This is an archived press release
Tuesday 25 January 2005
25 January 2005
New way forward on quarries' future
A potential solution to a long-running controversy over the possible re-opening of two quarries on Stanton Moor is being explored.
The Peak District National Park Authority has agreed to an approach from local quarry operator Stancliffe Stone to apply jointly for an adjournment of the company's legal appeal over Endcliffe and Lees Cross quarries.
The Authority had been preparing to defend its case that the quarries should remain listed as dormant - upheld by the High Court in June last year - after Stancliffe Stone applied to the Court of Appeal.
The purpose of the adjournment would be to give time for Stancliffe Stone to explore other options consistent with the Stanton Moor Principles, agreed by interested parties from all sides five years ago.
If the Court of Appeal grants an adjournment, it could lead to a full planning application, to be accompanied by an environmental statement, to be made for another site further away from the historically important moor.
If this application were approved - and the Authority emphasises it will make no commitment either way until an application is before it - then Stancliffe Stone would voluntarily relinquish its proposal to revive the existing permission at Endcliffe and Lees Cross, which dates from 1952 and remains valid until 2042.
Authority chairman Tony Hams said: "The request for an adjournment - while not compromising us in any way over any future planning application the company may submit - does offer one more option for a possible solution to a very complex matter. That option could lead to a voluntary revocation of the existing planning permission for Lees Cross and Endcliffe.
"It will still be up to the Authority, in consultation with the public, and after the normal statutory consultation process, to decide which option to take, and we will make what we believe at the time to be the best decision for the National Park," said Mr Hams.
The other alternatives will still be available to both parties - Stancliffe Stone's appeal could still go ahead, and depending on the outcome the Authority would decide how to go forward.
No work can take place at the Endcliffe and Lees Cross quarries until the issue is resolved.
The Authority maintains that Stanton Moor, between Bakewell and Matlock, should be safeguarded as one of the National Park's historic landscapes with archaeological remains which are a Scheduled Ancient Monument, as well as being a popular beauty spot for walkers.