Housebuilders have hit out after being refused permission to use soil from a development to create giant earth mounds, warning that it will lead to 1600 lorry trips to landfill and add to the catastrophic effects of global warming.
East Lothian Council refused planning permission for three bunds to be created around new homes on the outskirts of Macmerry, claiming they would have a negative impact on the surrounding countryside.
However, Balfour Beatty is appealing the decision, insisting the bunds, which will be made up of 15,000 cubic metres of soil removed from the site, will be landscaped and provide people with a new place to walk.
In an appeal to go before the council’s Local Review Body in November, the firm says: “This material would otherwise be deposited in landfill sites away from the site.
“This equates to approximately 1600 lorry loads. Each journey made by these vehicles would produce further considerable greenhouse gas emissions, adversely contributing to the overall effects of global warming.”
The firm has planning permission for 122 houses and 20 flats at land off Macmerry main road at Adniston Farm.
However, the proposal to create the landscaped buffer using the soil was refused by council planners.
They said the bunds would have an adverse impact on the site, take up prime agricultural land and set a precedent for other developers and lead to “the formation of unsightly earth mounds within the East Lothian Countryside”.
Balfour Beatty strongly dispute claims, insisting the bunds will benefit local residents.
The firm added: “The bund will be landscaped to blend with the local landscape and scenery.
“Any landscaping will be carried out to the highest standard and all vegetation proposed will be of a native species found in the local area.
“It should also be noted that a mown grass footpath along the top of the bund can provide a walkway for pedestrians and assist in linking ELC’s green networks if so conditioned.”
By local democracy reporter Marie Sharp