A BORDERS quarry is set to be allowed to operate 24/7 for parts of the year in a bid to meet ambitious road improvement targets.

Asphalt – used for constructing and maintaining roads and pavements – is produced at Cowieslinn Quarry, located around 10km to the north of Peebles.

Leicestershire-based quarry operator Breedon Trading Ltd. submitted an application to Scottish Borders Council to permit night-time operation at the site up to 75 times a year in order to satisfy the region’s demand for the product.

The quarry, which was established in the 1950s, currently operates from 7am to 8pm Mondays to Fridays and from 7am to noon on both Saturdays and Sundays.

But when members of the council’s planning and building standards committee meet on Monday (March 27), they will be recommended to agree for the operation to continue throughout the night.

The applicant has argued the extension is needed to provide the asphalt to facilitate the ambitious road improvements.

There have been a total of seven objections to the application, including concern over road safety due to additional traffic using the access onto the A703 and the impact of noise, dust and light during the night.

In a report recommending approval of the bid, Ian Aikman, the council’s chief planning and housing officer, said: “The applicant contends that night-time operation has become necessary due to the ambitious road improvement schedule intended within the Borders and the need to carry out such road improvements at night when traffic disruption is less.

“There is a lack of local choice for such asphalt and there is a need, in the applicant’s view, to have the ability to supply hot asphalt for local works during night-time hours.

“The proposal to allow night-time operation of, and vehicular access to/from the asphalt plant, has now been demonstrated to have no unacceptable adverse impacts on nearby housing.”