A DECISION this week by the Scottish Government to overturn Scottish Borders Council’s refusal to permit quarrying at South Slipperfield has been condemned by local MP David Mundell as an act of ‘environmental vandalism’.
The plans for a quarry near West Linton were rejected by the Council last year amid widespread concerns the proposed development would have an unacceptable impact on the local landscape.
In their report which was unanimously agreed by Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee, Council planners argued that the application was in “contravention of national objectives and Local Development Plan policies on securing additional reserves and extraction of minerals, whilst ensuring that the environmental impacts are either acceptable with mitigation and/or outweighed by the demonstration of significant public benefit”.
Commenting on the Scottish Government’s decision to overturn the refusal to permit quarrying at South Slipperfield, David Mundell MP said:
“This is entirely the wrong decision by the Scottish Government and one which I believe will be deeply disappointing to many people living in and around West Linton, as it is to me.
“With a nearly three-year campaign having been fought by the Quarries Action Group, which I have strongly supported in representations I have made myself opposing the application, the views of local people have been made very clear on this matter.
Added to that Scottish Borders Council, quite rightly, refused permission for this development last year as a result of concerns about proximity to INEOS’s ethylene pipeline, the inevitable scarring of the landscape that a quarry would bring and consequential issues arising from the development such as increased HGV traffic on the A702. Now the Scottish Government has overturned all of that and given the development the green light, to the clear detriment of the surrounding community. It’s nothing short of an act of environmental vandalism.
“I am clear that quarrying at Slipperfield is not in the interests of the local community and that people living in and around West Linton have been badly let down by this decision by the Scottish Government.”