Skene back at table after ending boycott

Lomond quarry
Lomond quarry

The owners of Lomond Quarry are to end their eight-month boycott of a liaison committee designed to ease tensions between the company and residents.

Skene Group has not attended any of the regular meetings, despite it being a legal requirement to do so as part of its planning consent, since October last year.

The owners of the contentious quarry cited irreversible differences with some of the personnel within the committee and that the role of such meeting had strayed far from its intended objective of communication between all parties.

After a number of requests for the company to end its boycott had failed, Glenrothes councillors in April agreed for Fife Council to take a more robust approach with the move to press for legal action to bring the developer back to the table.

But it is undersood that Skene Group representatives will now attend the next meeting which is scheduled for May 23, following the exclusion of one individual who represents Leslie residents.

But doubts remained over the committee’s ability to ease tensions when Jim Birrell, Fife Council’s senior planning manager revealed that a blast expert requested to attend liaison meetings to help members have a better understanding of the process, whose attendance was agreed by all members in April, 2013, would not now be allowed to attend.

Councillor John Wincott was unhappy that queries would now have to be put in writing.

He added: “Members of the local community have a public need to understand the blasting process in more detail and ask questions.

“To me this seems entirely in keeping with the remit of the committee which is ‘to ensure that the local community has a full understanding of the working practices’.

“Only by being able to listen to, talk to, and question the consultant, can the committee members truly understand the process.

“Let’s just move forwards with that now and allow people to learn more about the blasting, ask questions, and gain reassurance about the process.”

Councillor Kay Morrison, whose ward the quarry is in added that there needs to be “a better understanding of the value of communication”.

Skene Group representatives were unavailable for comment yesterday as the Gazette went to press.