Quarry plan prompts a storm of protest

A PROPOSAL to site a quarry on rural farmland in the Howe of Fife has prompted a storm of protest from neighbouring hamleteers.

Dalgleish Associates have lodged an application with Fife Council on behalf of Forfar-based Laird Aggregates, who want to create a sand and gravel quarry and ready-mix concrete plant at Kinloch Farm, just south of Collessie.

They say that the operation would yield some two million tonnes of sand and gravel in the course of just over 14 years. and that the 82-hectare site is an ‘ideal location’ strategically.

Some two million tonnes of sand and gravel has been identified at Kinloch Farm, which would be produced at the rate of 30,000 tonnes a year initially, increasing to 160,000 tonnes a year by year four.

It would take around four months to prepare the site and a year to restore the land once operations are complete.

Dalgleish Associates also say that only part of the site would be in operation at any one time; that they will create a pavement on the B937, from which the quarry would be accessed, and that the potential impact of resulting traffic has been assessed as low.

However protesters are angered by the plans, saying that Fife doesn’t need another quarry as there are already four other sand and gravel operations within a five-kilometre radius of the proposed development.

They argue that the quarry threatens the safety of local residents due to heavy lorries on the rural roads and the fact that a major gas pipeline, serving the whole of north east Fife, runs right through the middle of the site.

In addition, say objectors, the quarry would pose a danger to local wildlife such as bats, birds and squirrels as well as the geese and ducks wintering on nearby lochs.

The proposed development lies between the hamlets of Kinloch and Giffordtown in a rural area popular with visitors. Protesters fear that it would ruin the local landscape and views towards the Lomond Hills, and claim that it would be incompatible with nearby attractions such as an equestran centre, a bird sanctuary and and animal park.

In their objection, Giffordtown residents John and Jean Arbuckle say: “That this development, which will occupy most of the lands between two hamlets a little more than 1km apart was even considered belies understanding.

“How far would this application have progressed if the location had been on the fields adjacent to Cupar or any other town?

“We are two settlements with 20 odd houses in each, and our right to a peaceful future is as valid as any town dweller’s.”