National Park Planners Give Green Light for Chatsworth Quarry
This is an archived press release
Friday 15 November 2013
An old quarry on the Chatsworth Estate, near Beeley, has gained permission from the Peak District National Park Authority to be re-opened, once a legal agreement has been signed.
Chatsworth House Trust (CHT) and Chatsworth Settlement Trustees (CST) are to extract stone from about quarter of a hectare at Burntwood Quarry, between Beeley and Rowsley.
The permission allows material to be extracted from the site by 2028. Traditional quarrying techniques will be used to extract the stone. There will be no blasting on the site.
This will provide 29,160 tonnes of gritstone for heritage repairs on the Grade 1 listed Chatsworth House, Park and Gardens, and elsewhere on the Estate, including historic structures such as Flora's Temple.
Chatsworth House is classed as one of Britain's ten 'treasure houses' along with Blenheim Palace, Leeds Castle and Woburn Abbey.
Burntwood Quarry was last worked in the early 1900s. Its stone has been identified as one of the original sources of all six variants of 'Ashover gritstone' used to construct Chatsworth House. The current House dates back to 1687 and is built on earlier foundations from 1552.
Members of the Peak District National Park Authority's planning committee today (Friday 15 November) allowed the application after deciding that small scale quarrying of local stone for use on the nationally important Chatsworth Estate is in the public interest.
The proposal includes landscaping, habitat enhancements and protection for bats.
Lesley Roberts, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority's planning committee, said: "It is never an easy decision to allow mineral extraction in the national park, but weighing up the positive and negative impacts, we believe it is in the best interests of the public and the nation's heritage to maintain the exceptional architectural and historical integrity of Chatsworth House, Park and Gardens.
"We feel that this is an exceptional case – allowing stone to be extracted from the original source that helped make Chatsworth the architectural gem it is today, visited and loved by thousands of people every year, will benefit the restoration of the House and Estate so that it can still be enjoyed by future generations."
Mineral working is classed as major development which under national planning guidance should not take place in national parks unless there are exceptional circumstances, as in this case.
Planning authorities are also required to consider how to meet demand for small scale extraction of building stone from old quarries, like Burntwood Quarry, for the repair of heritage assets, of which Chatsworth is a prime example.