Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has criticised the Scottish Government’s response to concerned Ratho residents about the proposed extension of Bonnington Mains Quarry.
The proposal includes an expansion of the quarry’s working area to the south-west, and a new materials recycling plant.
Residents say that this would mean quarry workings could take place just 200 meters away from local houses, adding to their concerns about growing noise and air pollution, and increased traffic from the existing site.
Christine wrote to Planning Minister Joe FitzPatrick MSP, asking the Scottish Government to consider restricting the develop of these works near residential areas in its new National Planning Framework.
In his response, Mr FitzPatrick says there are no plans to change the framework, which he says sets out “relevant policy tests” that applications for mineral extraction need to meet, including an “adequate buffer zone” between sites and housing.
But Christine believes this “clearly unsuitable” proposal has not taken these into account.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s letter, she said, “The proposal to expand Bonnington Mains Quarry is clearly unsuitable for the small community it surrounds.
“Many residents have been in touch with me raising concerns about the impact more lorries, more noise and more pollution will have on quiet roads and the surrounding environment.
“Some of them did not even receive a formal notification about the development when the application was lodged, despite living nearby, and they are now incredibly worried their concerns will be completely ignored in the process.
“The Minister doesn’t seem to understand that the planning rules do not go far enough to keep heavy works away from residential areas, despite the “policy tests” and “buffer zone” requirements they are supposed to meet.
“If Mr FitzPatrick thinks 200 meters between your front door and the edge of a quarry is an adequate buffer zone, perhaps he should find a pickaxe and wheelbarrow and move to Ratho – I think he would find his new neighbours don't agree.
"I hope this ludicrous example will prove to the Scottish Government that their current rules simply do not work."