An ‘Overburns Bill’ about to become Holyrood law?

Overburns Farm sign, site of proposed mineral quarry between Lamington and Coulter villages. 'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Overburns Farm sign, site of proposed mineral quarry between Lamington and Coulter villages. 'Picture by Lindsay Addison

Could a piece of important national legislation currently going through the Scottish Parliament end up being dubbed “The Overburns Bill”?

As reported in the Gazette over several years, quarrying firm Patersons of Greenoakhills has made repeated attempts to get permission to excavate at one of the Upperward’s most scenic spots, Overburns near Coulter.

Twice the firm has had its planning applications rejected in the teeth of strong local opposition and there was alarm recently when it declared it was to make a third attempt to develop the land with an appeal to the Scottish Government against council refusal of planning permission.

Now regional MSP Claudia Beamish says she hopes amendments she is proposing to a new planning act going through Holyrood will prevent such repeat applications.

She said: “I was deeply disappointed to receive formal notification from South Lanarkshire Council that Patersons had lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government. While they had stated this was their intention, I had hoped they would reflect and respect the views of the local community and stop their relentless pursuit of this site.

“Overburns remains an unsuitable site for and I will again register my objection. The planning bill is currently progressing through parliament and I intend to lodge amendments which, if accepted, will change the legislation to prevent this type of serial application.”