Somewhat ambitiously perhaps, given the slow progress of most of the last two weeks, today’s agenda included three separate hearing sessions. But we made it in the end, meaning timetable is back on track again.

First up was Landscape and Visual impacts, which Dart are at pains to emphasise will be largely temporary and low impact, particularly in the context of an already industrialised landscape. Homes as ‘sensitive receptors’ was the subject of some debate, and Dart had to be reminded that people generally don’t sit in one particular room staring out the window all day, but tend to use other rooms and their gardens too…

Local protected creatures such as Pink-footed Geese, Great Crested Newts and the very rare Bog Sun Jumper Spider made an appearance after lunch during discussion of impacts on habitats and ecology. Many of the points are dependent on key outstanding issues raised during earlier Inquiry sessions for example, regarding lack of knowledge about chemical composition of the waste water that’ll be spewing over the protected area at the mouth of the Forth. Endocrine disrupters which we have heard about in a number of sessions (pronounced in a variety of ways) have a nasty tendency to get into the food-chain and can be harmful at very low levels.

The last session of the day on Roads and Traffic heard from local residents about the impact of site traffic on the active local cycling club. Particular concern was noted about lack of space on Bog Road which is barely wide enough to take all the wheels of an HGV, let alone a cyclist or pedestrian too. Dart’s response echoed earlier comments about there already being benzene in fizzy drinks (so where’s the harm in just a little more exposure?) when they helpfully pointed out that lorries from a nearby building site already used that road.

Tomorrow we will be discussing potential planning conditions – not an easy thing to do if you don’t want the development to go ahead at all!