Is the Battle of Bonningon finally at an end at last?

The now long-gone Bonnington House, once at the heart of the threatened parkland
The now long-gone Bonnington House, once at the heart of the threatened parkland

One of Clydesdale’s longest-running environmental battles might finally be at an end.

As reported by the Gazette over several years, the operators of the Hyndford Quarry on the outskirts of Lanark, Cemex, wanted to expand their operations deep into the adjoining Bonnington parkland, one of Clydesdale’s most scenic areas and within the protected ‘buffer zone’ around the United Nations World Heritage Site at New Lanark.

During several fruitless bids to gain planning permission to quarry the whole site rather than the more acceptable portion of it nearest to the existing Hyndford workings, Cemex has faced furious local opposition from the pressure group Save Our Landscapes (SOL).

Despite losing at almost every stage of the planning process,including appeals to the government, Cemex persisted in repeated applications, almost exhausting the limited funds of the campaigners opposing them.

However, huge sighs of relief were being drawn this week as it was learned that Cemex had apparently given up the fight and won’t appeal against its latest knock-back for planning permission.

SOL ally, Labour Regional MSP Claudia Beamish commented: “This is a great result but it has not come without hard work and dedication from the community and all those at Save Our Landscapes.

“Corporate persistence becomes a war of attrition against a community’s time and resources. Again and again we see large corporations disregarding the wishes of a community but through sustained community pressure a valuable asset in the Falls of Clyde has been protected for us all to enjoy.”

She called for reform of the planning laws to prevent repeat applications.