Quarry firm loses Euro court move

JUDGES at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have refused to hear an appeal brought by the owners of a quarry – bringing to an end a lengthy legal battle over the site.

Backdale Quarry on Longstone Edge, near Bakewell, was first ordered to close by the Peak District National Park Authority in 2004 after officials claimed unauthorised limestone extraction was taking place.

Several legal hearings and judicial reviews took place, but the enforcement was finally upheld by the Court of Appeal in March 2009 and a request for appeal to the House of Lords by landowner Bleaklow Industries was turned down in June last year.

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Appeal to the ECHR was the final legal hope for the company.

The authority has consistently argued that the company's activities were not authorised by the 1952 planning permission and were damaging the national park landscape.

Peak Park Authority chairman Narendra Bajaria said: "We very much welcome this news. It completely vindicates the commitment of the authority to defending its stance through the courts.

"I'm pleased for the local community and environmental organisations who fought such a strong campaign to end this harm to the landscape and to the peace and tranquillity of the area.

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"This is a major milestone in ending the unlawful removal of excessive limestone, but it is not the end of the story. We are in the process of reviewing the 1952 permission under regulations for review of old mineral permissions, and we are in discussions with the companies who have an interest in the Longstone Edge sites."

Nobody from Bleaklow Industries was available for comment yesterday.