This is an archived press release
Thursday 23 December 2004
23 December 2004
Quarries' future decided in Peak District National Park
Two Peak District quarries met differing fates when their expansion schemes came before the National Park's planning committee.
The small-scale Bretton Moor Quarry, which produces sandstone for local building materials on Bretton Edge, near Foolow, was given the go-ahead to continue and expand its output from 1,500 to 2,500 tonnes a year until 2019.
By contrast, the much bigger New Pilhough Quarry (which has permission to extract gritstone from Stanton Moor near Darley Dale until 2022) was turned down in its application to expand output from 18,000 to 28,000 tonnes a year.
Bretton Moor started production for roofing slates and building stone in 2000. There is a shortage of local stone roofing slates to repair the National Park's historic buildings and blend new buildings with their surroundings.
The planning committee supported its application after being advised that the expansion would not be unduly intrusive or detrimental to the area.
New Pilhough Quarry, however, had brought objections on traffic and environmental grounds from nearby Stanton-in-Peak, Birchover and Rowsley parish councils, the Council for the Protection of Rural England and the Council for National Parks.
In order to protect the National Park landscape, major quarry developments are allowed only when there is an overriding national need - and in this case the planning committee was advised there was no such need.
It also believed the existing limit of 18,000 tonnes constituted a more sustainable approach to the long-term supply of gritstone, ensuring it did not run out too quickly.
Though the operator, Block Stone, said it would extract the extra tonnage from waste material, this would have reduced the amount of material available to restore the site at the end of its life.
Planning committee chair Narendra Bajaria explained: "The Pilhough application had to be refused because it was a major development which would have a cumulative impact on the well-being of the National Park. There were no exceptional circumstances of national need, and there are alternative sources that are less damaging to the National Park.
"Bretton Moor, however, is a small-scale operation and there is a shortage of local roofing slates to maintain the Park's historic buildings and blend in the new. The development is not considered to be detrimental to the landscape or environment, and therefore not contrary to the fundamental aims of the Authority to conserve and enhance the National Park."