UPDATE 19th March 2021
The news is not good.
Here is the decision on the access track* made by David Liddell, a Reporter appointed by the Scottish Ministers. Remember that the ROMP has already granted permission to quarry, the hold-up has been the access track since Patersons cannot use the current quarry entrance on the SW side of the hill.
“I allow the appeal and grant planning permission subject
to the 16 conditions listed at the end of the decision notice.”
This decision pending the 16 conditions (and any loose threads from the ROMP) effectively gives Patersons the green light to proceed.
Our challenge now is to make sure all of the conditions are met ...
*(Creation Of A New Access Track From Polmaise Road To The South Eastern Corner Of Murrayshall Quarry, Settlement Ponds Along The Line Of The New Access Track, Soil Bunds, A Public Car Park And A Segregated Woodland Footpath Running Parallel To Polmaise Road)
THE 16 CONDITIONS:
1. Timing of provision of pedestrian path, woodland path and car park: The car park and segregated footpaths (as identified on drawings MG456/ACC/F/06; MG456/ACC/F/06(i); MG456/ACC/F/06(ii) and MG456/ACC/F/09) shall be available for use prior to the hereby approved access track being operational. Reason: To ensure that an alternative route is available to pedestrians at an appropriate phase within the development.
2. Woodland path details: Prior to the formation of the woodland path, full details of the path (including sections and details of materials) shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. Such details should aim to facilitate use of the path by a range of non-motorised users. Prior to the hereby approved access track being operational, the woodland path shall be fully constructed in accordance with the approved details. Reason: To ensure that the makeup of the path and the materials used are appropriate.
3. Timing of site clearance: Unless otherwise agreed in writing with the planning authority, tree felling and other site clearing operations shall only take place between the beginning of September and the end of February. Reason: To avoid impacts on breeding birds
4. Protected species surveys: No earlier than six months prior to the commencement of development, updated protected species surveys for the development shall be carried out and submitted to the planning authority for written approval. Development shall not be carried out other than in accordance with any mitigation measures recommended in the approved surveys. Reason: In the interests of protected species, to ensure development proceeds only in accordance with up to date information on the presence of protected species.
5. Compensatory Tree Planting: Compensatory planting, in accordance with Acorna Ecology Ltd’s ‘Phase II Tree Report: Proposed Woodland Management for Proposed Access for Murrayshall Quarry’ (Nov, 2019) shall take place within the area identified on the submitted Planting Area Plan (drawing number MG456/ACC/F/08). This compensatory planting shall take place in full within the first planting season following tree removal at the commencement of development. Prior to the commencement of development, a scheme for the subsequent management and maintenance of the area of compensatory planting shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. Management of the area of compensatory woodland planting shall be undertaken in accordance with theapproved details. PPA-390-2072 Planning and Environmental Appeals Division Hadrian House, Callendar Business Park, Falkirk, FK1 1XR www.gov.scot/policies/planning-environmental-appeals/ abcdefghij abcde abc a 19 Reason: To ensure that the compensatory woodland planting results in a new area of woodland sufficient to compensate for the effects of the loss of woodland resulting from the hereby approved development.
6. Protection of retained trees: Prior to the commencement of development, a Tree Protection Plan shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. The Tree Protection Plan shall be undertaken in accordance with the standard set out in BS 5837:2012 (Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations). The agreed measures in the Tree Protection Plan shall then be in place during the construction phase of the development. Reason: To ensure that the impact of the development on retained trees is minimised in the interests of landscape and biodiversity.
7. Staged programme of archaeological works: No works shall take place within the development site until the developer has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological works in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. Thereafter the developer shall ensure that the programme of archaeological works is fully implemented and that all approved recording and recovery of archaeological resources within the development site is undertaken. Reason: To safeguard and record the archaeological potential of the area.
8. Reversibility: Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the planning authority, the proposed section of the hereby approved access track from The Kennels to the quarry may remain operational for quarry traffic whilst the quarry is operational, after which time the soils stored adjacent to the track shall be used to restore the track and adjacent SuDS ponds to original ground level. Unless otherwise agreed by the planning authority, restoration of this section of the track shall be fully complete no later than six months after final restoration of the quarry. Reason: To ensure that adverse landscape, visual and other effects of the development can be reversed after the access track is no longer used by quarry traffic.
9. Dust suppression: The suppression of dust from vehicular use of the hereby approved access track shall be in accordance with a detailed scheme for dust suppression submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority prior to the commencement of development. Reason: To minimise the potential for dust emission.
10. Access track construction: Prior to the hereby approved access track being operational, the construction of the track and its junction with Polmaise Road shall be completed in full, in accordance with the drawings listed in the schedule to this decision. This shall also include warning lines on Polmaise Road across the new junction, in accordance with the Stage 2 Road Safety Audit. PPA-390-2072 Planning and Environmental Appeals Division Hadrian House, Callendar Business Park, Falkirk, FK1 1XR www.gov.scot/policies/planning-environmental-appeals/ abcdefghij abcde abc a 20 Reason: To ensure that quarry traffic cannot use the new access track and junction before it has been constructed to a suitable standard to safeguard highway and pedestrian safety.
11. Access track hard surfacing: Prior to the hereby approved access track being operational, it shall be hard surfaced for the portion of the route within 200 metres of Polmaise Lodge. Reason: To make it easier to keep the access route clean and minimise the potential for any re-suspension of surface material all in the interests of maintaining appropriate air quality levels.
12. Advance warning signage: The hereby approved access track shall not be brought into use prior to the installation of advance warning signage on Polmaise Road, south west of the proposed access junction. The specifications of the signage, including exact location, shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the planning authority prior to the commencement of development. This signage shall be in addition to the signage proposed on Systra Drawing SCT3874/P/GL/02. Reason: To warn drivers of turning site traffic.
13. User priority on the access track: Prior to the hereby approved access track being operational, the following measures shall be put in place to ensure that the priority of users is established: a) Clear visibility splays of a minimum of 33 metres shall be provided and maintained, at a distance of 2 metres from the edges of the access track, at the three path crossing points indicated on Johnston Poole and Bloomer drawing MG456/ACC/F/09; these are: The Kennels path link crossing; Core Path 9078Cb/24 crossing; and the crossing immediately to the east of the car park access junction. b) Details of a scheme aimed at ensuring vehicle speeds on the proposed track will be 20mph or less shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. Operation of the track shall be in accordance with that scheme. c) Warning signs shall be erected on the access track to advise vehicle drivers they are approaching the Core Path 9078Cb/24 crossing and The Kennels path link crossing which may be used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. This shall be in accordance with details which shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. d) Warning signs shall be erected on Core Path 9078Cb/24 and The Kennels path link to advise path users that they are approaching a crossing of a quarry access track trafficked by HGVs. This shall be in accordance with details which shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. e) A post and rail fence (or other similar feature as may be agreed beforehand in writing by the planning authority) shall be installed on the section of ‘segregated path’, as indicated on Johnston Poole and Bloomer drawing Planning and Environmental Appeals Division Hadrian House, Callendar Business Park, Falkirk, FK1 1XR www.gov.scot/policies/planning-environmental-appeals/ abcdefghij abcde abc a 21 Rev B, which runs adjacent to the access track to physically segregate the path from the access track. Reason: To ensure sufficient and adequate measures are in place to prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians using the path over Heavy Goods Vehicles, and other motorised vehicles, using the access track and to ensure the safety of path users is maintained.
14. Improvements to Polmaise Road: Prior to the hereby approved access track being operational, infrastructure improvements along Polmaise Road in accordance with the scheme of measures prepared by SYSTRA and detailed within its report Reference AG-105885 Version 4 dated 4 May 2018 (or such other amended improvements as the planning authority may agree in writing beforehand) shall be implemented in full. Reason: To ensure that the effects on amenity and highway safety at Polmaise Road from quarry traffic using the proposed development can be reduced.
15. Construction method details. Prior to the commencement of development further details of construction methods shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. This shall include: a) The phasing and expected timing of construction demonstrating how the duration of noise and other construction effects at nearby sensitive receptors is to be minimised. b) The phasing and detailed drawings and sections for the subsequent works to lower the access track to tie in with future lowering of the quarry floor. c) The means of controlling effects on the water environment during the construction process. Construction shall proceed in accordance with the approved details. Reason: To ensure that detailed construction methods minimise effects on the environment.
16. Landscaping. Prior to the commencement of development a scheme for landscape planting and subsequent management and maintenance for the development shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. Landscape planting, management and maintenance shall be fully undertaken in accordance with the approved details. Reason: To ensure that landscaping of the site is undertaken in the interests of amenity and the natural heritage.
re-applied to operate the quarry
No doubt you are all aware that Patersons have re-applied to operate the quarry and their revised submission is now subject to a Review Of Mineral Planning (ROMP) by Stirling Council. The ROMP has been ongoing for several months now and during this period we have submitted a new petition and several letters to Planning furthering our argument. We have also had two meetings with Planning again to discuss the negative impact reactivating the quarry will cause to our environment and social well being.
In conjunction with this we have also had several discussions, and editorials, with the Stirling Observer highlighting our case.
Various letters have been sent to the Stirling Council the latest being as follows:
Attention: Jane Brooks-Burnett-Senior Planning Manager
April 29, 2019
I have been reflecting on the harmful effects that quarrying will cause to the environment and wildlife of the woodlands around Cambusbarron, all of which were highlighted in our EIA, and I now respectfully question how quarrying can meet or mitigate all the requirements of The Wildlife and Country Act 1981 (as amended) re birds, as all wild birds in the UK are protected in various ways throughout the year.
Scottish Natural Heritage detail the matters which would be in breach of the law, damage, destruction, interference or disturbance of fauna (which is in abundance and covers a multitude of birds and animals), plants and fungi, amphibians and reptiles in the woodlands which would be destroyed by quarrying.
I would like to know how blasting and the destruction of woodland does not detrimentally affect any of the foregoing at various times throughout the year and fly in the face of the raft of new polices since planning was given in the eighties.
Scotland has only 18% of our land area covered in trees compared to our European neighbours who have around 36%. The Scottish Government’s’ ambition is to increase Scotland’s woodland cover from the current 18% to 21% by 2032 so again no benefit to our Government in their aims if quarrying goes ahead as we will lose in excess of 60 acres of woodland.
The Scottish Government’s’ policy only supports woodland removal where it would achieve significant and clearly defined public benefits. I think we can safely say that the residents in Cambusbarron, Torbrex, St Ninians or Kings Park will see no benefits whatsoever, in fact only harm.
Quarrying whilst necessary, I respectfully suggest should now only be permissible where it has the least impact to life in all its forms.
Iain Munro – Chair & Treasurer
Save Gillies Hill
November 13, 2019 GILLIES HILL UPDATE
We have been informed by Jane Brooks Burnett (Senior Planning Officer, Stirling Council) that it’s likely that no decision on the access track planning application or the ROMP (Review of Old Mineral Permissions) will be made until early 2020.
The access track planning application is for a new access to the quarry from Polmaise Road up the old Hanson’s Folly track (the current 2002 ROMP conditions only allow for a single access to the quarry site).
September 8,2019 - RED SQUIRRELS
To all of you who hike the hill, please considered reporting any sightings of red squirrels you see on Gillies Hill or in the area to this site: https://scottishsquirrels.org.uk/squirrel-sightings/?fbclid=IwAR16rTZlQasAtLhdXBkDwRRTONppJNODCO18bSUQE-N7v3ZOpf7qVf5sxZc
August 13, 2019 – SEVEN SISTERS FIELD
Seven Sisters Field Development - latest word from the Cambusbarron Community Council
Comments to Planning@stirling.gov.uk or Teith House, Kerse Road, Stirling.
You must use/include the words:-
“I OBJECT TO THIS DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE…” in any objection otherwise it will be regarded as a neutral statement and not an objection.
Further information from email@example.com
Cambusbarron Community Council - https://www.facebook.com/Cambusbarron-Community-Council-216254702468722/?ref=br_rs
AUGUST 26, 2019 – CCDT ACQUISITION
GOOD NEWS! The Cambusbarron Community Development Trust has officially purchased 64 hectares of Gillies Hill.
Cambusbarron Community Development Trust is proud to announce that on Tuesday the 20th August we finally completed the purchase of 64 hectares of Gillies Hill, on behalf of the local community. This will allow the community to have an active role in protecting, managing and developing the Hill.
We are very grateful to everyone who has given their money, time and support. Funding from the Scottish Land Fund, Cambusbarron Community Fund, together with a substantial donation from FES Ltd and our Crowdfunding campaign, has made this possible.
Following a negotiation period which started in 2013, our 64 hectares on the north-east side of the hill includes the ruins of Polmaise Castle, the curling ponds, the walled garden and the Dark Woods.
We now look forward to protecting and managing the woodland and we welcome people with relevant skills or an interest in being involved, from the community and beyond, to step forward to support the entirely volunteer led project.