Quarry plan refused by councillors

'No Quarry' signs can be seen surrounding the site of the proposed quarry at Muirtack
'No Quarry' signs can be seen surrounding the site of the proposed quarry at Muirtack

Proposals for a quarry to the north of Ellon have been refused by Aberdeenshire Councillors.

The plans, submitted by Chap Group, outlined proposals to create a mineral extraction site at Muirtack around six kilometers away from Ellon.

The plans stated that the proposed sand and gravel quarry would have been in operation between eight and 15 years, depending on demand.

Planners initially recommended the plans be approved.

The plans went before both the Formartine and Buchan Area Committees, and the final decision was made by Buchan councillors on Tuesday, May 8.

Prior to the meeting, councillors carried out a site visit.

A proposal to refuse the plan was suggested by Peterhead councillor Alan Fakley.

Fellow councillor Anne Simpson agreed stating: “I have concerns about the number of lorries going back and forth and I think there would be a huge loss of amenities.

“I do have sympathy for the business side as I recognise there is a need for sand and gravel however the impact on the area is not acceptable.”

Councillor Jim Ingram added: “I am glad for the site visit as I have never been on the site before. There is a special feeling in the area, it’s a special place to live and we need to bear that in mind.

“I saw a very large site and the more I think about it, due to the scale and change in landscape I would be happy to support the motion as I consider the site to be prime agricultural ground and we need to protect it.

“Landscaping say this should not erode the character of the area but in my opinion what is proposed will.”

The motion to refuse the quarry plan was backed by all councillors.

Hugh Craigie, Joint MD of Chap Group attended the meeting to address the committee in a bid to gain their support.

Commenting on the decision, he said: “We are naturally disappointed with the decision to refuse the application, particularly given the recommendation by planning officers at Aberdeenshire Council to approve the application.

“We will carefully review the formal decision notice before deciding how to proceed.”