CONTINUING to dig deep at a quarry will see good causes in Crossgates benefit by around £440,000.

As well as £12,000 a year to the community council, potentially up to 2060, Colliers agreed to pay £902,000 to guarantee that the land will be restored when they’re finished.

The West Fife firm had permission to extract stone from Goathill, at Easter Bucklyvie, until 2025 but that’s now been extended.

A Fife Council report said: “Minerals for construction projects and road building are a key requirement in maintaining the economic health of Fife and beyond. Premium quality minerals such as those which exist at Goathill are particularly sought after and extensions to existing quarries are preferred to the establishment of new quarries wherever possible.”

High quality stone from the quarry is used to improve and repair roads, while the firm also supply aggregates, sand and concrete for construction and housebuilding, but planning consent granted by the council in 2020 was subject to the conclusion of a legal agreement which has only now been signed.

Collier Quarrying and Recycling will pay £12,000 a year to Crossgates Community Council – to “offset the direct and indirect impacts of mineral extraction” – who will then decide and make public how the cash is spent.

The firm will also pay for or fix any road verge damage on the B925 that’s attributable to quarry traffic, and a £902,000 bond, a security to ensure that, if Colliers cannot carry out restoration works, the money is there to ensure it can be carried out.

Colliers bought the quarry, to the east of Crossgates, and obtained consent in 2010 to operate the rock quarry until 2025, with a further 18 months for restoration.

In December 2020 the west and central planning committee agreed that could be extended to 2060, and the site expanded to the south, after Colliers said there was more than eight million tonnes of rock in the ground at Goathill and work for up to 40 years.

At the time their planning agents, AMS Associates, stated: “This will enable the company to increase all aspects of the on-site facilities and workforce and give a welcome boost to the local economy in particular, with the period of the quarry operation being extended to 40 years, the quarry being progressively restored forming a country park for access by the local general public with a greater biodiversity of wildlife developed.”

The quarry contains quartz dolerite, a premium quality product and Colliers plan to extract an average of 200,000 tonnes a year. As well as roads, construction and housebuilding projects, it supplies rock armour for sea defence and port regeneration schemes.

The actual quarry area will increase from around 12 hectares to 30 hectares, they’ll lease land from Forestry and Land Scotland, and the permission includes removal of woodland, soil stripping, rock extraction and processing, with final restoration works and aftercare for a further two years.

Colliers’ application included a plant to produce asphalt for road surfacing and a unit that takes ‘bottom ash’ – the end product after rubbish is burned in energy from waste plants – and blends it to create a secondary aggregate.

Planning permission in retrospect was also given for a concrete batching plant, storage shed, testing laboratory and site settlement ponds.