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Quarrier wins ruling in 20-year legal row

MATERIALS Judge says mining rm does not have to give up rights at 105 ha mineral site

A DERBYSHIRE quarrier has won the latest round of its longrunning legal battle with planning authorities.

High Court judges ruled against the Peak District National Park Authority and its decision to impose quarrying limits on land owned by Bakewell-based quarrier Bleaklow Industries.

It launched a legal challenge against the PDNPA in 2004 over quarrying on a site it owns on Winster Moor, near Matlock.

The authority had granted planning permission to extract vein minerals on a 7 ha site on the moor to another company, Glebe Mines, under the proviso that Glebe would surrender rights to work vein minerals on a 105 ha site at Longstone Edge, near Hassop and Calver, and owned by Bleaklow Industries.

A judge ruled that the PDNPA was justified in putting such constraints on its permission in January 2005 but in a later hearing judges allowed Bleaklow to apply for a judicial review on technical grounds.

And now the review has ruled that Glebe Mines does not have to surrender its quarrying rights at Longstone Edge, which were granted in a planning permission dating back to 1952 .

The result is the latest in a legal battle lasting almost 20 years.

Rob Harpley, managing director of Bleaklow Industries, welcomed the findings but underlined that the battle against planning restraints placed by the PDNPA at its Backdale Quarry on Longstone Edge would continue.

He said: 'There is a public inquiry in February next year, which is important, but I am glad the right decision has been made in this case.'

And he claimed that by placing stop notices on quarrying work at Backdale the PDNPA had encouraged more quarrying on areas previously untouched.

He said: 'We have started work at an area called Wager's Flat. If the stop notice had not been put on Backdale that would not have happened.'

PDNPA planning committee chair Narendra Bajaria said: 'We are disappointed with the outcome of this hearing. The judgement shows the complexity of the legal issues we are facing. We are looking closely at the detail before deciding on our next course of action.'