Public enquiry into Overburns Farm begins

MEMBERS of the audience booed the first witness giving evidence for Patersons as the public enquiry into the proposed sand and gravel quarry at Overburns Farm got underway on Monday.

Over the next week, at Thankerton Village Hall, Scottish Government Reporter David Buylla will hear evidence and submissions from the proposed developers Patersons of Greenoakhill, South Lanarkshire Council – which has rejected the application on two separate occasions – and local pressure group the Clyde River Action Group (CRAG).

The first day of evidence was taken up entirely by the testimony of landscape architect Jeremy Smith, from SLR, on behalf of Patersons.

Mr Smith spoke at length about his findings and opinions on the impact during and after excavation, if it goes ahead.

Mr Smith said: “While the proposed development would result in some significant landscape and visual impacts, adverse effects are localised and temporary.

“The majority of landscape and visual effects would be neutral in matter; the impact on landscape fabric would be beneficial.”

Cross-examining, Crispin Agnew QC, representing South Lanarkshire Council, asked Mr Smith if he had carried out an assessment on what would happen if the River Clyde broke through the proposed development as it would be on a flood plain.

Mr Smith said that would mean he was dealing with potential effects – this led to many members of the public booing Mr Smith.

He then continued: “How can I second-guess what is going to happen?”

For more on this story pick up a copy of the Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.