Blb Developments Screening Opinion

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<ul><li><p>7/28/2019 Blb Developments Screening Opinion</p><p> 1/6</p><p>SCREENING OPINION</p><p>THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 1999</p><p>SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CIRCULAR 8/2007</p><p>RESPONSE OF SOUTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL TO A REQUEST SUBMITTED UNDER</p><p>REGULATION 5 OF THE EIA REGULATIONS (1999) BY BLB DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED</p><p>FOR A SCREENING OPINION FROM THE COUNCIL AS PLANNING AUTHORITY IN</p><p>RESPECT OF A PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AT GLENAPP ESTATE, NEAR BALLANTRAE</p><p>Introduction</p><p>Luce Bay plant Hire Limited are seeking to develop approximately 3 hectares of land</p><p>located on the Glenapp Estate, south of Ballantrae for a hard rock quarry and access</p><p>road to the site. Their agent, BLB Developments Limited, has requested from the</p><p>council a formal Screening Opinion to determine whether an environmental impact</p><p>assessment is required for the development proposal.</p><p>Background</p><p>It is understood that the applicant has engaged in pre-application consultation with</p><p>the council in which a Screening Opinion was discussed.</p><p>It has been considered that the proposed development falls within Schedule 2 of the</p><p>Regulations noted above and as follows;</p><p>2. Extractive industry</p><p>(a) Quarries, open-cast mining and peat extraction (unless included in schedule 1).</p><p>Site Description</p><p>The site for which the Screening Opinion has been requested is located within a rural</p><p>setting, some 4 miles south of Ballantrae. The site is surrounded by the Aughtshillin</p><p>Wood in the Glenapp estate, containing an existing quarry within the site and a</p><p>gravel quarry nearby. The proposal would utilise the existing A77 and current access</p><p>road located approximately 1/3 km north of the proposal site to provide access to</p><p>the quarry. The site is lies on the eastern slope at the foot of the Carlock Hill (323m).</p><p>The proposed development borders the Glenapp and Galloway Mores Site of Special</p><p>Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Scenic Protection Area (SPA) to the west. The area has</p><p>been designated as such by SNH for reasons of flora, fauna (Hen Harrier as listed in</p><p>Annex 1 of the EC Birds Directive) and geological or physiographical features.</p></li><li><p>7/28/2019 Blb Developments Screening Opinion</p><p> 2/6</p><p>Furthermore, the proposed access route is in fact within the SSSI and SPA.</p><p>Furthermore, the site is within the Ancient Woodland Inventory and is a designated</p><p>Scenic Area under ENV 8 of the South Ayrshire local Plan (SALP). At the summit of</p><p>the fore mentioned Carlock Hill lays an Archaeology Conservation Trigger, identified</p><p>as the Carlock Cairn (remains of).</p><p>Selection Criteria for Assessment to inform Screening Opinion</p><p>The proposal falls into category 2 (Extractive Industry) of Schedule 2 of the</p><p>Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999. The EIA regulations</p><p>state that only Schedule 2 developments which are likely to have a significant</p><p>environmental impact are to be subject to EIA. Therefore, this assessment which isinforming the screening opinion is examining whether the proposal provided by BLB</p><p>Developments Limited is likely to have any significant environmental effects.</p><p>In accordance with Schedule 3 of the act the following selection criteria will be used</p><p>to inform the Screening Opinion.</p><p>Characteristics of Development:</p><p>a) The size of the development;b) The cumulation with other development;c) The use of natural resources;d) The production of waste;e) Pollution and nuisance;f) The risk of accidents, having regard in particular to substances or technologies</p><p>used</p><p>Location of Development:</p><p>a) The existing land use;b) The relative abundance, quality and regenerative capacity of natural resources in</p><p>the area;</p><p>c) The absorbing capacity of the natural environment, paying particular attention tothe following areas:-</p><p>i. wetlands;ii. coastal zones;iii. mountain and forest areas;iv. nature reserves and parks;v. areas classified or protected under Member states legislation; areas</p><p>designated by Member States pursuant to Council Directive 79/409/EEC</p></li><li><p>7/28/2019 Blb Developments Screening Opinion</p><p> 3/6</p><p>on the conservation of wild birds and Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the</p><p>conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora;</p><p>vi. areas in which the environmental quality standards laid down incommunity legislation have already been exceeded;</p><p>vii. densely populated areas;viii. Landscapes of historical, cultural or archaeological significance.</p><p>Characteristics of the Potential Impact:</p><p>Consideration of the potential significant effects of the development in relation to the</p><p>foregoing criteria and having particular regard to:-</p><p>a) The extent of the impact (geographical areas and size of the affectedpopulation);</p><p>b) The transfrontier nature of the impact;c)</p><p>The magnitude and complexity of the impact;</p><p>d) The probability of the impact; ande) The duration, frequency and reversibility of the impact</p><p>Assessment: Characteristics of Development</p><p>Annex B of Circular 8/2007 sets out a checklist which can be used to inform the</p><p>Screening opinion. This Annex has been adopted to ensure a level of consistency is</p><p>maintained throughout the process. The fore mentioned checklist relates to Schedule</p><p>3 of the EIA regulations noted above.</p><p>a) The proposed development is estimated to encompass 3 hectares of land. Additionallythe proposal plans to create a new access route extending for 1/3 of a kilometre,</p><p>connecting to an existing road. Due to the scale of the local rurality and forested nature</p><p>of the surrounding area, it is perceived that the 3 hectares required for the quarry will</p><p>not be out of scale with the existing environment, while the forested area is likely to</p><p>provide cover for the quarry and reduce any adverse visual impact on the local area.</p><p>b) The proposed hard rock quarry is in close proximity to a disused gravel quarry to thenorthwest and Carlock House to the East, on the opposite side of the A77, of which is</p><p>unlikely to endure any significant environmental impact. More information was sought</p><p>regarding the cumulation to the existing quarry site to determine whether the proposal is to</p><p>extend the existing quarry site, as this would require an assessment of the cumulative</p><p>environmental impact as identified in paragraph 46 of The Regulations. However, with</p><p>consideration to the aforementioned information it was deemed that the location of the</p><p>existing quarry would be included within a formal EIA of the site.</p><p>c) The extraction of hard rock means that natural resources will be used as a matter ofcourse. However, hard rock is not considered to be in short supply and therefore not</p><p>predicted to cause any significant damage.</p></li><li><p>7/28/2019 Blb Developments Screening Opinion</p><p> 4/6</p><p>d) Waste production is not considered to be of environmental concern as it is not within thedevelopers economic interest to accumulate waste while the site is operational.</p><p>e) Noise pollution from the development is likely to be of particular nuisance due to blastingoperations. Although the impact on public amenity is likely to be limited due to the</p><p>distance from any settlement, fauna protected under the local SSSI and SPA may be</p><p>adversely affected, while dust from the site could have a similar impact. Equipment and</p><p>machinery associated with quarrying is also likely to be considerably noisy. It must also</p><p>be noted that as the site lies in the catchment area of the Water of App, surface run-off</p><p>will deposit surface debris (machinery oil, dust, loose rock) into this water course.</p><p>f) The very nature of blasting presents a high risk of accident. Dust is also extremelyharmful to the human health of those working on site.</p><p>Assessment: Location of Development</p><p>a) As previously mentioned the proposal site lies within a rural setting located 4 milesfrom Ballantrae. The site is located within an existing quarry and expands to the</p><p>surrounding forested area.</p><p>b) No scarce resources have been identified in the area. However, the inclusion of theforested site in which the proposal is located in the Ancient Woodland Inventory</p><p>suggests that the wood is of high quality.</p><p>c) The site itself is located within the Ancient Woodland Inventory and a protectedScenic Area under policy ENV 8 of the South Ayrshire Local Plan. It is likely that</p><p>some trees will require to be cleared as part of the proposal. The site is also on the</p><p>fringe of the Glenapp and Galloway Moors SSSI and EU designated SPA, while part of</p><p>the proposal is to locate a road within the designated protection site/area. Due to the</p><p>nature and location of the proposal it is considered that the proximity to the SSSI</p><p>and EU SPA and the importance of them in a local, national and European context</p><p>are likely to be negatively impacted by the proposal. A variety of endangered flora</p><p>and fauna have been identified by SNH for their unique properties within these</p><p>designated protection zones.</p><p>In March 2007 a Desk based archaeological assessment and walk over survey was</p><p>conducted on the North East corner of the site. This was a 34 hectare study within</p><p>and to the north of the site for which a Screening Opinion was requested. 10</p><p>archaeologically significant sites were identified. Moreover, the Carlock Cairn at the</p><p>summit of the Carlock Hill has been identified as an Archaeology Conservation</p><p>Trigger, suggesting further evidence of archaeological significance in the area.</p><p>Therefore, the council refer to SALP Policy BE 6 stating</p></li><li><p>7/28/2019 Blb Developments Screening Opinion</p><p> 5/6</p><p>Policy BE6: The council will seek to protect scheduled ancient monuments (including</p><p>their setting) and archaeological sites and encourage sympathetic proposals for their</p><p>promotion for educational or recreational purposes.</p><p>Assessment: Characteristics of Potential Impacts</p><p>a)Although the development proposal is contained within a 3 hectare site. It islikely that the extent of the development will spread out with the proposal site.</p><p>Noise pollution from blasting and machinery is considered to emanate out with</p><p>the site and into a reasonable proportion of the surrounding area, including the</p><p>SSSI and SPA, impacting upon the protected local biodiversity. Furthermore, it is</p><p>envisaged that surface debris may be transported into the nearby watercourse</p><p>due to the sloped nature of the proposal site, effecting marine biodiversity. It is</p><p>deemed unlikely that the environmental impacts of a hard rock quarry wouldimpact on human health.</p><p>b) The envisaged negative impact on the local biodiversity is expected to lastcontinuously throughout the life of the development. Within time it is likely that</p><p>the harm done to local flora and fauna will be recovered.</p><p>Conclusion</p><p>From the assessment taken in accordance with the regulations and Circular 8/2007</p><p>the council concludes that the proposed development of a Hard Rock Quarry on an</p><p>estimated 3 hectares of land on the Glenapp Estate is likely to require a formal</p><p>environmental impact assessment.</p><p>From the information submitted on behalf of Luce Bay plant Hire the environmental</p><p>impacts as a result of the development are likely to be significant in the proposed</p><p>location for the following sets of reasons.</p><p> Firstly, much of the protected land immediately to the west of the site isenvironmentally significant under the Glenapp and Galloway Moors SSSI and</p><p>EU designated SPA. Furthermore, the proposed access to the site is contained</p><p>within the fore mentioned designated sites. It is likely that the quarry and</p><p>access road would upset the character of the SSSI and SPA, especially due to</p><p>noise and dust.</p><p> Secondly, the proposal is located within a designated Scenic Area identifiedwithin the SALP, having the potential to upset the character of this.</p></li><li><p>7/28/2019 Blb Developments Screening Opinion</p><p> 6/6</p><p> Thirdly, the proposal site is located within the Ancient Woodland Inventory,which may contain habitats for biodiversity since the 16th Century. This may</p><p>be upset by blasting, while it is considered that a vast amount of these trees</p><p>would need to be cut to accommodate a 3 hectare quarry.</p><p> Fourthly, debris generated from quarry works is envisaged to enter the Waterof App, due to the sloping nature of the proposed development site. Rubble</p><p>and dust may choke the water course, effecting marine organisms.</p><p> Finally, it is expected that the site holds a degree of archaeologicalsignificance and will require an archaeological survey to realise the</p><p>archaeological significance of the site.</p><p> Although the council recognise that the development proposal does not meetthe 15 hectare size or 30 000 tonnes of extraction, the sensitive location ofthe site is the main consideration.</p></li></ul>