Tayside and Central Scotland

Stirling Council suspends quarrying at Bannockburn site

Image caption Stirling Council have suspended quarrying at Murrayshall Quarry in Cambusbarron

Campaigners fighting to defend a hill which was used by Robert Bruce prior to the Battle of Bannockburn have welcomed the decision by Stirling Council to suspend quarrying in the area.

Save Gillies Hill have welcomed the Suspension Order for the Murrayshall Quarry in Cambusbarron.

The campaign group have been opposing plans to recommence quarrying at the site since 2007.

Stirling Council said the case would now be passed to Scottish Ministers.

The decision was taken by councillors at a meeting on Thursday following a report by the authority's head of governance and resources.

Council support

Cllr Danny Gibson, portfolio holder for environment, transport and public land said: "The long-running, effective campaign by the local community to protect the area is to be commended.

"The Council has now expressed its support on this matter and the order suspends the quarrying of minerals and will protect the environment at Gillies Hill.

"We continue to be hopeful that Gillies Hill can be safeguarded until the review date of 2017."

The row over quarrying at the site began after permission for a small scale operation was granted by the then Stirling District Council in 1982, however there has been little activity at the site for the past 14 years.

Two companies had been granted a licence to quarry, Tarmac and Hanson Aggregate, although both said operations would not begin until 2017.

Fight continues

A Cambusbarron Community Council spokesperson said they were pleased the council had ordered the suspension but warned that the move was not the end of the fight to save the historic site.

They said: "This is indeed great news, but our battle's far from over. The permission to quarry may be suspended, but it may become 'active' once more in the future.

"After all, the original permission, albeit now generally seen as legally flawed, was granted until 2042. But, if the threat remains, then our fight will continue, just as it has these last 6 years. We've always had massive support: it's even greater now."

Stephen Cowan, from Tarmac, said: "Tarmac only own a part of this quarry but we haven't had any contact from the Council about such an order.

"We can't comment further until we receive further details."

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