PLANS to put a quarry in a Highland glen which houses a national nature reserve have been branded “ridiculous” by local people.
Glen Creran, near Appin, Argyll and Bute, is home to the Glasdrum Wood National Nature Reserve, which houses otters, badgers, pine martens, bats and rare lichens.
But a planning application has now been put to the council for the development of a quarry allowing for the extraction and processing of sand and gravel at Glasdrum.
Oban based firm A&L McRae plans to extract over 90,000 tonnes of material from the site over six years.
Local people have set up a website opposing the plans.
They say the quarry will destroy the natural beauty of the area, damage tourism, and also pose a danger to walkers.
The website states: “This is Glen Creran in the West Highlands of Scotland. Designated as an area of Panoramic Beauty, surrounded by nature reserves, areas of scientific interest, protected salmon river and marine sea Loch. Home to a vast variety of rare and protected species.
“Argyll is a huge area for Tourism, this underpins many thousands of jobs and local businesses producing large amounts of income every year. Surely we must protect one of our most beautiful Glens.
“Is a Quarry and the profits of one Landowner more important than the tourist industry and conservation?”
Tony Kersley, who lives in Glen Creran, and was one of the founders of the website, said: “This is a tourist destination. We are not talking about some scrubland. It is pristine. It is protected for a reason.
“For the planners to allow a quarry in a designated area of panoramic beauty the applicant has to show a requirement. What is more important? North Argyll depends on tourism. Surely it doesn’t merit the destruction of Glen Creran for a bit of building sand?
“We are surrounded by a nature reserve and areas of scientific interest, the river is protected. Lower Loch Creran is a protected loch.
“The quarry will mean about 2,000 lorry movements down a single track road. There could be accident. The road was never designed for 40 tonne trucks.
“It is ridiculous to consider a quarry in this area, when there another five quarries in the 30 mile radius of this potential one.”
Rob Latimer, of Dalgleish Associates, which is dealing with the planning application for A&L McRae said: “The planning and environmental statement has been prepared following consultation with statutory consultees.
“All aspects of the development have been assessed in detail and the majority of impacts on either the environment or amenity shall be either negligible or slight.
“All of the issues raised by the local and wider community, during the pre-application consultation stage, have been addressed and it has been clearly demonstrated that there will be no significant impacts on Glen Creran or any of the designated sites.”