A FRESH hearing on the future of Sheephill Quarry in the Kilpatrick Hills is to take place before West Dunbartonshire councillors make their final decision.

Prior to the pandemic, members were asked to grant an application to expand the quarry, increase opening hours and agree a new set of conditions which meets modern standards and working practices.

A Review of Minerals Permission (ROMP) to update the existing terms and conditions associated with the site – which date back to 1949 – has been developed and presented to councillors.

The area in question is home to an ancient monument in the shape of an Iron Age fort and was first occupied 3,400 years ago.

An application to remove the fort has also been submitted to the local authority.

Pamela Clifford, planning, building standards and environmental health manager, said: “I would be advising the committee continue both applications. Though they are separate decisions, they are intrinsically linked.

“We did have a full hearing back in March. The objectors also had an opportunity to participate in the hearing. This is not new information”

Councillors said in order to make a decision they would need to meet with the applicant again and Historic Scotland to seek advice on the removal of the fort.

Bailie Dennis Agnew said: “It would be advisable to have as much information and get as many people as possible to get involved in the discussion.”

Councillor Ian Dickson agreed that a further question and answer session was needed.

He said: “I think we should either continue this matter or restart the process which would allow all the councillors to come back in.

“I would like to see us at the earliest opportunity to ask these questions that need answered.”

Councillor Marie McNair added: “I would really like to have Historic Scotland at a meeting, as once this fort is gone, it’s gone."