A FIVE-YEAR extension to the time needed to restore a former quarry was granted after it was revealed the amount of landfill anticipated had fallen short.

Viridor, which operates a waste treatment hub at Oxwellmains, near Dunbar, was originally given 23 years to restore the former quarry when it took it over for landfill in 1997.

However, a virtual meeting of East Lothian Council’s planning committee  was told that the amount of landfill expected to come to the site had fallen short as lifestyles and habits changed.

David Taylor, planning officer, told the committee: “There has not been the landfill anticipated back in 1997.”

He added that the Scottish Government had pushed back its bid to ban landfill from next year to 2025, giving scope for Viridor to extend the time it took to restore the quarry.

The company opened a new Dunbar Energy Recovery Facility on the site last year which aims to convert 300,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill to energy as the country moves towards zero waste policies.

Concerns were raised by Councillor Fiona O’Donnell about the pushback of the Scottish Government landfill ban.

She told the committee: “I hope we do not see any creep by the Scottish Government, we want to see this site restored.”

Councillor Norman Hampshire, planning convenor and a ward member for Dunbar, said he remembered the site being in operation since childhood in one form or another.

He said: “It has been in operation for a long number of years when it was an open-cast quarry, then landfill.

“Now we have an energy from waste facility on the site and it has been critical in a lot of employment and will be here for years to come.”

The committee agreed unanimously to allow the extension.