Peak District quarry battle set for continuation in High Court

A dispute over quarrying in the Peak District national park is set to escalate after a High Court challenge secured the go-ahead this week.

Mr Justice Sullivan ruled that operator MMC Processing and landowner Bleaklow Industries "have a reasonable prospect of success" with their challenge against the Peak District National Park Authority's stop notice on Backdale Quarry.

The move follows a planning inspector's decision to uphold the stop notice (Planning, 4 May, p5). MMC Processing had permission to excavate fluorspar but the inspector said the 91:1 ratio of limestone to fluorspar extracted should be cut back to no more than 2:1.

The appellants argued that they should be entitled to continue mining at the site in accordance with a planning permission that was granted in 1952.

Friends of the Peak District head of planning Andy Tickle commented: "One of the key challenges was the ratio that the inspector found and the fact that it was not discussed in an explicit way at the inquiry.

"But we think that the ratio is sensible and ultimately this will come down to a modern-day interpretation of what was decided in the 1950s. We are very unhappy that this is still being pursued."

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