Proposed Gravel Workings: Overburns Farm, Thankerton
1. Maintenance of good and improvement of water quality and the restoration of water habitats is a distinct benefit to all anglers who fish in our waters and especially to the general public. It is vitally important to the well being of the ecology of the river system and is also important to the wider ecological impacts on the surrounding countryside.
2. The need to remove gravel from or near a major water course such as the River Clyde is likely to cause untold damage to the local, immediate, river course and more importantly the waters and lands downstream of any such workings.
3. The removal of sand and gravel will cause disturbance of the river bed, as the river bed, due to it being of sand and gravel is constantly moving due to river flow.
4. The provision of a “barrier” comprising sand and gravel is likely to be washed away during periods when the river is high and especially so during severe winter floods.
5. Water borne silt can be carried downstream for many miles causing damage to fish, invertebrates, vegetation and my cause “sandbanks” to form thereby affecting flow characteristics.
6. The removal of the sand and gravel by large excavators and large trucks will inevitably lead to air pollution due to the incessant running of their engines spewing diesel fumes into the air. This would invariably cause any fly life, the basic food of fish, to be killed. In addition, the fumes would merge with the normally damp climate and fall over a large area as airborne pollution. This would eventually find its way into the watercourse.
7. Noise disturbance through vibration from the large machinery would cause the “barrier” wall to subside and the vibrations would very likely have an impact on invertebrates which would migrate from the area thereby diminishing the aquatic food chain. Fish would also be deterred due to the vibrations affecting their sensory nerves.
1. In the Developers Non-Technical Summary, July 2009 (SLR Ref: 413.2032.0003) it is reported that extraction would be to a depth of 9 metres, above and below the natural water table and that the groundwater encountered in the quarry would remain in place throughout the operations.
No details have been provided to explain how the groundwater would be contained. As the area in question is of sand and gravel this would naturally lead to polluted (silted) water finding its way through percolation into the River Clyde.
Similarly, how are we to know that the developers would restrict themselves to 9 metres? Previous workings in the past which were successfully stopped repeatedly polluted the river with silt and it is known that they also exceeded the depth to which they were permitted. The river is still recovering from this.
2. On page 5 it is stated that the workings would have no impact on the contribution of groundwater to base flow in the River Clyde.
This matter needs to be clarified as it is understood from the past workings on Clyde that the River Clyde will be affected by groundwater seepage both to and from the working lagoons.
3. It is claimed that with appropriate measures to manage silt production and disposal, silt would not pose an unacceptable risk to the River Clyde.
Previous history has shown that these are idle promises as no measures have proven to be effective.
4. It is also noted that the developers acknowledge that the site will be susceptible to flooding when there are high flows and that the flood waters will not be precluded from the site.
In the event of the site being subject to flooding the retaining barrier of sand and gravel will be subjected to severe pressure which will undoubtedly lead to erosion of these barriers to the detriment of the river and surrounding landscape.
Enclosed with these papers are photocopies held in the files of United Clyde Angling Protective Association Ltd relative to the previous gravel workings in the Lamington area.
These clearly show that from 1967 onwards the operators clearly breached permissions and polluted the River Clyde.
The writer also recollects seeing a copy of the former Clyde River Purification Board Annual Report which contained an aerial photograph on its front cover which clearly showed the silt pollution from the gravel workings. (Unfortunately no copy is available for inclusion but will no doubt be available in the Sepa Library).