Councillors have been discussing fresh plans to build a quarry near a north-east town.
Aberdeen-based Chap Group want to build an extraction site at Muirtack near Ellon after their first application to create it was rejected by councillors and officials at the Scottish Government.
Local residents also voiced their opposition to the project with 84 objections and more than 300 people signing a petition against it.
Company bosses have changed their proposals by making the access direct to the A952 road rather than using a narrow road.
The Formartine area committee discussed the plans yesterday although their comments will go to the Buchan area committee for consideration.
This is because the proposals are inside the Buchan boundary.
Planning bosses said they would grant the scheme and want preliminary comments from councillors before it is considered by their Buchan counterparts.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Formartine area committee chairwoman councillor Isobel Davidson said they noted the changes to the application from last year but were still worried about parts of it.
She said: “We appreciate the changes in the proposals to lessen the impact but we have concerns about the junction of the proposed road with the A952 and the assessment of need for the product now that all the current major infrastructure works have been completed. We did not propose a view to approve or reject.”
A spokesman for the Chap Group said: “Chap has spent the time since negotiating and designing an alternative access that completely removes the need to utilise the single-track rural road and instead allows direct access to the A952 Mintlaw Road.
“We are optimistic that this fundamental change should pave the way for approval for this much-needed sand and aggregate quarry.”
In documents lodged with the planning application, Chap said there would be 631,000 tonnes of sand and gravel which would be used for major infrastructure projects across the north-east.
They said the quarry would have a lifespan of between eight and 15 years.