CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight plans for a new quarry between St Michaels and Tayport.
Breedon Aggregates has applied to set up a 40-year asphalt sand extraction operation in Kirkton Wood off the B945.
Local resident John Flegg led a public meeting over the proposal in the St Michaels Inn last Sunday — and he said the “vast majority” of the 55 attendees were against the plans.
But Breedon Aggregates has defended the application, saying the new quarry would help satisfy mineral requirements and have a minimal impact on traffic levels and the environment.
Mr Flegg told the Fife Herald and St Andrews Citizen: “I thought the meeting was very positive.
“It was open to people with views for or against the quarry and anyone who wanted to was given the opportunity to speak.
“However, the vast majority of people there were against it and nobody spoke in favour of it.”
Reasons put forward by opponents include the number of sand quarries already in the area, increased heavy traffic and the potential impact on tourism, wildlife and the environment.
Mr Flegg added: “We have called another meeting for Sunday, March 25, also at 7pm in the St Michaels Inn, and again anyone is welcome to attend no matter what their view.
“By that time we hope to have a petition, and over the next couple of weeks people will be writing to Fife Council to object.
“We will be mounting a campaign of opposition — we believe the people who turned out on Sunday are the tip of the iceberg and we think there will be very strong local opposition to this application.”
A spokesman for Breedon Aggregates said: “There is a strategic case for increased reserves of aggregates in the region.
“The Scottish Office has required all councils to have access to sufficient reserves of hard rock, sand, gravel and so on to meet construction demands.
“Fife Council has identified a shortfall so there is a need for an increase.”
The spokesman went on: “As to the question of why Kirkton Wood, the answer is that it has a very high quality sand reserve which could last for 30 or 40 years.
“It is a very scarce and special kind of sand involved in the production of hot rolled asphalt, which we need to build and maintain roads.”
“We are only applying to quarry around 60,000 tonnes per annum, so it will be a very much smaller operation than the 200,000 tonnes typically quarried per annum.
“There will be a relatively modest amount of vehicle movement during the working week and there is no doubt the existing roads network is more than capable of coping.
“Environmentally, the quarry is partly located in a commercial wood which is already due to be felled and we will ensure the operation is not visible to residents.
“We are also well aware of the area’s fauna and our design is intended to minimise the impact on this.”