This is an archived press release
Friday 7 April 2006
7 April 2006
Temporary stop notice issued on National Park quarry – with immediate effect
The Peak District National Park Authority today (April 7) issued a temporary stop notice to halt further irreversible harm to the landscape at Backdale Quarry on Longstone Edge. The notice takes immediate effect.
The Authority took the urgent action after finding evidence that quarry operator MMC Mineral Processing Ltd had started drilling at the site again this week.
The temporary notice will last for 28 days, allowing the Authority time to consider carefully its next course of action to prevent what it believes to be unlawful mass extraction of limestone at Backdale.
The move follows last week’s cancellation of a public inquiry, after the Authority’s previous enforcement and stop notices were declared null by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the light of a recent similar case in Wales.
Planning Committee chair, Narendra Bajaria, said: “We have issued the temporary stop notice as soon as it became apparent that preparations to continue the mass limestone extraction had started again.
“We already have the approval of the full Authority to take further action, subject to financial consideration, and we are now considering in detail what further action to take. We will make an announcement as soon as we have made that decision.”
The local community has long been concerned over the long-term harm being done to the landscape and wildlife at Backdale, and its action group Save Longstone Edge is campaigning in support of the Authority’s action.
Defra rural affairs and landscape minister Jim Knight visited the site in January. Defra offered extra backing to help proceed the legal case, which would help to clarify the 1952 planning permission which is the source of the dispute.
The temporary notice has been issued against both MMC Mineral Processing Ltd and landowners Bleaklow Industries Ltd. Their 1952 planning permission allows them to quarry vein-minerals (fluorspar and barytes), and limestone only as a secondary product – taken out in the course of working the vein-minerals. However, between July 2003 and December 2005, 573,963 tonnes of limestone were sold from Backdale. Only 11,500 tonnes of fluorspar were extracted – none of it apparently sold.