The proposed expansion of a quarry which has been at the centre of a long-running planning dispute look set to be given the go-ahead this week.

Plans by the owners of Sheep Hill Quarry, which is situated between Milton and Bowling, are in line to be approved by councillors at a meeting tomorrow.

Groups opposing the extension fear a go-ahead will cause a major eyesore and put an important archaeological site at risk.

Clydebelt, an organisation which works to protect the heritage of the Kilpatrick Hills, has been joined by community councils in opposing the move.

Sam Gibson, Clydebelt's secretary, told the Reporter: "When quarried, in addition to destroying a scheduled ancient monument, a massive hole will be left in the hillside allowing views right into the existing quarry behind and despoiling view from many places along the riverside and beyond."

This is not the first time that a proposed extension to the quarry by Wm Thompson & Son has set alarm bells ringing, with long-running opposition to any further development at the site.

The Clydebelt group urged the Scottish Government to intervene back in 2012 when a similar application was made.

Mr Gibson said: "Unfortunately, the objectors got nowhere in 2012-3 with the Scottish Government who passed it back to the council."

Rose Harvie, secretary, Silverton and Overtoun Community Council (SOCC) will speak about her objection to the plan at tomorrow's meeting.

She said: "If this planning application is granted, a well-known and loved local landmark hill will be destroyed.

"Not only that, but Sheephill is, as indicated in SOCC objection, and acknowledged in the other documents, a vitrified iron-age hill fort of enormous historical and archeological importance.

"Once destroyed it cannot be retrieved."

A report going before councillors tomorrow says the plan did not proceed previously as a legal agreement had not been signed due to difficulties on the part of the company in securing all of the necessary signatures.

It adds: "The applicant is now in a position to conclude the legal agreement and, given the passage of time, the applications require to be agreed by the planning committee."

The company is also seeking a review of planning conditions known as a “Review of Minerals Permission” (ROMP) which is designed to bring planning conditions up to date.

Consent for the quarry, which has a prominent position overlooking Bowling and Milton, was first granted more than 70 years ago, when it started providing stone to rebuild Britain after the Second World War.

The council report states: "The ROMP application does not revisit the principle of whether the quarry should be allowed, as this has been established by the existing permission, and the new conditions should not affect the economic viability of the quarry."

And it warns: "In the event of a planning authority imposing new conditions which did impact upon the viability of the quarry, the council may be required to compensate the quarry operator accordingly."

Sheep Hill is the location of an prehistoric hill fort and excavations have revealed cup and ring markings, said to be some of the finest of their type in the area.

Previously, the company said that the hill fort was not found until the late 1970s, long after the planning permission was first granted in 1949.