Last April, after a lengthy Public Inquiry, a Planning Inspector ensured that the vast majority of Longstone Edge was saved from being quarried for aggregate. Inevitably, the landowner appealed against the decision and the judge decided to allow the appeal, granting Bleaklow Industries carte blanche to quarry Longstone Edge to destruction.
In only one day, a judge has single-handedly overturned the decision of a public inquiry that took weeks. During that public inquiry, the planning inspector heard and considered evidence from all sides. During the High Court hearing, the judge simply heard arguments from the solicitor representing the quarry operators and solicitors for the Peak Park and the Treasury. It is worth noting that the same judge has already arrived at a number of contentious decisions surrounding mineral permissions and National Parks. This effectively means that the landowner can quarry limestone over some 147 hectares of Longstone edge and he doesn't have to fill the hole back in when he's done.
This decision has implications throughout the Peak and other National Parks. Both Friends of the Peak District Campaign Organiser Andy Tickle and BMC Access volunteer Henry Folkard insist that this is a massive setback but not the end of the story. It is now imperative that the Peak Park Authority or Treasury solicitors take the case to the Court of Appeal.
Please use the addresses below to urge the relevant MP's to raise this important issue with ministers.
Angela Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick McLoughlin - email@example.com
Tom Levitt - firstname.lastname@example.org