‘Symington will flood if Clyde quarry goes ahead’

Flood at Overburns just last month
Flood at Overburns just last month

The recent flooding in parts of Clydesdale’s countryside is being held up as a dire warning of what is to come for a far wider area should the controversial Overburns Quarry scheme go ahead.

For several years now the Clyde River Action Group (CRAG) has been battling the proposal for Patersons of Greenoakhill to quarry in one of the most scenic local areas.

It has become something of a saga, with the developer making repeated planning applications for the scheme despite repeated knock-backs by the council, the Scottish Government and even the courts.

Recently Patersons intimated its intention to apply yet again for permission to extract millions of tons of minerals from the site on a local stretch of river, an operation CRAG has claimed in the past could have catastrophic consequences.

The recent flooding in the local countryside, specifically in the area of the proposed quarrying, has led CRAG to point to this and warn that much, much worse would be to come if Patersons chiefs got their way.

CRAG chairperson Caroline Parker said: “I took a photo (pictured) of the flooding - yet again - at the Overburns site on December 30.

“In the middle of the photo is a tractor that is located in the middle of the proposed 90 acre site, that Patersons of Greenoakhill are still hoping to excavate for sand and gravel.

“The farmer that day had gone out to rescue his sheep that were stranded, but regrettably he failed. The tractor roof can be seen to be just one foot above the level of the water; this is where the farmer climbed onto the roof of his tractor for safety from the rushing water as he awaited to be rescued by a lifeboat and the fire brigade.

“This site is a natural floodplain to take the water at peak times. If this floodplain was lost to the quarrying then the flooding would take out the neighbouring farms and the bottom of Symington Village.

“There would also be further consequences downstream.

“I welcomed Nicola Sturgeon’s comments when visiting flooded communities in Scotland - that great efforts should be made to protect our natural floodplains as they provide a critical and natural role in minimising flooding of our communities.

“Overburns is such a critical floodplain.”