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Tearsall Quarry work given provisional go-ahead

This is an archived press release

Friday 30 January 2009

30 January 2009

Tearsall Quarry work given provisional go-ahead

A mining company’s application to work a Peak District open cast quarry for six years has been approved.

Members of the Peak District National Park Authority decided by 10 votes to eight to allow Glebe Mines to work Tearsall Quarry, on Bonsall Moor, near Matlock, due to exceptional circumstances secured by a legal agreement.

It followed an offer by Glebe Mines to give up its rights to quarry minerals at another environmentally sensitive site called Peak Pasture, on the eastern edge of Longstone Edge, near Bakewell, for at least four years while extraction takes place at Tearsall Quarry.

However, the decision will now be referred to Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to decide whether she wishes to make a judgement on the planning decision.

Glebe Mines intends to extract 660,000 tonnes of fluorspar ore from a 10.37 hectare (25.6 acre) part of the quarry site, near the villages of Wensley and Winster. Fluorspar is used in chemical and manufacturing processes for a variety of products, including fridges and hospital equipment. Limestone from Tearsall Quarry will be kept on the site and used to restore the land.

Authority members were told that the planning application would have a detrimental impact on the landscape, was against normal policy for a national park and that planning officers felt there were alternative sources of fluorspar that could be used.

But planning officers recommended the application should be approved due to exceptional circumstances which on balance protected the national park. However, a legal agreement and conditions require Glebe Mines to:

  • Ensure the landscape is restored in phases as the quarrying takes place over six years, with another 12 months for final restoration
  • Guarantee that by the end of 2011 15 per cent of the minerals it processes comes from underground rather than open cast sites like Tearsall.
  • Restrict noise and dust pollution and the hours of operation
  • Care for the land for a further 10 years following the completion of the restoration
  • Pay for damage caused to roads by lorries going to the quarry.

Narendra Bajaria, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “This was a very difficult and finely balanced decision to take.

“On one hand we heard about receiving 2,269 letters of objection, fears about the impact to tourism jobs and were told about the impact on local communities caused by damage to the landscape and the noise and dust created.

“On the other hand we were made aware of the overall benefits to the national park’s environment and told that the future of many local jobs at Glebe Mines and also its parent company depended on getting a supply of fluorspar.

“It is right that the Secretary of State will now have the opportunity to see if she agrees with the members of the authority that there was enough overall benefit for the national park and its communities to go against normal planning policy.

“The authority will pay particular attention to monitoring and enforcing the conditions that have been made in this case.”

Fluorspar extracted from Tearsall Quarry will be taken to Cavendish Mill, near Stoney Middleton, to be processed.

This is an archived press release

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