Vigilance continues on Longstone Edge quarries

This is an archived press release

Monday 30 July 2007

30 July 2007

Vigilance continues on Longstone Edge quarries

The Peak District National Park Authority has told quarry operators it would consider further action if any resumption of quarrying at Backdale resulted in unlawful mineral working.

The warning came after the Authority withdrew its May 2006 stop notice.  This follows a decision by Planning Inspector David Baldock to uphold the Authority’s enforcement notice with amendments after a two-week public inquiry earlier this year into operations at Backdale, on Longstone Edge, near Bakewell.

In view of those amendments there may now be a slight potential for working of limestone, secondary to extracting fluorspar, in the area covered by the stop notice.

National Park director of strategy and development John Lomas said: “We have withdrawn the existing stop notice, but that in no way prevents us from serving another if it is considered that working is taking place at Backdale in breach of planning control.

“The operator has been advised that the Authority will monitor the site, and the Authority will act swiftly if it believes unlawful removal of limestone is occurring.”

Quarry operations could resume under the original planning permission (dating from 1952) to extract fluorspar and barytes, which run in veins through limestone. One of the prime concerns of the public inquiry was the quantity of limestone being removed – to the detriment, the Authority argued, of the National Park landscape.

The landowner has applied to the High Court for leave to challenge the planning inspector's decision. If the challenge is unsuccessful, the enforcement notice stands and a new stop notice would not be needed.

The Authority has a separate stop notice in place on Wagers Flat, to the west of Backdale. This was served after the inspector's decision on Backdale was known and stays in place.

As with Backdale, the operator can continue to excavate proven reserves of fluorspar and remove limestone that is secondary or subordinate to the fluorspar working. The Authority also has an enforcement notice in place on Wagers Flat. Both the landowner and the operator have appealed against this notice.

This is an archived press release

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