Longstone Edge Saved

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Countryside campaigners are celebrating a legal victory today which will help to save a beautiful landscape in the Peak District National Park being scarred by uncontrolled limestone quarrying.

In the latest stage of a long-running legal battle over Backdale Quarry on Longstone Edge, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Peak District National Park Authority and the Government. The Court upheld their appeal against a controversial High Court decision by Justice Sullivan last year.

Controversy has centred on interpreting an old planning permission which determined how much limestone could be extracted whilst getting out the mineral fluorspar. A previous public inquiry ruled that this should be limited to a ratio of two parts of limestone to one part of fluorspar. This was then overturned last year in the High Court.

Since then the quarry operators MMC had resumed limestone quarrying with a vengeance, to the dismay of local residents, visitors and the Longstone Edge Coalition , a national group of campaigning organisations.

“This is fantastic news, and a huge relief,” said Andy Tickle, a Coalition spokesperson and Head of Planning at Friends of the Peak District. “We are really happy to see a more considered view has been taken about what the planning permission means, and that this iconic Peak District landscape is being saved.”

However, the Coalition warns that the situation may not be completely resolved yet.

“Although this is marvellous news, it isn't necessarily the end of the story. We do not think that this welcome judgment alone is sufficient for quarrying to be controlled properly in the future. We're now calling on DEFRA to buy out the planning permission completely. Only this will make Longstone Edge absolutely safe from future unscrupulous quarrying,” said Ruth Chambers, Acting Chief Executive of the Campaign for National Parks.

Meanwhile, the Coalition is demanding that MMC comply with the judgment and stop limestone quarrying immediately.

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18 Mar, 2009
yeha, he says more cautiously. If this is the case, what other options are available to the quarry owners? Lords?
18 Mar, 2009
Wow, what great news! ... but I haven't had an email from the PDNPA about it yet (I'm on their mailing list), let's hope there are no further snags.
18 Mar, 2009
Email has just arrived this moment from the PDNPA. The 3 court of appeal judges have unanimously overturned the previous High Court decision. Although they've rejected an application by the landowner, Bleaklow Industries, for permission to appeal to the House of Lords, 'the possibility of an appeal can still not be ruled out'.
18 Mar, 2009
Brilliant news - 3-0 eh, always felt that that first judge had to be a lone maverick to hand down such an outrageous judgement. Unfortunately I doubt if that will be the end of it and the PDNPA will probably still end up paying the lawndowner off, but at least we don't have might avoid what would be an appalling precedent
18 Mar, 2009
Morning all! Lovely day!! Just spoken to the oracle that is the Henry. While we don't know the details yet, it looks as thought he Court of Appeal broadly agrees with the Inspector at the public enquiry. The decision was unanimous and right of appeal to the House of Lords was refused, although that could still happen. There's also the European Court to think about, but Mr Harpley will ahev to have very deep pockets if he takes it that far. in the fianl analysis, the news is as good as we could have hoped for so - yeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaa jh
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