Kilmartin quarry plans will go to hearing

Councillor Sandy Taylor

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Plans for an extension to a quarry near Kilmartin will go to a public hearing, councillors have decided.

Members of Argyll and Bute Council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee had been asked by council officers to approve the plans for Kilmartin Quarry, subject to a public hearing.

At a virtual meeting of the committee on April 21, Councillor Sandy Taylor asked his colleagues to endorse the officials’ recommendation for a hearing.

That hearing is also set to take place on a virtual basis due to restrictions on gatherings as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Councillors also determined during the meeting, however, that they will not hold a site visit in advance.

Councillor Taylor said: ‘This is the second time I have been involved in an application of planning consent for the quarry. The community was concerned about noise levels the first time. Since then the plant has been upgraded and substantial noise issues have arisen.

‘At the moment, because of Covid, the council has been unable to confirm that the planning condition relating to noise has been satisfied.

‘This is quite a unique set of circumstances. I am particularly keen that residents have the chance to express their concerns and hear from our officers. This is so that they can better understand the constraints and form the basis of any discussions going forward. I would certainly support the decision to have a hearing.’

Oban councillor Roddy McCuish asked: ‘What is the difference between this and previous approvals? Is it just the fact it is getting bigger or that there are more objections?’

Planning officer David Love replied: ‘Essentially the difference in this proposal is simply materials coming from a different area. One area of the site was an extraction area and the application is for a new one. All elements remain the same as members previously approved.’

The committee unanimously agreed to hold the hearing, without a site visit.