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National park quarry extension refused

This is an archived press release

Friday 13 April 2012

A company has been refused permission to extend an existing quarry in return for giving up the rights to work at Stanton Moor, a Bronze Age archaeological site.

Blockstone Ltd wanted the Peak District National Park Authority to allow it to extend its existing 14.5 acre (5.9 ha) New Pilhough Quarry, between Stanton in Peak and Stanton Lees, by a further 2.4 acres (1 ha).

This would have enabled the company to extract a further 146,970 tonnes of sandstone by 2022.

In return the company planned to give up its rights to quarry at Stanton Moor Quarry, which is sited on one of the most important archaeological areas in the Peak District National Park. The land includes Bronze Age remains, an extensive Scheduled Ancient Monument and wildlife and ecology habitats that are of national importance.

Members of the Peak District National Park Authority’s planning committee today (Friday 13 April) refused the application after deciding there was not sufficient justification to go against planning policies.

In particular they were concerned that the amount of extra stone being proposed for extraction at the New Pilhough Quarry was too high and so it was not a fair exchange for the permission at Stanton Moor, where consultants believe the company could potentially quarry around 67,500 tonnes of stone.

Friends of the Peak District, Stanton in Peak Parish Council and local residents spoke against the application at the meeting saying they felt it was not an equal swap deal being proposed.

John Herbert, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority’s planning committee, said: “This has been a very difficult decision because of what is at stake.

“On one hand we have Stanton Moor, which is one of the crown jewels of the Peak District National Park.

“We have a long standing commitment to do everything possible to prevent quarrying from ever happening there again and local communities strongly support that stance too.

“However, the area around New Pilhough Quarry is also an important environment and, on balance, we felt the exchange in quarrying permissions being offered by the company was not sufficient to justify going against our planning policies. Members were concerned that too much was being given away.”

Members of the committee were told that 28 individual letters and 39 standard letters were sent in support of the application, with 46 individual letters opposing it.

This is an archived press release

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