Peak District authorities will appeal against a High Court ruling which stopped them taking enforcement action against a quarry firm.
The landscape is at risk if the judgement is allowed to stand, they said. Talks with Government ministers and landowners will also continue to try to resolve the problems caused by quarrying at Backdale, near Bakewell in Derbyshire.
Save Longstone Edge Group
The Peak District National Park Authority voted today to challenge the verdict of Mr Justice Sullivan who, in February, overturned an inspector’s ruling that quarrying of limestone at Backdale should stop.
Authority deputy chair Hilda Gaddum said: “Our aim all along has been to stop irreversible damage to the prominent landscape feature of Longstone Edge. This issue is at the top of the authority’s priorities, and we firmly believe we have grounds to appeal.”
As grough reported, a coalition of groups opposed to the extensive quarrying, at Longstone Edge, was formed recently and urged the authority to continue the campaign. The Ramblers’ Association and the British Mountaineering Council are among the coalition.
After today’s meeting, Save Longstone Edge representative John Lambert, speaking on behalf of the coalition, said: “We really want to work together to ensure a permanent solution is found quickly. Otherwise we will continue to lose the landscape we treasure.”
Backdale Quarry is owned by Bleaklow Industries and worked by MMC Mineral Processing under a 1952 permission which allowed: ‘the winning and working of fluorspar and barytes and for the working of lead and any other minerals which are won in the course of working those minerals, by turning over old spoil dumps, by opencast working and by underground mining’.
The 1952 permission covered 385 acres (155 ha) at Longstone Edge, both at Backdale and Wagers Flat quarries. In 1989, concern was expressed about the amount of limestone being taken out of the site.
Since then, quarrying at both Backdale and Wagers Flat has been on-off as legal processes and arguments have dragged on. At present, quarrying is taking place at both sites.
The Peak park authorities’ decision to seek leave to take the case to the Court of Appeal is the latest stage in the saga.