The SNP MSP has long campaigned to stop Mexican multinational ‘Cemex’ to extending the boundaries of Hyndford quarry into the buffer zone of the New Lanark World Heritage Zone.
She recently delivered thousands of postcards to the Scottish Parliament on behalf of the campaign Save Our Landscapes, protesting against the plan. Her opposition dates back to 2013, when she tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament to stop the proposed extension close to the UNESCO designated site. Since then she has written letters of protest and spoken out against the plans in the media.
Although the application was previously thrown out by the Scottish Government, the company applied for a judicial review and won a renewed planning hearing.
This week Scottish ministers once again rejected the application by Cemex for an extension into the buffer zone, agreeing instead to allow a western extension, which does not infringe on the boundaries of the UNESCO designated heritage area.
Speaking about her support for this decision Ms. McAlpine said:
“The Falls of Clyde Area is absolutely integral to the New Lanark World Heritage Site. The land around the Falls is a unique 18th century “designed landscape” which attracted visitors from all over the world. It is this special place, which fell into the buffer zone, which was under threat. It’s always difficult when you are up against a big multinational with deep pockets, so I am delighted that once again the Scottish Government has found in favour of the environment, our heritage and the community.”
Professor Mark Stephens, chair of Save Our Landscapes and who convened the group opposed to the quarry (which included the New Lanark Trust, RB Lanark Community Council and ICOMOS UK) thanked the MSP for her help.
“I would like to express particular thanks to John Campbell QC who represented the objectors at the two public hearings and to Joan McAlpine MSP who supported our campaign from start to finish,” he said.
“This is an emphatic decision which should finally kill off this opportunistic application. Ministers highlighted the damage to cultural and natural assets, in particular irrevocable damage to the Falls of Clyde Designed Landscape.
“I am delighted at the decision, and am pleased that Ministers acknowledged the strength of public opinion.
“More than 30,000 representations have been made in opposition to the quarry, including letters, a petition and postcards. In contrast there were just 8 representations made in its favour.”
Objection letters were received from residents in every constituency represented in the Scottish Parliament and 35 countries from around the world.
“We trust that Cemex will have the good grace to accept the decision this time, and not inflict further uncertainty, upset and cost on the community and the thousands of visitors who supported our campaign.”