Rigside villagers and MSP savour smell of success

Rigside residents are enjoying the sweet smell of success after the Scottish Government upheld South Lanarkshire Council's refusal of planning permission for a digestate lagoon near Sandilands.

A former stone quarry at Stoneyknowe Farm was being used – legitimately – to store the output of the process of anaerobic digestion of food waste to agricultural fertiliser for the use of the farm, but its use was expanding and the council turned down planning permission needed for a commercial operation.

Upholding that decision, Don Rankin, the reporter appointed to hear John Bailie’s appeal, noted that there had been a large response from nearby Rigside residents unhappy at the strong smell from the operation, and he regarded this as a serious problem.

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“There has been a considerable number of complaints from the public about the noxious smell arising from the process since it was established under permitted development,” he said in his findings.

“On the basis of their experience, the objectors are clearly not convinced that any proposed improvements are going to be adhered to or make any significant difference to a process which they consider has been ill-managed with little regard to their living conditions.”

Villagers in Douglas Water and Rigside who fought a protracted campaign against the waste lagoon welcomed the decision, as did MSP Claudia Beamish and local councillors.

“Rigside Residents’ Association and the councillors have continually objected to this activity due to the disruption it causes through odour and the increased heavy traffic,” said the MSP.

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“The reporter has thankfully listened to these objections and put the community first.

“The council were right to reject to this application and I am pleased the Scottish Government has supported this decision.”