QUARRIERS have accused officials of trying to bulldoze through plans to phase out quarrying in the Peak District National Park.
They slammed the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) for failing to consult the industry on long-term management of the park.
Quarry bosses said that the authority had not properly notified locals or businesses of its Help Shape the Future consultation, which sets out how the park will be managed over the next few years.
Peter Huxtable, secretary at the British Aggregates Association, said: 'Despite being mentioned in the consultation we were not contacted by the authority or sent any indication that its closing date was August 4. This is another occasion where local authorities appear to have tried to sneak in proposals contrary to national guidelines.'
In the consultation document the authority said that by 2011 'the long-term impact of minerals on the special qualities of the National Park and on communities [will be] reduced because there [will be] fewer quarries and those that remain [will] work to the highest modern environmental standards'.
Mr Huxtable claimed the management plan showed that the PDNPA was skewed against quarrying and labelled it selfish and short sighted.
He said: 'The PDNPA makes it clear that it wants to see quarrying in its park cease by 2011.
'We are at a loss to understand why the authorities are so against mineral extraction, which has been an integral part of the region for centuries and is responsible for providing many of its distinctive features.'
But Ian Fullilove, PDNPA policy strategy officer, said that interested parties had been given notice.
He said: 'We sent out letters, including one to the British Aggregates Association, indicating that the consultation documents were available and where they could get them.'
But despite this Mr Fullilove said the consultation period had been extended.
He said: 'We have received some complaints and as a result have extended the consultation period to the end of the month.'