Quarry concerns catch hold in Banton

THE people of Banton are being warned noise, pollution and traffic congestion problems could blight their village if a controversial quarrying operation gets the go-ahead.

An application to open a quarry at Tomfyne Farm at the nearby village of Banknock has been met with stiff resistance from l, including Brian McCabe, right, a member of Falkirk Council.

Inhabitants of neighbouring Banton have been slow to speak out against the quarry it seems that opinion is shifting, perhaps due to pressure from Banknock residents who have been complaining about issues in the village for 50 years and recently started petitioning Banton people for support.

This week local resprentatives called for direction from the community.

Wendy Hoyle, chairwoman of Banton Community Council, said her organisation’s hands were currently tied by poor response from the community: “The community council must remain neutral unless given a clear mandate from the people of Banton. When the post office and the shop were threatened with closure we had around 250 people at our meetings.”

Yesterday, Quarry operators Aggregate Industries held an information event in Banton Community Hall. Villagers are urged to attend Banton Community Council’s meeting (tonight), beginning 7 p.m. in the community hall, to raise any concerns that the community council can take to councillors in Motherwell at a planning meeting on October 1.

Councillor Alan Stevenson, one of the area’s representatives, said he had received around 60 objections from constituents recently, and that he would bring forward those concerns.

Councillors Jean Jones and Heather McVey jointly dismissed Mr McCabe’s efforts as “a feeble attempt at political gain” but pledged to act on “a clear steer” from constituents.