'Conflict of interest' claim over Biggar quarry plan

Quarry site Patersons wants to quarry gravel from the site at Overburns Farm, near Biggar

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Controversial plans for a quarry in South Lanarkshire should be thrown out due to a "serious undeclared conflict of interest", campaigners have said.

Quarry firm Patersons has made a second bid for planning permission to excavate a site at Overburns Farm, near Biggar.

An independent company, Envirocentre Ltd, has been brought in to verify the company's risk assessment of possible flooding at the site.

But campaigners say William Paterson sits on the board of both companies.

Patersons original submission to quarry five million tonnes of gravel from an 80-acre site at Overburns Farm, Lamington, near Tinto Hill, was rejected by South Lanarkshire Council in July last year.

New application

The company has submitted a scaled back proposal but local opposition remains strong.

One of the risks, previously highlighted to quarrying in the area, was flooding.

Envirocentre Ltd was brought in to independently assess this risk.

Local campaigners, however, say that the director of Patersons - William Paterson - is also a director of Envirocentre.

They claim this is a serious undeclared conflict of interest and enough evidence that the planning application should be withdrawn.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency, which has an input to the planning process, has said it will not rely on the Environcentre report.

Patersons have, so far, refused to comment.

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