It seems very obvious that the community, the Scottish people and the wider world consider this location so unique and special that a quarry in Glen Creran is not acceptable under any circumstances whatsoever.”

Mike Russell, MSP for Argyll and Bute, said: “I think the applicant should think again. There is an incredible groundswell of public opinion against this.”

A spokesman for Glen Creran Estate said the application was in accordance with the local plan.

Calum McCrae of A&L McCrae Ltd said: “It’s important to emphasise that the quality of sand available at Glasdrum cannot be supplied from existing quarries in the local area and is currently being imported from well outwith Argyll and Bute.

“The site is well screened by existing forestry and will not be visible from public viewpoints within the glen. The only tree cover which will be removed is commercial spruce and the land subject to extraction will be restored to better quality agricultural land than is currently present within the site.

“The development will not affect any of the designated sites identified by objectors.”

Rob Latimer of Dalgleish Associates Ltd added: “It is unprecedented in our experience for a development of this small scale to receive such a level of objection. This is obviously placing a significant administrative burden on the planning authority.”

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