National Park Authority mounts vigorous defence at legal hearing

This is an archived press release

Monday 7 March 2005

7 March 2005

National Park Authority mounts vigorous defence at legal hearing

The Peak District National Park Authority mounted a strong defence of its position on Lees Cross and Endcliffe quarries during a two-day hearing in the Court of Appeal last week.

Following the hearing, which took place on 3 and 4 March, the Court adjourned to consider the cases put forward by the Authority and quarry operator Stancliffe Stone. A judgement is expected within the next eight weeks.

Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, Tony Hams, said: "It would be unwise at this stage to predict the outcome of the hearing, but we believe that our staff and legal team mounted the best possible defence of our position."

The hearing considered Stancliffe Stone's appeal against a ruling last year by the High Court, which found that the National Park Authority had been right to classify the Stanton Moor quarries as dormant. The company believes that the quarries should be classified as active.

The status is important because, if dormant, modern conditions to control their working have to be agreed before stone extraction can start. In addition, the National Park Authority would have more freedom to impose conditions without the risk of having to pay compensation.

Tony Hams added: "Although we do not want the quarries to be reopened, no matter what the outcome of the case they do have planning permission, dating back to a consent granted by the Government in 1952.

"This planning permission remains valid and our role will to limit any harm by specifying the working conditions for their operation.

"Pending the outcome of the appeal we remain keen to maintain a dialogue with all interested parties over the future of the quarries."

Stanton Moor, between Bakewell and Matlock, contains the prehistoric Nine Ladies stone circle. It is an important wildlife haven and is also a popular spot for walkers.

This is an archived press release

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