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August 26, 2009

Call for help from Ladybank

In the last Briefing we profiled a community in the Upper Clyde River area who were trying to fight plans for a major quarrying operation in their area.  This prompted another community to get in touch, from Ladybank in Fife,  who have a similar fight on their hands. They wondered whether any other communities have had experience of this and if so, did they have any advice to offer

In a recent LPL Briefing we were interested to read about a community affected by quarrying proposals and their plans activities to protect adjacent communities from the environmental impact of these developments.

Ladybank is within the centre of an extensive quarrying area in North East Fife with over 800,000 tonnes of minerals excavated and transported and nearly 100,000 tonnes of waste imported to a landfill site, all within 2km of the village.

Our Trust was set up to bring benefit to the community which has been blighted by this ongoing industrial activity. However we now find that we are being confronted by a new planning application for the extraction of a further 1M tonnes of minerals and a very recent application by the landfill operators, Fife Council, to discharge effluent into local water courses.
The mineral application entails clear felling over 50 acres of Forestry Commission plantation which is a red squirrel habitat, extracting the gravel over five to six years, then re-planting trees at a far lower ground level than now.  Adjacent to this proposed site, Fife Council plan to
construct a leachate plant to extract run off water from the landfill and pipe this to an adjacent burn for discharge.

The community are perturbed by the large volumes of visible surface water arising from these gravel workings and the potential environmental  dangers which may be created were these new planning applications to be approved.

The local community have requested the Trust explore all possible means of ensuring that the community’s best interests are protected and that the community’s voice is heard. If any other communities have experience of being faced with these circumstances I would be very grateful to hear from them.

Ladybank Development Trust