Developers proposing to build a quarry in a scenic Highland glen have been dealt another blow.
More than 1,500 people have objected to the plan for a sand and gravel quarry in Glen Creran, near Oban in north Argyll.
The glen is home to Glasdrum Wood National Nature Reserve where otters, badgers, pine martens and bats live.
For planners to allow a quarry in a designated area of panoramic beauty the developers must show a need for it.
Applicant A&L McRae says that it requires the quarry to supply building sand for projects in the local area.
However in correspondence attached to the planning application on Argyll and Bute Council’s website, statutory planning officer Mark Lodge has written to senior planner David Love stating that the application is not consistent with the development plan.
Campaigners now hope that planners will recommend the application for refusal when it goes before the planning committee next month.
In the email Mr Lodge writes: “I understand that building sand supplies are available from quarries at Kilmartin, North Connel and Cairndow, these are all within a 30 mile radius of the likely main sources of demand for building sand in the area, which in both the existing LDP and forthcoming review looking forward to 2030 is likely to remain focused on the Oban/Dunbeg area. Given the availability of sand and gravel from a number of quarries within a 30 mile radius of the proposed quarry at Glen Creran, the proposal would not be consistent with Development Plan Policy LDP 10 and SG LDP MIN 2.”
Tony Kersley, who lives in the glen and is one of the main objectors, said: “This is excellent news and most welcome that Argyll and Bute Council have officially acknowledged that this planning application goes against their local development plan and should be refused. Hopefully common sense has prevailed and I would like to thank all our 1500 objectors for their help and support, without them I’m sorry to say this had a great chance of being approved, our campaign continues until it’s officially rejected.”
A spokesman for Dalgleish Associates, which is handling the application on behalf of A&L McRae, said his client would respond directly to the planning department.
Argyll and Bute Council’s spokesman said: “The planning officer is currently assessing all the information with a view to preparing a report and will endeavour to present it to the August meeting of the Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee.”