This is an archived press release
Wednesday 18 August 2004
18 August 2004
National Park Authority faces appeal against High Court ruling
A recent High Court ruling - in favour of the Peak District National Park Authority - is to be challenged in the Court of Appeal.
Last month the High Court ruled that the Authority was justified in classifying Lees Cross and Endcliffe quarries as 'dormant' under the terms of the 1995 Environment Act. Quarrying company Stancliffe Stone had argued that the quarries should be deemed 'active'.
This is an important distinction because if the quarries are dormant modern conditions to control their working have to be agreed before stone extraction can start, and the Authority has more freedom to impose conditions without the risk of having to pay compensation.
Although the High Court ruled in favour of the National Park Authority and awarded costs, Stancliffe Stone had the right to seek leave to appeal to a higher court.
The company has exercised this right and the case will now go before the Court of Appeal. The appeal is most likely to take place early in the New Year.
Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority's Planning Control Committee, Councillor John Bull, said: "It was always a possibility that the company would be granted leave to appeal.
"The Authority's members will meet over the next few weeks to consider how we will approach this next step in the legal process.
"We hope that this case will progress as quickly as possible, although we should all be aware that the due legal process must take its course. However, until the case is resolved the quarries will remain dormant, which means that no work will take place."
The legal process will only determine the status of quarries, not whether they should be allowed to re-open.
"People should be aware that the quarries already have planning permission, dating back to a Government consent in the 1950s," added Councillor Bull.
"Consequently, no matter what the outcome of the legal process the permission remains valid and the Authority's role will be limited to specifying the working conditions for the operation of the quarries."