Surplus topsoil removed from the Goathill development in Stornoway is being offered to the community, for landscaping, growing and sustainable drainage projects.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said today (Tuesday 19 January) that they were inviting expressions of interest from voluntary sector and community groups, for quantities from one to 1,000 tonnes of the unscreened topsoil.

The Comhairle statement said: “In promoting the sustainable reuse of greenfield soils, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have produced guidance detailing those uses which are acceptable. 

“In broad terms, the topsoil can be used for general landscaping up to 150mm (6”) thick, construction of roads and verge areas and the formation of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) ponds.

“Using the material for planting beds and use within polytunnels, polycarbonate tunnels, greenhouses or similar is also acceptable.  It cannot be used for stockpiling on third party sites or backfilling of quarries.”

There’ll be no charge for the topsoil, though groups will be asked to complete an application on a specific form

(https://forms.cne-siar.gov.uk/form/auto/topsoil?dform_title=Application%20for%20Topsoil)

and to make their own arrangements for pick-up, delivery and haulage. The material is currently stockpiled at the Comhairle’s Bennadrove Landfill site.

The Comhairle will manage and operate the loading procedure and will provide the necessary labour and plant for this at Bennadrove.

Any quantity over a tonne will incur an administration and loading fee on a sliding scale, from £10 for up to five tonnes and by negotiation on loads over 100 tonnes.

The deadline for applications on this offer is 12 March and further information is available at https://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/bins-and-recycling/topsoil/