Scotland's new Environment Minister, Sam Galbraith, threw out Lafarge Redland's application for a superquarry at Lingerbay on the Isle of Harris in November. Mr Galbraith considers that the reporter of the inquiry into the proposals placed too much emphasis on English minerals planning guidance which focuses on English aggregate demand. She should, he contends, have paid more attention to Scottish guidance NPPG4 which does not take account of English demand.
Furthermore, he criticised her for failing properly to consider the scenic value of the area, saying she "seriously understated the impact of the proposed development on the [national scenic area]." Ministers judged that the benefits "do not clearly outweigh the significant adverse effects."
Lafarge Redland has six weeks to lodge an appeal with the Court of Sessions. In the summer, the courts instructed Ministers to come to a decision after Lafarge Redland sought judicial review (ENDS Report 307, pp 11-12 ).