SLfT3009 - Filling of quarries

SLfT guidance on the exemption from SLfT, subject to certain conditions, of waste which is used to fill an existing or former quarry.

Conditions for qualification of exemption

Lower-rated waste which is used for the purposes of filling existing or former quarries may qualify for exemption.

The conditions that must be met in order for the disposal of the waste to qualify for exemption are:

the waste disposed of consists only of material listed in The Scottish Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2015 (see SLfT2003 for a summary of this Order; see also SLfT2006 for guidance on instances where the qualifying material contains a small amount of non-hazardous contamination);

the disposal takes place at a quarry;

there is planning consent in place to fill (or partially fill) the quarry; and the permit or authorisation allows the disposal of inert material only.

Definition of a quarry

We depend on common usage of the term quarry. For example, regulation 3 of the Quarries Regulations 1999 defines a quarry as:

'an excavation or system of excavations made for the purpose of, or in connection with, the extraction of minerals (whether in their natural state or in solution or suspension) or products of minerals, being neither a mine nor merely a well or borehole or a well and borehole combined'.

We therefore see the term quarry as also applying to sand, gravel and clay pits and to other surface mineral workings.

‘Old quarries’


  • a quarry was in existence before 1 October 1999;
  • quarrying operations ceased before then; and
  • there is no planning consent in place either on or before 1 October 1999 to fill the quarry, it will not qualify for the exemption.

Requirement for a compliant licence or permit

Many quarries taking only lower-rated material may still have authorisations for the disposal of other wastes. If you want to benefit from the quarry exemption, you must ensure you meet all the terms and conditions set out in LT (S) Act 2014 s.9. If materials are used for infilling that are not contained in the Scottish Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2015, then you are required to register as a taxpayer under s.22 (1) Landfill Tax (Scotland) Act 2014, and liable to pay the appropriate rate of tax on the material that has been used.

If your permit allows you to accept qualifying material and inert material, you will no longer be required to apply to SEPA to vary your permit as long as you are only accepting material listed in the Scottish Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2015. If your permit allows you to accept any other material, you must apply to SEPA to vary your permit to remove the authorisation and to only allow you to accept qualifying material. Once your application has been received by SEPA, you may claim the exemption until your application is resolved.

Disposals of material that were exempt from tax during the period between making the application to vary the permit and its resolution (or the two year period from the making of the application if that is the shorter period) remain exempt even if the application is unsuccessful. However, any disposals of material at the site after the end of that period will not qualify for exemption unless the application was granted.

Where an application is not resolved within two years, but is ultimately granted, disposals made during the period between the end of the two years and the date on which the application is granted will not qualify for exemption.

An application for variation of an authorisation is resolved if it is:



refused and there is no right of appeal against the refusal;

a time limit for appeal against refusal expires without an appeal having been commenced; or

an appeal against refusal is dismissed or withdrawn and there is no further right of appeal.

LT(S)A 2014 section 9

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