Enforcement action taken against developer to reinstate unauthorised hillside borrow pit

Aberdeenshire Council has served an enforcement notice on a local developer to reinstate an unauthorised borrow pit on land at Bruntland Park, Whitecairns.

There has been local concern at the scale of the pit, which planners believe also potentially poses a threat to public safety and the environment as it fills with water.

The council wants to see the land restored to its former condition, and has set a time limit of one year for work to take place.

The formal action has been taken against Ardlethen Developments Ltd of Ellon and sets out what should be done to reinstate the land.

Officers believe the work which has taken place at the site constitutes a breach of planning control, having been done without permission.

Planning permission had previously been granted to erect a clad shed with associated hardstanding and local ground improvements.

This allowed engineering works to re-profile the land and hillside around the hardstanding to vary the gradient of the slopes.

Additional engineering works to extract and process materials from land beyond the approved profiled slopes went beyond the permission granted, creating a borrow pit, according to the Enforcement Notice. 

Ardlethen Developments now has to restore the borrow pit to agricultural use by infilling with inert and/or non-waste materials only.

A range of conditions has been imposed to ensure remedial work has a minimal impact on the area, including measures to control the amount of dust generated.

The amount of noise and dust created at the site has to be limited by the use of suppression systems and vehicle wheel washes.

Work is restricted to 7am-7pm Monday to Friday and 7am-noon on Saturdays, with no work to take place on a Sunday.

The developer has one year from June 24 to comply with the Enforcement Notice and return the site to its original condition, taking into account the appeal period.

If the steps required by an enforcement notice are not taken within the specified period the council has a range of options available to it.

The Enforcement Notice and its terms, including the reasons for issue and clarification of the site, can be seen online (REF: COMP/2016/0036).