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Save Siccar Point

An issue of huge importance to the history of geology is the recent proposal to build an outfall pipe for agricultural waste adjacent to Siccar Point where James Hutton’s famous ‘Unconformity’ is so well exposed in the sea cliff. An avalanche of objections to the planning application has landed on the Scottish Borders Council from around the world.

Visitors come from all over the world to visit Siccar Point on the Berwickshire coast of Scotland where, in 1788, local landowner James Hutton first recognized the temporal significance of the unconformity exposed there (since known as Hutton’s Unconformity) and its implications for the understanding of Earth history. Recently, the site, which is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, has been threatened by a proposal to construct a waste water pipeline from a vegetable processing plant across the adjacent foreshore.

Comments on the planning application (12/00929/FUL) were invited by the Borders Regional Council with a deadline of 23rd September. HOGG Chairman, John Henry, wrote on behalf of the HOGG membership, requesting the application be rejected. He highlighted the international historical importance of the site as well as the potential detrimental effect of the proposed effluent outfall, the lack of adequate engineering advice and environmental modelling, and possible better alternative solutions. The Geological Society itself stands ready to advise on matters of geoscience relating to this planning application and will monitor its progress. Over 400 objections were submitted to the Scottish Borders Council.

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