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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 01:19 GMT
Quarrying plans suffer legal blow
Gillies Hill, Cambusbarron
Locals believe the landscape would be ruined by the work
Campaigners fighting to prevent quarrying on a historic site have hailed a legal ruling which calls on environmental tests to be carried out.

Stirling Council sought the advice of Queen's Counsel after companies Tarmac and Hanson Aggregates hinted a dormant quarry could be re-activated.

Gillies Hill in Cambusbarron was last quarried in the early 1990s.

Locals said the site, which played a part in the Battle of Bannockburn, is also home to endangered animals.

Planning permission to quarry the hill was granted in 1982 before the environmental impact of such activities was considered as a matter of the planning process.

We have not hidden the fact that we intend not to quarry the site for both commercial and environmental reasons
Hanson Aggregates

Campaigners had argued that the historic and environmental sensitivities of the site meant an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was needed if quarrying was to resume.

During a meeting of councillors, and after seeking advice from a QC, it was agreed that such an assessment was vital if any quarrying activity was to take place.

In response to the news, Peter Paterson from the Save Gillies Hill group, said the council's decision to seek an EIA was an "emphatic vindication" of the campaigners' stance.

Future work

He added: "There's still a long way to go. The whole business of now getting this EIA done is a complex one, but definitely do-able, and we now need to focus on what we think that assessment should, in fact, assess."

A spokesman for Hanson Aggregates, which leases the site, said the company was aware of the sensitivities associated with the land and said there was no plans to quarry there.

He added: "We have not hidden the fact that we intend not to quarry the site for both commercial and environmental reasons.

"We are aware of the strength of feeling of local people and also the difficulties of re-opening the site."

The decision means that an EIA will have to be carried out before quarrying resumes.

The assessment, which can cost up to 100,000 to compile, would look at the ecological impact of future work and be paid for by the site owners.

SEE ALSO
Advice sought over quarry plans
04 Oct 07 |  Tayside and Central
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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