On Tuesday 27th February at a special planning hearing held in Crianlarich Village Hall, members of the National Park Authority Board approved an application for a goldmine at Cononish, Tyndrum.
James Stuart, Convener of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority Board said: “Following a public Hearing in Crianlarich Village Hall, National Park Authority Board members made the decision to unanimously approve the planning application from SGZ Cononish Ltd for a revised mine proposal at Cononish Gold Mine in Tyndrum.
“This was a complex and unique application given the need to consider the proposed mine operations as well as the multiple potential impacts and benefits for the wider area. The decision to approve the application was based on careful consideration of all of these issues, calling upon expertise from specialists both within the organisation and externally. A number of representations were made both for and against the proposals and these were taken into account in the Board’s decision.
“Overall the National Park Planning Authority and our Board members concluded that the short to medium term impacts will be outweighed by the longer term environmental gains, particularly the landscape and habitat improvements to be made through the Greater Cononish Glen Management Plan, as well as the social and economic benefits for the local community and wider area and the overall long term improvements for recreational activities within the area.
“The National Park is a special place but it is also a place where people live and work and it is the Park Authority’s job to balance the need for development with the heritage and conservation of this unique landscape.”
The planning report considered by the Board at the hearing can be viewed here.
The planning application (ref: 2017/0254/MIN) that was considered is available to view here.
There was a history of exploratory mining activity at Cononish before Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park was created with exploratory mining carried out in the 1980s.
A previous application (ref: 2011/0166/MIN) by Scotgold was approved on the 25th October 2011 for the development of an underground mine to extract gold and silver with associated service and production building, plant, storage area, Tailings Management Facility (TMF), recirculation pond and gauging station, diversion of burn, access roads, bridge and car parking. The approved application was a revision of earlier proposals (ref: 90/01102/DET/S and 2010/0017/MIN).
The National Park Authority approved a variation of Condition No. 13 attached to planning permission 2011/0166/MIN to allow extended hours for construction, decommissioning & restoration and for processing plant operation. This approval on 26th January 2015 also renewed the existing application for a further 3 years.
A temporary application for bulk processing operations was also approved.