The Battle for Roineabhal

1st March 2006

Reflections on the successful campaign to prevent a superquarry at Lingerabay, Isle of Harris, and lessons for the Scottish planning system.

The saga of the Lingerabay superquarry is a tortuous tale of almost epic proportions, lasting for more than a quarter of a century. It concerns a proposal – first mooted in 1974 – for a 10 million tonne superquarry that would chisel away almost a third of the magnificent mountain of Roineabhal on the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles of Scotland. The planning application by Redland Aggregates brought into focus major issues of national policy on mineral supply, rural support, community empowerment, sustainability, landscape protection and biodiversity. In the latter stages, even issues of European legislation were raised. This volume is not intended as a definitive history of the battle to stop the superquarry at Lingerabay. Rather, it is the perspective of one particular player in the ‘Battle for Roineabhal’: Scottish Environment LINK, a consortium of 19 environmental, non-governmental organisations in Scotland.

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