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Backdale quarry inquiry closes

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 28 February 2007

28 February 2007

Peak District quarry inquiry closes

A 10-day public inquiry into quarrying at Backdale in the Peak District National Park wound up on February 28 with closing submissions.

Planning Inspector David Baldock said he expected to announce his decision before May 18.

The inquiry followed enforcement action by the National Park Authority to stop alleged excess limestone removal from Backdale Quarry, on Longstone Edge, near Bakewell.

The site is covered by a 1952 planning permission primarily for extracting the vein minerals fluorspar and barytes, which are embedded in limestone. The National Park Authority contends that the operations breached the planning permission by removing significantly more limestone than is permitted.

The quarry owners, Bleaklow Industries, and operators MMC Mineral Processing Ltd, appealed against the enforcement action, which triggered the public inquiry.

Up to 70 members of the local community, climbers and walkers, attended the proceedings at Calver Village Hall each day, and the Save Longstone Edge Group and Campaign to Protect Rural England were official parties to the inquiry.

Although they and the National Park Authority are deeply concerned about the irreversible impact on the National Park landscape, this could not be taken into consideration by the Planning Inspector, who visited the site on Monday. (Feb 26)

He said at the outset that the interpretation of the planning permission would be the decisive issue, as well as the nature of the quarrying operations between 2002 and May 2006, when the Authority served a stop notice.

The Authority’s director of conservation and development John Lomas said: “We have tried to present the strongest possible case to the Inspector within the terms that he required, and now we must await his decision.”

The issue will not necessarily be resolved even after that – either side may appeal to the High Court.

Bleaklow Industries Ltd applied for a partial award of their costs to be paid by the Authority, but MMC Mineral Processing did not.

When the decision is announced, copies will be available from the Planning Inspectorate at Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN, quoting Appeal numbers: 2017966 (Bleaklow Industries Ltd) and 2018130 (MMC Mineral Processing Ltd).

The Planning Inspectorate phone-number is 0117 372 6372 or email: enquiries@planning-inspectorate.gsi.gov.uk or go to the website www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk

A copy will also be available during normal office hours at the National Park Authority headquarters at Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell (01629 816200). Full background details are available on www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/backdale

Anyone who signed the register at the inquiry and left their contact-details should automatically receive the decision.

This is an archived press release

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