Backdale Quarry - the fight is finally won

23rd Jun 2016

Our long-running campaign to close Backdale Quarry at Longstone Edge has finally ended in success!

The former quarry at the eastern end of Longstone Edge has been permanently saved from mineral extraction. Following a public inquiry held in January this year, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has upheld the Prohibition Order to prevent the quarrying of minerals or depositing mineral waste over an area of 138 hectares, including Backdale Quarry, and upheld the proposed restoration scheme.

The landowner, Bleaklow Industries Limited, will be obliged to restore the land in line with National Park planners’ recommendations to minimise risk from landslips and rockfall, reduce its visual impact in the landscape and benefit ecology. The site contains rare fossils of shark bones so the restoration will need to be monitored by experts. Peak District National Park chief executive Sarah Fowler said: “This decision brings to an end more than 17 years of complex planning work and legal action. We are very pleased with the final outcome – it protects a significant area of land from mineral extraction and is absolutely the right decision for Longstone Edge and the Peak District National Park. Over the years it has involved thousands of hours of staff time and personal effort, a number of successful court cases, as well as the active support and backing from local communities, national environmental groups, MPs and the Government. I’m particularly pleased for the local people who fought such a strong campaign to help protect the landscape and peace and tranquillity of this area.”

Alongside Save Longstone Edge Group, we have been campaigning since 2003 to stop damaging quarrying being carried out at this site. And by lobbying government, alongside the Campaign for National Parks, we brought about the new legislation which allowed the PDNPA to serve the final decisive prohibition order.

“We’re over the moon that, after years of hard work by the Authority, the local community and ourselves, we can finally say the fight to save Longstone Edge is over. It really shows the power of partnership and persistence when we have to deal with a really tough planning issue. We just can’t thank everyone who helped enough!” Andy Tickle

The battle to protect Longstone Edge started in 1999 when legal action began over excessive limestone extraction at the quarry, which was damaging the landscape and in the National Park’s view contravened a 1952 planning permission – this allowed the extraction of vein minerals (mainly fluorspar) found within limestone in this area. In 2007, a Planning Inspector upheld the National Park’s enforcement notice after an eight-day public inquiry, but this was overturned by the High Court in 2008. In 2009, the Court of Appeal restored the Planning Inspector’s decision to uphold the National Park’s enforcement action and the House of Lords turned down the landowner, Bleaklow Industries Ltd, request to appeal. And, in 2010, the European Court of Human Rights also turned down their request to appeal. For more information click here.

The Secretary of State’s decision brings an end to the planning permission for all mineral working at the site.