Plans have been submitted to extend operations at a controversial quarry in Fife until 2040.
A full planning application has been lodged with Fife Council to extend the extraction of dolerite rock at Lomond Quarry, on the outskirts of Leslie.
Owners, Skene Group Ltd, which has operated at the site since 1981, already have a licence to extract sand and gravel and in 2009 were granted permission to blast for dolerite rock until 2032.
The company is now seeking to extend that by a further eight years.
The company has faced opposition over much of the past decade from many residents living close to the site, over concerns about the long-term effects of blasting at the quarry to resident’s homes.
Fife Council ordered an independent review into all aspects of operations at Lomond Quarry in 2013 following a campaign waged by residents which resulted in new operating conditions and blast monitoring at the site.
Now, following a consultation in 2020, the firm has revealed detailed proposals to extend blasting into agricultural land north-east of the site, further away from residents’ homes, which would reduce disruption to the village.
Long-term plans detail how the firm also plan to restore existing area of the quarry, introducing landscaping, a grassland and the eventual flooding of the quarry bed to create a new reservoir.
The proposal, if approved, would create 15 new jobs at the site as well as safeguard the future for 130 existing employees.
The operators also outline plans that would end blasting in areas of the closest to the village limiting operations at the southern area of the quarry to the extraction of sand and gravel only.
In its environmental impact assessment the company said its application for an extension to operations was to “reduce potential negative impacts on residents and mitigate the impacts of operations” on the village as a whole.
Skene Group also indicated indicated in its planning statement that noise and vibration tests performed at a number of locations along the northern edge of Leslie concluded that the works at the extension should not be disruptive, nor cause “cosmetic damage” to surrounding homes.
John Wincott, a member of the Lomond Quarry Liaison Committee and chairman of Leslie Community Council, said the community council would scrutinise the proposals in full before submitting its submission as part of the planning process.
He added: “As with all cases the devil is in the detail and we are studying the application fully.
“Moving operations away from the town may be seen by some as a good thing however the request to extend permission by a further eight years may somewhat dampen the potential gain for others.”