Controversial quarry plan refused

Controversial plans for a quarry “the size of 12 football pitches” just outside Newmachar have been refused.

Councillors have knocked back plans for the quarry outside Newmachar.
Councillors have knocked back plans for the quarry outside Newmachar.

Councillors of the Formartine area committee met last week to discuss the development.

JKR Contractors Ltd had hoped to create the nine hectare quarry at Beauty Hill.

They had said that the site at Rainnieshill would provide up to 500,000 tonnes of “high-quality” hard rock over 13 years.

The application previously went before the Garioch area committee in April and members recommended it be refused.

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They said the application would have a “significant and detrimental” impact on the surrounding landscape and neighbouring properties.

But council planners had recommended the development be given the go-ahead.

Formartine councillors previously considered the application back in June but agreed to visit the site before making a final decision.

At the meeting councillor Derek Ritchie moved a motion to refuse the application.

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He told his fellow members that he went to the site visit with an “open mind” but said he still had concerns about dust, noise and transport.

He also said the application’s disadvantages “outweighed the advantages” and asked for the plan to be refused as per the refusal made by the Garioch area committee.

Councillor Andrew Hassan seconded the motion: “I don’t believe this meets policies or our Local Development Plan and I move that we refuse in line with what the Garioch councillors offered us.

“There’s going to be a significant and demonstratable adverse impact on the landscape given the prominence of the site and I would agree that’s the case.

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“They said there’s going to be an unacceptable detrimental adverse impact on the amentiy of the neighbouring properties, given the proximity to the access of the site and I would agree with that.

“And the principles have not been established given the limited information about the current reserves.”

The committee unanimously agreed to refuse the application.

Plans for the quarry were first formed in 2019 and it has faced opposition from a large number of local residents since.

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A petition against the quarry gathered 743 signatures while 189 people wrote to the council to object to the plan.

But the development also received 135 letters of support.

Those backing the plan said it would support local businesses and provide a boost to the area’s economic recovery.

However objectors raised concerns that the quarry would lead to an increase in noise and dust, create road safety issues and impact on the landscape.