‘Tank-gun’ blast gives residents a scare

The entrance to Lomond Quarry, near Leslie, Fife
The entrance to Lomond Quarry, near Leslie, Fife

A QUARRY company has been warned it could be banned from blasting if it breaches noise limits again, reports MIKE DELANEY.

Skene Group has been rebuked by council watchdogs after an explosion at Lomond Quarry was deemed “unacceptable”.

One witness compared the noise to that made by a tank gun and said it had been “quite frightening”.

Glenrothes-based Skene had carried out the blasts to get at deposits of sand and gravel at the quarry and had asked the council for permission to do so.

But because the existing quarry consent has no blasting conditions, the company agreed to carry it out in line with an agreement struck for an extension.

But council planner, James Wilson, said: “The blast was over the limit set out in the approved blasting scheme, on which basis written approval of the blasting was given.

“I am contacting Skene to state that blast level was unacceptable and if a further blast exceeds the set limit, council will consider that approval for blasting has been revoked and shall look to using enforcement powers if necessary.”

Ian Donnachie, who lives in nearby Leslie, said the blast was so large he thought a vehicle had run into his garden wall.

“It reminded me of the blast when I fired the main gun on a Centurion tank - quite frightening if you are not aware it is going to happen,” he added.

He said residents should have been notified of blasting, by either the firm or the council.

Mr Wilson added: “With regard to notification to neighbours, the council has recommended this course of action to be taken by Skene, but does not have powers to force them to do so.”

“Sadly, the council does not have the resources to notify all possible affected neighbours of blasts.”