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Restoration of disused quarry secured after public inquiry

This is an archived press release

Thursday 16 June 2011

A quarry on Bonsall Moor will have to be restored for agriculture and nature conservation following the outcome of a public inquiry held in January.

The restoration, in which heaps of stored quarry waste and soils will be deposited into the quarry, will improve the landscape and provide additional wildlife habitat.

The site is a former fluorspar quarry at Blakemere Pit, an eight-hectare site which has not been worked for minerals for around 18 years.  

The planning permission issued by the Peak District National Park Authority in 2001 required its restoration by August 2005, but the owners did not carry out the works.

The Authority took enforcement action in November 2009, but the owners believed the restoration requirements were excessive and appealed against the enforcement notice.  

The owners wanted up to four more years to comply with the permission, which would have also given them more time to explore alternative recreational uses for the site.  

But in his decision, announced this month, Planning Inspector Mr Keri Williams said the site was an intrusive feature which could be seen from viewpoints across a wide area used by walkers and cyclists, and the original time limits for restoration were reasonable and necessary.

The Inspector stated: “I find that there is unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the area and to the landscape from the unrestored site.” He added that a four-year extension would perpetuate that harm almost 10 years beyond the original intention, and he could not accept that.

The land will have to be restored to agriculture within 12 months, with five years aftercare to ensure it is maintained.  Several dry stone walls need to be reinstated and repaired, and Moorlands Lane and Moor Lane, which were diverted round the site, need to be put back on their original routes.  

The site has also been used illegally by off-road 4x4 vehicles and motorbikes for a number of years.  As a result, the Authority took further enforcement action to stop the unauthorised use.  That action was not challenged by the owners and the enforcement notice took effect in November 2009.

This is an archived press release

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