The picture above was taken from the old road to Wester Bracco. On the left is Alice Hill, on the right the Moffat Hills. This may not be the greatest of landscapes, it’s certainly not wild and untouched by man. But it is a small haven of rough terrain, as unforgiving as the summit of any Munro top in the wrong conditions and can be a joy to walk, in any season. On the left of the photo is an unwelcome addition to the area, another turbine in the process of being erected. The first application here was for 7 turbines. This was, after objections, reduced to 3. That application was withdrawn in October 2011. I must have missed the subsequent application and hope that this solitary turbine is the final result, and that no more “cash generators” spring up here.
More worrying is Hillend Quarry on the right of the picture. Closed for some time, I have been told that there are plans to reopen and expand the quarry, and I’m hoping to hear more on this in the near future. What little I have heard is that the application would see the quarry expand westwards for a considerable distance, which would over time reduce the Moffat Hills to a shell. This would remove an area much used by walkers, it would threaten the bronze age cairn at the west end of the Lilly Loch and would increase noise, dust and traffic pollution in Caldercruix and Plains. Anyone who knows the Lilly Loch will be aware of disturbed fault on the north side, and a renewal of quarrying could further destabilise this already unstable mix of soil and rock, putting anglers and walkers at risk.
While we can only hope that this doesn’t go ahead, it’s worth bearing in mind that unlike a wind turbine which in theory can be removed and made good, a quarry is an amputation which is irreversible. The plethora of old quarries across the Airdrie area are testament to that.
If you have any immediate concerns you should contact Councillor Alan Beveridge who is co-ordinating efforts against this development. His website is councilloralanbeveridge.wordpress.com.