Local aggregate will now be used in the construction of the Total gas plant after SIC planners agreed a variance to planning permission conditions for the site.
Until now, a planning restriction stating that materials should only be imported by sea and landed close to the site meant that during the first phase of work – in the construction of an access road to the new plant – Total used only aggregate imported from Norway.
The restriction meant that construction firm Garriock Brothers, which had anticipated supplying the rock, was forced to threaten reduced hours at their quarry in the North Mainland.
However, an environmental assessment submitted to SIC planners on 14th June has led to a variation being agreed, which allows the company’s earthworks contractor, Roadbridge, to use up to 160,000 tonnes of local aggregate.
A Total spokeswoman said: “As soon as we discovered that we could potentially source aggregate locally, we took steps to put the necessary paperwork in place to do so. Thanks should go to the SIC planning department who guided us though this process quickly and efficiently.”
Significant volumes of suitable aggregate will be required for the project, and Roadbridge is now in a position to go out to tender for the provision of such rock. All aggregate will be transported in accordance with the measures identified by the SIC.
At a special meeting of Delting Community Council held recently, the community gave a cautious welcome to the use of local aggregate.
Concerns were raised with regard to large vehicles passing close to the school at Olnafirth and representatives from Total and Roadbridge agreed to obey a voluntary 20mph speed limit past the school, should that route be used.
The community council also requested that drivers adhere to a voluntary 30mph speed limit from the Busta junction to Brae if aggregate is taken from the mine at Sullom.
Total and Roadbridge management have also undertaken to invite junior road safety officers from Olnafirth school and representatives from Mossbank school up to the site, to show them the type of vehicles that are likely to be used and to promote road safety within the schools.
George Garriock said his firm would be supplying Total with “bits and pieces” but the horse had bolted as far as he was concerned because the main job was the road.