Leslie residents angered by ‘double blast’ at quarry

Concerns have been raised after a third 'double blast' at Lomond Quarry.
Concerns have been raised after a third 'double blast' at Lomond Quarry.

A Leslie residents group is calling for an emergency meeting with the owners of Lomond Quarry and Fife Council, following a third ‘double blast’ at the site.

Members of the town’s community council have told the Gazette they have been angered by what they claim is the failing of Fife Council’s enforcement of planning conditions that are supposed to protect the community.

The concern follows a third ‘double blast’ at the site on March 31. Quarry owner Skene Group is investigating the matter in conjunction with Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The first such incident back in November last year was described as a ‘misfire’ and reported as a ‘dangerous occurrence’ to the HSE.

A second incident, which took place a month later on December 8, followed a decision taken to split the blast to ‘reduce any vibration impacts’.

Responding to concerns, Skene confirmed that blasting is currently under review with its blasting contractor, which may lead to a change in blast design.

Responding to the community council, the company added: “At no time during this process was there any compromise in the health and safety procedures and standards adopted by the company affecting our quarry staff and nearby residential dwellings.”

But the residents group is now calling for the blasting programme to be suspended while a full investigation into the matter is conducted.

Jan Wincott, community council chairman, said: “What Fife Council and the quarry operator fail to realise is how much more upsetting a double blast is than a normal blast, which is bad enough.

“Most people cannot hear the warning siren in their houses and so expect the blast to be at the allotted time. Then, after the blast at that time, they can start to relax.

“Suddenly, 10 or 20 minutes later, a second unannounced blast goes off. This is totally unacceptable.”

Responding to the complaint Jim Birrell, senior planning manager, said: “Fife Council may also consult HSE separately on this matter if it considers this to be necessary.”