This is an archived press release
Monday 29 November 2010
29 November 2010
European Court says ‘no’ to appeal on Backdale quarry
The Peak District National Park Authority has welcomed a refusal by the European Court of Human Rights to hear an appeal in connection with Backdale quarry on Longstone Edge, near Bakewell.
This brings to an end the legal possibilities of overturning the Authority’s enforcement action to halt excessive limestone extraction at the quarry, which was upheld by the Court of Appeal in March 2009.
Landowner Bleaklow Industries’ subsequent request for an appeal to the House of Lords was turned down in June 2009, and now its application to the European court has also been rejected.
The Authority has consistently argued, through a lengthy public inquiry and appeals, that the activities were not authorised by the 1952 planning permission and were damaging the national park landscape.
Authority chair Narendra Bajaria said: “We very much welcome this news. It completely vindicates the commitment of the Authority to defending its stance through the courts. And I’m pleased for the local community and environmental organisations who fought such a strong campaign to end this harm to the landscape and to the peace and tranquillity of the area.
“This is a major milestone in ending the unlawful removal of excessive limestone, but it is not the end of the story. We still want to work with the owners of the land and mineral rights to find a permanent solution.”
The 1952 planning permission allowed the extraction of vein minerals (mainly fluorspar) found embedded in limestone. It is still in force, not only for Backdale quarry but for other sites on Longstone Edge, at Wagers Flat, Peak Pasture and Beacon Rod. The Court of Appeal in 2009 upheld a planning inspector’s view that the permission should be interpreted to only allow the removal of limestone in the ratio of 2 to 1 to the vein minerals worked.
Mr Bajaria went on: “We are in the process of reviewing the 1952 permission under regulations for review of old mineral permissions, and we are in discussions with the companies who have an interest in the Longstone Edge sites.”
Fluorspar is used mainly in the chemical industry and in everyday products including toothpaste.
For background, go to www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/longstone-edge