HOPES for the creation of a new quarry close to a Peeblesshire village could be crushed by a planning committee next week.

West Lothian-based Stonepack Ltd, a company which provides the construction industry with sand and gravel, is seeking planning approval from Scottish Borders Council for a quarry on land west of Slipperfield House at Slipperfield Loch in West Linton.

The aim is to extract sand and gravel for the building trade over a 14-year period, with a further 18 months for the completion of works to reinstate the site for grazing and woodland.

In total 1.4 million tonnes would be extracted over the quarrying period with 50,000 tonnes per annum taken to the applicant’s processing plant in West Lothian and 50,000 tonnes distributed to the Edinburgh and Borders’ markets.

The applicant has stated the proposal would create employment for five people on site and maintain the jobs of employees at Stonepack’s Broxburn plant.

The company says the development would generate 42 vehicle movements a day but not “significantly increase” traffic volumes along the A702.

A group of concerned villagers formed the South Slipperfield Quarry Action Group to highlight what they believe are the negative impacts, including safety risks, of the proposed quarry.

They fear the “highly visible and audible development” would ruin a unique landscape, which is located in the Pentland Hills Special Landscape Area (SLA) and have raised concerns that the quarry presents a safety risk because of its proximity to the Ineos ethylene pipeline.

The group has received support from a number of groups and individuals, including MSP Christine Grahame and MP David Mundell.

And when members of the council’s planning and building standards committee meet on Monday, August 1, principal planning officer Craig Miller will recommend that the quarry bid is refused.

In a report with his recommendation, Mr Miller says: “The application is considered to be in contravention of national objectives and Local Development Plan policies on securing additional reserves and extraction of minerals, whilst ensuring that the environmental impacts are either acceptable with mitigation and/or outweighed by the demonstration of significant public benefit.

“The visual and landscape impacts within the Pentland Hills SLA on local landscape character will be significantly adverse and incapable of being overcome through mitigation.”