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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 00:18 GMT 01:18 UK
Advice sought over quarry plans
Gillies Hill, Cambusbarron
Locals believe the landscape would be ruined by the work
Stirling Council is to seek legal advice over plans to resume quarrying on a historic piece of land.

Permission to quarry the area at Gillies Hill in Cambusbarron was secured by contractors in 1982.

Two companies now want to start work again after a 10-year lull but concerns have been raised by locals.

They argue that the site, which played a significant part in the Battle of Bannockburn and is home to endangered animals, would be damaged by the work.

The local authority is now reviewing the terms of the original planning consent.

Tarmac and Hanson Aggregates, now owned by Germany's Heidelberg Cement, put forward proposals to resume quarrying work on the site earlier this year.

The news prompted local residents to set up the Save Gillies Hill Campaign group, which has vociferously lobbied for consent for future quarrying to be revoked.

'Important matter'

Stirling Council has previously argued that the original decision to grant planning permission could not be reversed.

However, during the summer the local authority carried out a review of the planning consent and in particular whether adequate environmental assessments were done in previous years into the impact of future quarrying activity.

Campaigners have argued that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should have been done but was not.

In response to the call, the local authority has now decided to seek legal advice on the matter.

A spokeswoman for Stirling Council said: "The review has raised a number of complex issues that will be difficult to resolve, including the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment.

"In view of the importance of this matter, it is considered that counsel's opinion is now sought on the issue of whether an EIA is required and what options are available."

Campaigners hope if it is found an EIA should have been done, it may help prevent future quarrying activity on the site.

Minister joins fight to save hill
19 Jun 07 |  Tayside and Central
Historic hill at centre of battle
19 Jun 07 |  Tayside and Central

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