Early hours extension at quarry gets the green light

Cowieslinn Quarry.Cowieslinn Quarry.
Cowieslinn Quarry.
Quarry will operate until 1am v.1

A quarry has been given the green light to operate into the early hours in a bid to meet ambitious road improvement targets in the Borders.

Asphalt – used for constructing and maintaining roads and pavements – is produced at Cowieslinn Quarry, located around 10km to the north of Peebles.

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Leicestershire-based quarry operator Breedon Trading Ltd. submitted an application to Scottish Borders Council to permit late night-time operation at the site up to 50 nights a year in order to satisfy the region’s demand for the product, particularly the need to provide hot asphalt for late-night roadworks.

The applicant had originally applied to operate throughout the night but the bid was later amended.

The quarry, which was established in the 1950s, currently operates from 7am to 8pm Mondays to Fridays and from 7am to noon on both Saturdays and Sundays.

But when members of the council’s Planning and Building Standards Committee met on Monday, March 27, they agreed that work could continue on the asphalt plant from 8pm to 1am.

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Additionally, permission was granted for vehicle dispatches at the plant from 6pm to 1am.

The applicant argued the extension was needed to provide the asphalt to facilitate ambitious road improvements across the Borders.

It was also felt that traffic movements at night would result in less disruption to the road network.

There were seven objections to the application, including concern over road safety due to additional traffic using the access onto the A703 and the impact of noise, dust and light during the night.

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Mid-Berwickshire’s Councillor Donald Moffat said: “It’s a bit like farmers doing their harvesting at night time, especially when it was really hot last year, so they didn’t have fires.

“So the applicants know what they need to do and I actually think doing road works at night has a great advantage in not disrupting traffic and it cuts back on pollution from people sitting in queues. So I think this is a win-win.”

Tweeddale East’s Councillor Marshall Douglas said: “I’m pleased that the original application has been amended to reduce the hours for a 1am finish rather than going through the night.”

In a report recommending approval of the bid,  Ian Aikman, the council’s chief planning and housing officer, says: “The applicant contends that night-time operation has become necessary due to the ambitious road improvement schedule intended within the Borders and the need to carry out such road improvements at night when traffic disruption is less.

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“There is a lack of local choice for such asphalt and there is a need, in the applicant’s view, to have the ability to supply hot asphalt for local works during night-time hours.

“The proposal to allow night-time operation of, and vehicular access to/from the asphalt plant, has now been demonstrated to have no unacceptable adverse impacts on nearby housing.”