This is an archived press release
Friday 6 July 2007
6 July 2007
Hope of an end to quarry wrangle on Stanton Moor
The Secretary of State for Local Government will have the final say on a proposal that would end the threat of quarrying near historic sites on Stanton Moor for good.
The Peak District National Park Authority unanimously supported acceptance of a quarry operator’s offer to give up, without compensation, its 1952 planning permission to work Lees Cross and Endcliffe quarries, near Bakewell.
The proposal, from Stancliffe Stone Ltd, is in return for an extension to Dale View Quarry (further away from the moor), of around three hectares, producing an extra 946,500 tonnes.
It would mean an end to the possibility of re-opening Lees Cross and Endcliffe quarries, which lie close to the pre-historic Nine Ladies Stone Circle, burial mounds and cairns on Stanton Moor, much of which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and has ecological and landscape importance.
The operator is promising to manage biodiversity habitats in neighbouring hay-meadows and woodland throughout Dale View quarry's 21-year active life. The site will be restored to agriculture and nature conservation with aftercare of 20 years.
The scheme now has to go to Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as it is a departure from National Park policy. The Authority believes it would do less damage than re-opening Lees Cross and Endcliffe, and the net environmental benefit outweighs other considerations.
Authority chair Narendra Bajaria said: “The key issue here is the protection of Lees Cross and Endcliffe in perpetuity. We believe that the swap proposed is equitable, the developer has now come forward with a proposal which was unanimously supported by the planning committee, and I hope that the Secretary of State agrees that this is the best way to move forward.”
Parish councils and community groups, including Stanton-in-Peak Parish Council, Friends of the Peak District, Stanton Lees Action Group and Stanton Against Destruction of the Environment, supported the package.
The National Park Authority fought a lengthy legal battle to maintain the quarries’ classification as dormant, which was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in 2005.
Lees Cross and Endcliffe quarries have been occupied by a protestors’ encampment since 1999.