THE FIGHT between developers and locals in Braco is over after nearly three years.
Following a public inquiry and two months of waiting, residents found out on Tuesday that the government has given the OK to the proposed extension of a quarry at Braco Castle Farm.
However a total of 13 restrictions have been placed on the plans and the developers and Perth and Kinross Council must agree to written plans as part of the conditions before approval will be granted.
Included in these provisos is a working time limit (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday) and a limit has been set on the maximum noise levels that can come from the site for more than an hour.
Steve Forsyth from the community council said: “I think the conditional approval is a win-win situation for all sides. This now gives us the opportunity to move on and hopefully ensure a greater level of communication so that any issues can be resolved.
“I would also like to see Perth and Kinross Council taking a greater role and encourage interaction for all sides. After all, we are neighbours and perhaps it would be better to discuss matters now rather than continue with a feeling of unease.”
He added that the community would be glad the fight was over.
“For a long time it has felt as if the sword of Damocles has been hanging over us but that's gone and perhaps it's time to move on amicably.
“In general terms I welcome the conditions. I am pleased that the reporter has recognised the particular position of Braco and that we don’t want what could essentially be open cast mining next to our village as was said in the inquiry.
“The community has made its voice heard and it should continue to be heard to make things happen and that’s the lesson we should take from this.”
MP Gordon Banks welcomed the news, but warned that the council has an obligation to enforce the planning conditions.
He said: “I think that one of the really important issues is how strictly Perth and Kinross Council enforces the conditions set by the Scottish Government and subsequent conditions agreed on with the developer.
“I worry that the onus for reporting breaches of the conditions will fall on the community instead of the council, which will diminish the community’s trust in everyone involved.”
MSP Roseanna Cunningham added: “I made my views as a constituency MSP on this issue quite plain when it was first mooted so it is disappointing that the Reporter’s decision has gone the way it has.
“ I do hope, however, that the operator of Braco Quarry will take full account of the objections that were raised by local folk and that he will try hard to work with the community as operations at the extended quarry get underway.”