This is an archived press release
Tuesday 25 January 2005
25 January 2005
Authority to decide open cast application
A proposal for open cast ore extraction on Longstone Edge is to be decided by the full Peak District National Park Authority.
The Authority's planning committee, at its meeting on Friday (January 21), recommended that there may be grounds to make an exception to the Authority's Development Plan and allow this particular application.
The application, from Glebe Mines, is for extraction of fluorspar at an extension of its Arthurton West site by open cast methods - which would last three years - instead of its existing consent (granted in 1952) for underground mining, with a potential landscape impact for 15 years.
If allowed to go ahead, after the extraction is complete the company proposes to restore the site, near Great Longstone, to limestone heath, with aftercare to support plants and wildlife for a further 10 years.
The planning committee, by 11 votes to eight, considered that the shorter timespan and more predictable outcome of the open cast method may be less environmentally damaging than mining.
The proposal would, however, be a departure from the Authority's Development Plan - which states that "major development will not be permitted other than in exceptional circumstances…to meet a national need with overrides the national policy to protect the National Park" - and as such will have to be approved by the full Authority on February 11.
Several speakers put their case to the committee, including representatives from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Save Longstone Edge Group, Hassop Parish Council, Ineos Fluor Ltd (which sells fluorspar products to the medical and other industries) and Glebe Mines.
If approved by the full Authority, the company would be bound by 15 conditions to reduce impact on the environment, residents, roads, wildlife and archaeological remains.