(UK) -- CEMEX UK Operations has claimed it has ‘no immediate plans’ to re-open the Glendevon Quarry at Glenquey.
The company’s position arrives in the face of growing opposition to its recent planning application to Perth and Kinross Council concerning the site.
The company lodged the application with the local authority which, if approved, could result in the extraction of sand and gravel until 2035 in Glenquey, an area popular with walkers and tourists.
Opponents to the development include the Friends of the Ochils, who claim the quarry would seriously damage the landscape, as well as flora and fauna.
Campaigners have also expressed concern over road safety on the “extremely dangerous” A823 through Glen Devon.
In a statement to the Herald, a spokesperson for CEMEX UK said: “CEMEX UK Operations have applied to renew the existing consent for extraction of sand and gravel in Glendevon Quarry at Glenquey.
“The site was last worked in 1991 and the company has since worked reserves elsewhere, but Glenquey remains a future source of vital building materials for local construction, including housing, schools, hospitals and infrastructure in Central Scotland. The quarry is also included in the council landbank.
“This application will help safeguard long term local material supplies.
“While we have no immediate plans to re-open the site, the extension of planning consent at Glendevon would enable us to work the minerals once our other nearby quarries are exhausted and restored.
“Public consultation carried out during 2010 confirmed that there are opportunities to improve public access.
“The recent submission therefore includes a carefully devised restoration scheme which will in time enhance the footpath network. The scheme was created with input from surrounding landowners including Scottish Water and the Woodland Trust.
“The site is to be progressively restored and extraction will be preceded by significant tree planting across the site. The application to renew the consent to extract is supported by a full Environmental Impact Assessment prepared by independent technical specialists.
“A second application for an improved access road with a designated pedestrian walkway has also been submitted.”
Friends of the Ochils chairman Stuart Dean said: “The Ochils are a vital recreational resource for the people of Central Scotland.
“The Glendevon area is visited by thousands each year. New paths have been created through the local hills thanks to the efforts of Woodland Trust Scotland and more and more people are coming to the area to enjoy the countryside.
“More than 9000 people a year walk the popular right of way between Dollar and Glendevon and that route would go right past the quarry site.”
Friends of the Ochils recently held a public meeting in Muckhart Hall which was attended by more than 70 Muckhart and Glendevon area residents.
Auchterarder, Dollar, Muckhart and Fossoway community councils and the Muckhart and Glendevon Amenity Society are also understood to have objected to the plans.
Local resident Paul Evans, who lives on the A823 near the quarry site, said: “We would experience a major increase in HGVs along the A823. The danger to other road users would increase hugely.”
Fellow resident Malcolm Best added: “An industrial quarry in the heart of the hills would shatter the peace and tranquillity of the area. The sound of birdsong and the bleating of sheep would be replaced by the noise of industrial machinery and heavy lorries.”
Mr Dean called on PKC to acknowledge changed attitudes towards the preservation of great scenic beauty since 1984’s licence granting.
“They must reject this insidious application and instead start considering how best to protect this beautiful part of the Ochils for future generations,” he said.
PKC’s target date for determining the application is April 19, with submissions to be made by February 16.