The longrunning proposal to mine gold in a Scottish National Park has entered a new phase with the submission of another planning application by the company concerned.
Following the withdrawal of an appeal concerning a previous planning decision (see UKH news here) Australian-based mining company Scotgold Resources Ltd has submitted a revised planning application to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority for a gold mine in the Cononish glen at the foot of Beinn Chuirn adjacent to the Ben Lui (Beinn Laoigh) National Nature Reserve. This is already the site of an exploratory digging.
The application is to develop 'an underground mine to extract gold and silver with associated service and production building, plant, storage area, Tailings Management Facility (TMF), recirculation pond and gauging station, diversion of burn, access roads, bridge and car parking.'
The current proposal is for a 10-year project, including 'restoration' of the site at the end of the process.
In the case of the previous application possible concerns that silt pollution from mining might affect aquatic life in the River Cononish were felt by planners to have been resolved, but the scale of the proposal was deemed inappropriate to its unspoilt setting. It's not yet clear to what extent the revised plan might visually affect the landscape of the glen, nor if there may be any impact on winter climbing access to the classic ice route Eas Anie.
The new application can be seen on the National Park's website here.
Members of the public can make comments on this application in writing, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via an online form (see website above). The deadline for this is 11 August 2011.