Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Legal action taken to protect environment at Longstone Edge

This is an archived press release

Monday 7 January 2008

7 January 2008

Legal action taken to protect environment at Longstone Edge

The Peak District National Park Authority is taking legal action requiring the owners and operators of Backdale Quarry to stop unlawful quarrying.

A stop notice has been issued to operator MMC Midlands Ltd and landowners Bleaklow Industries Ltd to protect the sensitive countryside at the quarry site on the eastern end of Longstone Edge, near Bakewell.

The long-running legal dispute centres on whether MMC Midlands Ltd is using a 1952 planning permission primarily to quarry limestone rather than mainly to extract the minerals fluorspar and barytes, which are both used in industrial and manufacturing processes.

The authority decided to issue a stop notice after hearing that significant quantities of limestone had been extracted from Backdale Quarry since September.

Barbara Wilson, chair of planning for the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “The main purpose of the authority is to protect and enhance land in the Peak District.

“So we are determined to do everything in our power to protect the vulnerable and beautiful countryside at Longstone Edge.

“The unauthorised quarrying taking place at Backdale is causing enormous damage to the landscape and we hope that this legal action will stop the situation from getting any worse.

“We are grateful for all the support we are getting on this issue from people who live in or visit the area. We hope that by working together we can reach a permanent solution that will protect an area of national importance.”

The Peak District National Park Authority’s most recent enforcement notice against unlawful quarrying at Backdale was issued in May 2006.  

The case led to planning inspector David Baldock upholding the authority’s enforcement notice, with amendments, in April this year, following a two-week public inquiry. Bleaklow Industries appealed against that decision. Their appeal will be heard in the High Court on February 27 to 29, 2008.  

Because the operator started working Backdale Quarry again in a way the authority believes to be in breach of the planning permission, it has now decided a new stop notice is necessary until the legal case is resolved.

This is an archived press release

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