End in sight for quarry wrangle on historic moor

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 5 September 2007

5 September 2007

End in sight for quarry wrangle on historic moor

Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears has decided not to intervene in a proposal that would end the prospect of working under an old planning permission at  two quarries near historic Stanton Moor.

This means a legal agreement can now be prepared that will allow the Peak District National Park Authority to serve a revocation order on the planning permission at Lees Cross and Endcliffe quarries, near Bakewell, without the operator or landowner claiming compensation. The quarries could not then be re-opened under that permission.

Quarry operator Stancliffe Stone offered to sign such a legal agreement when it made an application for a three-hectare extension to its Dale View quarry, a less-sensitive site further away from the moor.

The revocation order would be a long-sought outcome for the Authority as Lees Cross and Endcliffe lie close to the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Stanton Moor, including the prehistoric Nine Ladies Stone Circle, burial mounds and cairns. The landscape is also valued for its scenic viewpoints, wildlife and walking.

The National Park Authority unanimously supported the proposals in July, but Hazel Blears had to decide whether it was of sufficient national importance for her to have the final say.

In a letter to the Authority the Communities and Local Government Secretary concluded: “The proposals do not raise planning issues of more than local importance and intervention would not be justified as there is not sufficient potential conflict with national planning policies.”

National Park officers and Stancliffe Stone are now in the course of preparing the legal agreement that would also secure long-term aftercare at Dale View quarry. Conditions for working at Dale View must also be agreed before planning permission can be issued.  It is important that the legal agreement and conditions are legally sound so that the development can be properly controlled.

The Authority hopes to issue the permission as soon as possible, but in any case the process should be completed before the end of the year provided that the legal agreement is signed.

Authority planning chair Barbara Wilson said: “This is another very welcome step along the way to securing the long-term protection of Stanton Moor. Our officers are working hard on drawing up the necessary agreements so that the situation can finally be resolved for the good of the National Park.”

Dale View quarry produces high-quality gritstone used as a building material both locally and nationally. The extension will allow an extra 946,500 tonnes to be produced over the quarry’s 21-year active life, and the company has agreed to a 20-year aftercare programme to manage the site after the mineral working has finished.

Stanton-in-Peak Parish Council, Friends of the Peak District, Stanton Lees Action Group and Stanton Against Destruction of the Environment all supported the package.

This is an archived press release

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