The owners of a north-east quarry have lost an appeal to the Scottish Government to continue operations at the site.
Neil Murray Housebuilders Ltd had applied for permission to continue extracting soil and stone at the base at Westside of Forglen, to the east of Aberchirder.
The plans were initially backed by the Banff and Buchan area committee but the decision was then overturned by the council.
Council’s planning officers opposed the scheme because of the strain it would put on the surrounding rural roads.
And because the land required to build passing places on the narrow routes around the yard is owned by private landowners, it was the view of the officers that the roads issue could not be resolved.
The applicants believe a total of 2,000 tonnes could be extracted over the next five years on top of the 1,500 tonnes already dug out of the ground.
The housebuilder lodged an appeal against the decision with the Scottish Government.
However, last night it emerged that the government reporter dealing with the appeal had dismissed the case, agreeing with the council’s decision to refuse planning permission.
Christoper Warren noted in his report that there were “no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission”.
He said that access roads to the site were inadequate and added: “I conclude that even the relatively modest number of anticipated HGV movements would be to the detriment of the safe and convenient use of the roads.”
The applicant Neil Murray said he was “disappointed” with the decision.
He said: “The decision has been made because of a roads issue – the reporter has admitted the council did not carry out a transport assessment and have taken the fictitious views of our inactive neighbours as facts.”
Alvah and Forglen Community Council secretary Jim Bayne said: “AFCC was pleased that the reporter agreed that the access roads to the quarry were not safe for the traffic envisaged.”