There have been a couple of interesting development over the last few weeks..
The first one was when Stirling Council elected mem- bers unanimously supported a motion from Councillor Steven Paterson - a Cambusbarron man - and sec- onded by Councillor Graham Houston, to ask officials to investigate whether Gillies Hill could have a protect- ed status, possibly a local nature reserve.
Our view is that while this is encouraging, there is no chance that this move will influence decisions on the area of Gillies Hill that still has planning permission for quarrying dating back to 1982, and is also subject to the new planning application from Patersons. Hopefully the move by Council will influence what is done with the land, if and when we are successful with our continuing campaign to fight the planning application..
The second one is an offer to Cambusbarron Com- munity Development Trust (CCDT) from the landowner Drygrange Estate to lease a part of Gillies Hill – OUTWITH THE QUARRY BOUNDARY- for a two year period.
There is also the possibility, certainly not guaranteed, of the community being able to purchase this land after the lease period. CCDT is looking at this offer and considering whether there is enough interest from the community to take on this responsibility, and also what the legal and cost implications would be.
As part of this consultation CCDT is proposing to distribute a small leaflet in the next few weeks outlining the proposal in more detail and asking for an indication on whether this is something you could help with. The offer could not be accepted without a strong commitment from the community on practical help.
Some might say that the offer to lease is a cynical move by the landowner to divert and dilute our attempts to thwart his planning application to quarry at Murrayshall. Whether it is or not, there could be advantages to our community from the lease which we need to investigate with our eyes fully open.
However you can be assured that this offer to lease will have no effect on our continuing efforts to counter the planning application for the quarry.