This is an archived press release
Friday 26 November 2004
26 November 2004
National Park Authority takes action against quarry company
The Peak District National Park Authority is taking legal action to stop a quarry company extracting too much limestone.
The Authority is acting to protect the landscape by issuing an enforcement notice giving MMC Ltd until January 14 to change its extraction operations at Backdale Quarry on Longstone Edge.
Under a 1952 planning consent, limestone may only be quarried as a by-product of extracting vein minerals such as fluorspar, barytes or lead.
But an independent geological expert has advised the National Park Authority's planning committee that considerably more limestone has been extracted at Backdale than was necessary to get at the vein minerals.
In addition, it is alleged that waste from the workings is visible above ground level - another breach of the planning consent in a scenic area of the National Park which attracts visitors and residents alike.
Leicester-based MMC Ltd began work at Backdale in July 2003, under lease from the landowners Bleaklow Industries, who have also received an enforcement notice. It will also take effect in mid-January unless the companies put forward an appeal.
Chair of the planning committee Narendra Bajaria said: "We believe this operation is not in the interests of the National Park and we are taking action in order to safeguard the landscape and natural resources for the benefit of the public.
"The site is covered by a planning consent granted not by the National Park Authority but by the Government in 1952, when technology was different to what it is now. While we accept that this enables the operator to remove vein minerals and some limestone, it does not allow for mass-extraction of limestone.
"The removal of so much stone has caused dismay to communities in the vicinity, who have pressed the Authority to act. We are at last able to get the legal process underway, having obtained the advice we need to make this action effective."