Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, 03/02/16
On Monday at a meeting of the North Lanarkshire Council planning committee, the application to re-open and extend Hillend Quarry was unanimously refused.
Many villagers travelled over to Motherwell to observe the proceedings at North Lanarkshire Council Headquarters along with independent Councillor Alan Beveridge, who was pivotal in raising public awareness by among other things leafleting and hosting a public meeting.
The company have three months to respond and I’m sure everyone involved will be watching this very closely.
In the meantime I have contacted Councillor Beveridge and asked him to visit the remains of the 4000 year old Braefoot Farm Cairn, which was needlessly dismantled recently by an archaeological survey company on behalf of the applicant. Should there be no further appeal, or if the company is ultimately unsuccessful in any appeal I think it only right that they try to reinstate the cairn in it’s rightful place.
I received an email yesterday from North Lanarkshire Council regarding the proposal to re-open and extend Hillend Quarry at Caldercruix. It looks as if this application will be approved, after the formality of a site visit (and how many of our esteemed councillors will pull on their boots and actually visit the hills?). Full details HERE.
From my initial reading of the Committee Report dated 9th December 2015, the recommendation is to approve the application subject to conditions. This is despite 369 letters of representation and a petition against the development signed by 716 people. In essence: the local community objects and the local council overrules them.
The report details the limits of the work which will result in the complete destruction of the Moffat Hills and the historic monuments located within that site and a restriction of public access to the area. The plan expects an additional 100 HGV movements on the A89 a day. It also seems to be very dismissive on the effect of blasting on geolocical fault lines in the area, such as this one:
Fault above the north side of the Lilly Loch
This decision, when (not if) granted flies in the face of the wishes of the local community and is just the latest in a long line of applications granted to aggressively exploit the land in this area with no consideration for the people who have to live here. More heavy traffic? Deal with it. Air pollution? Tough. Drop in house prices? So what! Loss of recreational land? Who cares!
I would like to say I’m shocked by the recommendation, but with North Lanarkshire Councils track record in the area, I’m not.
I managed to squeeze in one final walk this year; from Corrour to Loch Treig and almost to Staioneag Bothy. Time got the better of us, and we had to turn back with less than a kilometre to go (or we’d have spent a cold night hanging round a cold, wet and windy Corrour Station). Still, after a poor year for me it was nice to get a few miles under my belt.
Having a brew near Staoineag
I’ve recently had an MRI scan on my knee which has revealed a tear in the cartilage. New Year should bring an operation, and fingers crossed, a bit more mobility!
Happy New Year to all of you!
Ever stood on top of a hill, gazed into the distance and wondered: What’s that hill over there? Fret no more, there’s a website that will resolve those round the summit cairn arguments: http://www.udeuschle.selfhost.pro/panoramas/makepanoramas_en.htm
Some time back I was on Culter Fell and looking north I could clearly see many Munro’s. I popped the location in, generated the panorama and was dumbstruck to find I could see as far away as Lochnagar- around 178 Km away!
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The application to reopen and extend Hillend Quarry was discussed at a meeting of North Lanarkshire Council’s Planning and Transportation Committee on 9th December. The decision of that meeting was that a site visit and hearing would take place before any decision takes place.
Anyone seeking information on the arrangements should contact Mr Gordon Arthur on 01236 635524.
The minutes of the meeting can be found here: https://mars.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/egenda/images/att82462.pdf
A complete list of the councillors on the Planning and Transportation Committee can be found on the distribution list for this notice: https://mars.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/egenda/images/att82378.pdf
It may be useful to direct your concerns to them directly.
While much of the country falls under the shadow of wind turbines, there have been a few good news stories of late. Yesterday it was reported that Energy Minister Fergus Ewing had refused consent for a 22 turbine windfarm at Sallachy and Duchally, as well as refusing consent for a 23 turbine windfarm at Glencassley near Lairg.
This follows on the decision a few weeks back to refuse consent for the Talladh-a-Bheithe windfarm near Rannoch.
While most of the applications which fringe urban areas go ahead the creation of the Wild land map by Scotish Natural Heritage has gone some way to help protect what remains of our wild land which would otherwise be viewed as a different kind of natural asset by developers: a purely financial one.