Should the Harris Superquarry Go Ahead?
There is considerable environmental opposition to the development of the Harris
superquarry. This is unlikely to stop the development on its own, but if the Scottish
Office decides that the project can go ahead environmental restrictions are likely to be
imposed on the operation to minimise, as far as possible, the impact. The reasons for the
development centre round the need for economic development to bring jobs and
prosperity to this remote area. The life of the quarry is expected to be around 60 years
and provide an initial 30 jobs, rising to 80 as the quarry reaches peak production. The
question is if a superquarry is the best solution to the problems of a remote rural area.
What will happen when the jobs come to an end and would another form of investment
not be more appropriate to their needs? Would the presence of a quarry restrict the
choice for further development? Could an integrated approach be adopted and a 2nd
generation quarry planned? The decision of whether or not to go ahead cannot be
delayed indefinitely as Norway and Spain are looking at developing their own. If it is to
go ahead then an early start will give Harris a stronger position in the market.
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