MP hits out at quarry bid on eve of site visit

THERE was a call this week by Clydesdale MP David Mundell for local concerns to be accepted in a battle to protect a South Lanarkshire beautyspot.

He was speaking on the eve of a planning appeal site visit to a proposed controversial sand and gravel quarry at Overburns Farm, near Lamington, which was scheduled for Wednesday March 27.

Mr Mundell submitted an objection following the appeal by quarrying company Patersons of Greenoakhill Ltd. against South Lanarkshire Council's decision to reject proposals to excavate in the scenic rural area.

Twice previously, the firm, which operates several quarries in central Scotland, met with fierce public opposition and had applications rejected by the local authority.

There was further outcry when the company lodged their appeal to the Scottish Government against the council's latest refusal to grant planning permission.

The Planning and Environmental Appeals Division Reporter is expected to make a final judgement on the quarry application following this week's site inspection.

Objectors have pointed to visual impact, environmental damage, proximity to the River Clyde, potential increased flooding risk, pollution worries and additional HGV traffic as significant concerns.

Mr Mundell said: "Over the years these plans have been on the table, my constituents have been consistent in highlighting genuine concerns about the damaging impact of quarrying in this special part of our countryside.

"What remains of the natural beauty of the area needs to be preserved.  There are already two working quarries within eight miles of the proposed site as well as one of the country's largest on-shore windfarms.

"In my view, there will be no significant benefit to the local economy through employment or other factors."