South Slipperfield.South Slipperfield.
South Slipperfield.

West Linton sand quarry plans submitted after safety concerns were raised

There is no risk of a major gas blast if a proposed quarry site in West Linton gets the green light, the applicant has assured the public.

West Lothian-based Stonepack Ltd, a company which provides the construction industry with sand and gravel, aims to extract 1.4 million tonnes of materials from a site at South Slipperfield over the course of 14 years.

The application area lies between Pentland Hills to the north and west and Wether Law to the south-east, with the nearest property to it being Slipperfield House, located 90 metres to the east.

In its application to Scottish Borders Council, the company says that following excavation work the site would be reinstated to grazing land and woodland.

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

The development will generate around 42 vehicle movements a day and the applicant says quarrying works will not significantly increase traffic volumes along the A702.

Slipperfield South was part of two bids for quarrying in the early 1990s, both refused due to perceived adverse impacts on the landscape.

Concern had been raised that the current proposed site runs across pipelines carrying ethylene, a highly flammable gas.

The fear is that any crack in the pipelines could release ethylene into the environment and pose a threat to life.

It’s a concern addressed by Dunblane-based Dalgleish Associates, planning agent for Stonepack, in a report submitted with the latest bid.

It says: “It is likely that the quarry will require two crossing points over the pipeline. As the crossing points will be utilised by HGVs carrying aggregates, the design of the crossing points will have to be agreed in advance with the chemical company Ineos, owners of the pipeline. We consider appropriate consideration has been given to the pipeline and that it has been reasonably demonstrated that the integrity of the pipeline will be maintained at all times an that there will be no risk of a major accident relating to this hazard. The current proposal considers and addresses the issues raised in relation to the previous applications and the design provides appropriate mitigation which ensures the impacts are not significant.”