Investigations of Patersons have thrown up some interesting information on their compliance with environ-mental conditions at their other quarry sites, and we hope to cover this in more detail in a future edition.
However, more importantly, we have found out that Patersons operate a large landfill site at Greenoakhill in North Lanarkshire, and we are concerned that, as part of restoration proposals, they may be intending to use Murrayshall Quarry for landfill. Apart from the obvious noise and dust, the increased traffic on Polmaise Road would be unacceptable.
No plans have been submitted to Stirling Council yet, but you can be sure that this is one issue that we will keep our eye on.
Tillicoultry Quarries is now the owner of the west half of Murrayshall Quarry, having bought the land and the mineral rights from Lafarge Tarmac in December 2013.
On the face of it, this might be unimportant, but our view is that it could be crucial to how the Murrayshall Quarry reactivation saga pans out.
In the discussions with Stirling Council over the last few years, Tarmac have been essentially a sleeping partner, never expressing any great desire to reopen their part of the quarry in the near future, and agreeing that before they did, they would carry out a full environmental study.
With the change of ownership, however, it is inconceivable that Tillicoultry Quarries will take a similar stance, and it is certain that they are currently formulating plans to open their part of the quarry.
The big question for us is: Will Tillicoultry Quarries co-operate with Patersons?
There are major financial savings for them operating a joint venture, not having to construct a second access into the quarry being the most obvious one. However, our understanding is that they are independent companies and competitors in a local market for quarry products.
If they do not co-operate then this could lead to problems for Patersons, which only major changes in the planning permission for the site would resolve. What does this mean for our campaign to stop the reactivation of Murrayshall Quarry?
Realistically, it means that we have a harder fight on our hands and our efforts to develop a strong case against quarrying at this site must be increased.
Any help will be welcomed.