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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Court hears Lingerabay was given the 'green light' last year

During last month's judicial review into Lafarge Redland Aggregates' application to develop a superquarry at Lingerabay in Scotland's remote Western Isles, it was revealed to the Court of Session in Edinburgh that the report of the Public Inquiry into the matter had recommended that planning permission for the quarry 'should' be given.

The Court was told that, after considering the evidence for four years, Gillian Pain, the Reporter who chaired the nine-month Lingerabay Public Inquiry in 1995, had last year recommended that planning consent for the quarry should be granted, as she judged that the economic benefits of the proposal would offset any possible environmental harm. 

Lafarge argue that the Scottish Executive, which has been considering the report since April 1999, is in breach of its statutory duty by failing to determine the planning application on the basis of Miss Pain's recommendations. The company are therefore seeking an order that will compel the Scottish Executive to make a decision, based on the report, within 21 days.

Commenting on the findings of the judicial review, John Leivers, Lafarge Redland Aggregates' director of lands and planning, said: 'We are naturally delighted to know at last that all of our efforts during the application and Inquiry stage have been vindicated, and we were pleased to learn in open Court that Miss Pain has given our application such a resounding seal of approval.

'I am particularly pleased for all our supporters on the Isle of Harris and would like to thank them for all the encouragement they have given us over the years.

'Obviously, we have still to get a decision on our application from the Scottish Executive and we hope now that Scottish Environment Minister Sarah Boyack will fully accept Miss Pain's recommendations and provide us with the necessary planning permission so we can proceed to the next stage of the development as quickly as possible.'



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