Scottish ministers overturn council's rejection of quarry expansion plan

Ministers granted a planning appeal for Laird Aggregates to expand its quarry on land immediately north of Marlee Quarry, Blairgowrie.

Scottish ministers overturn council’s rejection of quarry expansion plan LDRS

Scottish ministers have been accused of overruling “legitimate local decisions” after overturning a decision by Perth and Kinross councillors.

On October 30, a reporter appointed by the Scottish Ministers granted a planning appeal for Laird Aggregates to expand its quarry on land immediately north of Marlee Quarry, Essendy, Blairgowrie – subject to conditions.

Counciilor Ian James expressed his frustration at the ruling which came after councillors unanimously refused the application which drew 103 objections.

On Wednesday, November 13 Perth and Kinross Council’s (PKC) Planning and Placemaking Committee met for the first time since the reporter’s controversial decision.

Laird Aggregates Ltd applied to Perth and Kinross Council to expand Marlee Quarry by almost 30 hectares in order to extract 1.1 million tonnes of sand and gravel. The application was unanimously refused by the committee – almost a year ago – on November 23, 2022. The application received 103 objections. Local residents and councillors made their feelings clear to the committee before it made its decision.

The proposal was for quarried material to be hauled from the new extraction area 750 metres north east and across the road from Marlee Quarry and processed at the existing quarry which sits just south of the B947.

Objection reasons included; visual impact, the scale of the development, noise, road safety, loss of agricultural land and the potential adverse impact on neighbouring residents’ lungs from inhaling crystalline silica from the dust.

On October 30, 2023 the reporter announced his intention to allow the appeal and grant planning permission subject to 30 conditions

As this week’s planning meeting drew to a close, councillor Ian James took the opportunity to express his disappointment at the decision. He pointed out local Blairgowrie and Glens councillor Bob Brawn had moved for refusal and he had seconded with the rest of the committee in agreement.

He said: “The recorders overturned it despite the three local councillors objecting, our committee objecting [refusing] and a huge public outcry. And it’s not the first time.

“This is two quite large applications which have a huge impact on residents and they lose the local input and local knowledge which I think is very very key to any decision. I just wanted to register my disappointment at legitimate local decisions being overturned by the recorder.”

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