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Operators behind a granite quarry look set to seek an extension

By Staff Reporter

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A view of Park Quarry
A view of Park Quarry

The Park Quarry next to the recycling depot in Grantown Road has supplied aggregate for the construction industry and civil engineering projects over many decades.

In a Pre-Application Notification (PAN) to Highland Council, operators Tarmac say an extension would maintain a long-term, sustainable source of local construction materials from an established source.

It hopes to submit a full application before the end of this year.

In supporting documents Tarmac stressed the importance of having locally sourced products for the construction industry, minimise transport and so reduce carbon footprints.

“The development would also enable the site to continue providing a distinctive local product for construction and decorative use, as well as larger infrastructure projects, such as the Inverness to Nairn section A96 dualling,” they said.

“Extending the working life of Park would also contribute to the general economy, including local jobs and supporting work for local businesses, hauliers, and supply chain partners.”

The proposed design would see the site widened into the north-west and south-east of the current quarry.

The extended distance of the final face would be approximately 100 metres (110 yards) in both directions and the new area of extraction would be approximate three hectares (7.5 acres), with the aim of sustaining the quarry at its current rate of extraction for 20 to 30 years.

The company say the site’s granite is overlaid with clay and weathered stone, which needs to be removed so the rock underneath can be excavated.

“Since Park Quarry has a small footprint, this material needs to be stored elsewhere,” they said. “Our design distributes it on land to the north of the site, where it would be landscaped sympathetically to blend in with the surrounding agricultural land.

“Everything about how we work the quarry now would stay the same as we enter the new development area: the same number of vehicles, the same extraction methods, the same rate of production and extraction, and the same number of staff.

“The quarry would also retain the existing site infrastructure, access routes, plant and machinery.”

The quarry was first operated on a small scale at the turn of the 20th century and the Nairn Quarry and Brick Company was formed in 1946.

It became part of Tarmac in 1996 and operated on an ad hoc basis before full-time operations re-commenced in January 2018.

It employs three people on site and supports 30 other staff.

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