Quarry battle

Quarry battle
Published: 10 December 2003

Lafarge Aggregates is still bidding to set up a super-quarry on the Hebridean island, in what has become Scotland's longest-running planning dispute, dating back to 1991. The company was attempting to overturn a ruling made by the Scottish Executive in 2001 over the quarry in the Western Isles. At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, final submissions were heard from Colin Campbell QC, acting on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage, co-respondents in the case. The judges, Lord President Lord Cullen and Lords Marnoch and Weir, reserved their judgment. Lafarge, the world's largest cement manufacturer, wants a 600-hectare quarry, but in 2001 the executive ruled that it should only be a maximum of five hectares. Lafarge is arguing as part of its case that the now defunct Inverness County Council granted permission in 1965 for quarrying at Lingerbay, which it claims is still valid. But in court, Colin Campbell QC argued: "There is no good reason to suppose that the council had committed itself to quarrying over 600-hectares." A judgment is expected some time in the New Year.