Don’t desecrate world heritage site for ‘a few shovels of gravel’ says MSP

MSP Joan McAlpine has expressed anger over plans by aggregates giant Cemex to extend a quarry into a famous world heritage site at New Lanark.

The plans to extend a quarry into the Falls of the Clyde buffer zone were thrown out by the Scottish government in 2016, but the company applied for a judicial review and won a renewed planning hearing.

The MSP - who is backing the campaign group Save Our Landscapes to oppose the plans – accused the company of a lack of integrity.

The MSP this morning took delivery of thousands of postcards from locals and visitors who are opposed to the plans, and will deliver them to the First Minister.

Ms McAlpine is urging the Scottish ministers – who have called in the decision once again – to reject the proposals.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:

“The correct decision was made the first time round when these plans were thrown out – the proposed quarry would be within the buffer zone of a UNESCO world heritage site.

“You don’t desecrate a world heritage site for the sake of a few shovels of gravel.

“The quarry can continue to operate outside of the buffer zone.

“Intruding into the buffer zone I understand will only create one more job – so there is absolutely no economic justification for this cultural vandalism.”

In the early 19th century New Lanark became famous as the setting for the social and educational innovations of Robert Owen, the utopian socialist.

In 2000, it secured world heritage status from UNESCO with the site protected by a designated buffer zone, including part of the Clyde Valley.

Ms McAlpine continued:

“The designed landscape is a huge part of the Falls of Clyde experience and is one of the reasons people have been visiting for hundreds of years.

“This whole experience would be destroyed if the quarry extension went ahead.

“I am supporting the thousands of locals and visitors who are against this proposal.”

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