Peak Park Quarry Is 'Dormant'

The High Court has ruled that a controversial quarry at Stanton Moor in the Peak Park is officially 'dormant' giving the Park Authority more control over working conditions.

Posted: 23 June 2004
by Jon

The High Court has ruled that the quarries at Stanton Moor in the Peak District National Park are officially 'dormant' which gives the Park Authority more power to protect the environment in the area.

The quarry is located between Matlock and Bakewell in the White Peak - see map.

Stancliffe Stone, the company owning the sandstone quarries wants to start working them again, despite their location in an area with both ecological and archaeological significance. Bizarrely they're able to do this because of planning permission granted in the 1950s, however, the location of the quarries is so close to the bronze age Nine Ladies stone circle that it has caused uproar. Campaigners have occupied the site - erecting tree houses and digging tunnels.

A recent Guardian article predicted that 'a battle of the intensity of the road protests at Twyford Down and Newbury in the 1990s looks inevitable' and music legend Julian Cope recently visited the site and said that he was heartened by the presence of the protestors though 'shocked by the threatened disturbance and the "f*****d up" quarriers', see this article.

The company owning the quarries took the case to the High Court in an effort to have the workings at Stanton Moor classified as 'active', which would have given them more freedom of operation. Instead, the Peak Park Authority says the decision will give them 'more freedom to impose conditions restricting working of the quarries, without the risk of compensation'.

Councillor John Bull, who chairs the Authority's planning control committee, comments: "We welcome today's judgement which supports our view that the quarries are dormant. This is very good news because it reinforces our ability to safeguard the environment in such situations."

It still seems mad to us that outdated planning applications can be used to justify massive quarrying developments in obviously sensitive areas, however at least this is a step in a positive direction.

Stancliffe Stone has 28 days to lodge an appeal.

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