A COMPANY looking to open a quarry near West Linton has appealed a Scottish Borders Council (SBC) decision made earlier this year.

In August, members of the Planning and Building Standards Committee upheld the view of council officers and refused the application for the sand and gravel quarry by Stonepack Ltd..

West Lothian-based Stonepack made the application to SBC for land at Slipperfield, near West Linton, in February 2021, and proposed that the quarry would operate for 14 years – a further 18 months would then be spent reinstating the land to be suitable for grazing and woodland.

According to its appeal statement to the Scottish Government Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA), Stonepack said: "This appeal should be allowed and planning permission granted, on the grounds that the Proposed Development would result in a broad range of benefits; demonstrates a high degree of development plan policy compliance and finds substantial support from Scottish Government policy."

Councillor Simon Mountford – executive member for estate management and planning at SBC – told the Peeblesshire News in August that the decision not to support the application was made due to "the unacceptable impact that the proposed development would have on the landscape and the setting of the Roman road".

He added: "Members of the committee were also concerned about the existence of the INEOS ethylene pipeline running through the site.”

Following the refusal of the application in the summer, Archie Hunter, from the Quarries Action Group (QAG) in West Linton, said the decision came as a "great relief" to local campaigners who were against the development at Slipperfield.

In August a spokesperson from Dalgleish Associates Ltd., which represents Stonepack, said they were "disappointed" with SBC's decision to refuse the application.

In its appeal, Stonepack says that there is an "established market demand" for sand and gravel in the Borders and surrounding areas, and that the excavation area of the development has "adequate separation distances from all residential properties and to avoid significant adverse effects on environmental designations".

The appeal, however, notes that there would be slight to moderate landscape and visual impact, but that this would reduce to 'slight' following restoration.

SBC is required to provide a response to the appeal to the DPEA by November 28.