Quarrying on Longstone Edge - public meetings Sept 26

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 29 August 2006

29 August 2006

Quarrying on Longstone Edge - public meetings Sept 26

The Peak District National Park Authority and the Save Longstone Edge Group are holding consecutive public meetings on September 26 at Cliff College, Calver.

The National Park Authority is fulfilling its promise to keep residents updated on the latest quarrying developments on Longstone Edge.

Save Longstone Edge – a community group campaigning against further quarry-damage to the prominent landscape feature – is holding its annual meeting on the same evening in order to simplify matters for the public.

The event will start at 7pm with an introduction by National Park Authority chair Tony Hams, followed by an Authority presentation and questions on what has happened since its last public meeting, attended by more than 300 people, in January.

The Authority will report that since it served its latest stop notice on Backdale Quarry in May, the quarry-operator, MMC Mineral Processing Ltd, has begun operations at Wager’s Flat, further up the ridge – where there is planning permission dating back to 1952, as at Backdale.

Until midsummer Wager’s Flat was a field, but it is now being transformed into a quarry. National Park director of conservation and development, John Lomas, said: “We have assessed the working and at present it appears to be within the terms of the 1952 planning consent."

“We are continuing to monitor it very carefully to assess if the working remains lawful in our view, but we have to expect that the company could carry on working this way for some time.”

Operations at Backdale were subject to a stop notice because, in the Authority’s view, limestone extraction had gone beyond the scope of the 1952 planning permission, which is primarily for the vein minerals of fluorspar and barytes. Limestone is not mentioned in the wording of the planning permission, but the permission allows the extraction of “any other minerals which are won in the course of working” the vein minerals. The Authority contends it had become a primarily limestone operation, as the vein minerals were simply being stockpiled, while limestone was being sold in large quantities. 

Both sides are preparing for a 10-day public inquiry, starting February 13 2007, into appeals by the landowner Bleaklow Industries and MMC Mineral Processing against this enforcement action.

The Save Longstone Edge Group will hold its annual meeting in the second hour of the evening on Sept 26.  That will be followed by a joint Authority/SLEG panel taking questions or comments from the audience.

The harm to the landscape has caused great concern both to the Authority and the public, particularly in the villages around Longstone Edge, including Calver, Curbar, Froggatt, Great and Little Longstone, Hassop and Rowland.

Early this year, Defra agreed extra finance to help try to resolve the situation through the public inquiry process.

The doors to Cliff College, Calver, will open at 6.30pm on Sept 26. All are welcome.

This is an archived press release

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