Park Authority halts quarrying at Backdale in the Peak District (previously sabotaged)

Backdale quarry

Peak Park have served a stop notice, effective today 30 Jan, on Merriman who are quarrying at Backdale. National Park minister Jim Knight has visited the site today and pledged his support. Merriman have threatened to open two more sites if stopped at Backdale.

Machinery at the quarry had been sabotaged last summer - see http://earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/?q=node/547

A significant milestone in the Backdale Quarry saga occurred today when the Stop Notice came into force and the national park minister came to see for himself what all the fuss is about. Jim Knight, Minister for Landscape and Rural Affairs, deplored the harm to an iconic landscape here in a national park, and said that he has authorised financial backing for the Park to serve the stop notice. The Backdale site lies at the eastern end of Longstone Edge in the Peak District National Park, some four miles north of Bakewell.

The stop notice, served by the Park Authority (NPA) on the quarry company Merriman of Leicester and the landowner Bleaklow Industries, is intended to prevent further destruction until a planning inquiry reports its findings. The inquiry is now scheduled for April this year and should report in the Autumn. The NPA, the local campaign group Save Longstone Edge (SLEG), and all who love the park fervently hope that the inspector will uphold the enforcement notice that was earlier served on Merriman and Bleaklow. SLEG will monitor closely Merriman’s compliance with the stop notice.

The stop notice applies to the Backdale site only, but two other beautiful sites on Longstone Edge, much more visible and currently untouched, are in the control of Bleaklow/Merriman. Indeed they have threatened to open these up if denied quarrying at Backdale. SLEG would regard such an act as being most aggressive and provocative, given that it involves using contested methods to damage a national park, and where a process is in place to resolve the matter, namely the inquiry. Bleaklow/Merriman should pay regard to the fact that they are operating in a national park and have the decency to wait until the inquiry has reported.

http://www.longstone-edge.org.uk
http://www.friendsofthepeak.org.uk/fotpdcampaigns/quarrying1.htm