Backdale and Longstone Edge
history


PEAK PARK AND GOVERNMENT

In 2005 with the public inquiry opened a minister visited the area and amid some publicity pledged money to the planners specifically for the purpose of funding its fight. This was unprecedented. Peak Park then issued a stop notice for the first time.

We have since had many more. These affect our ability to work the site while preparing for the Inquiry and, of
course, our funding for it!

Before the money was pledged did Peak Park tell Government of the 97 offer of a High Court Declaration?

Did it tell Government that the Inspector had already flagged up that the enforcement notice might be a nullity?

Did it tell Government of its history of frustrating the ROMP process?

December 2006. Judicial revue of s.106 agreement (attempt to sterilize minerals). Judge quoshes s106 and criticizes Peak Park "had not been frank with the court and had instead proffered through leading counsel a specious
explanation". Peak Park to pay Bleaklow costs again!

April 2007. Planning inspector rejects Peak Park's position on interpretation of 52 permission but then imports his own novel restriction. Enforcement and Stop notices at Backdale and Wagers Flat, based on inspectors decision, follow.

February 2008. High Court Judge rejects inspectors decision as "fundamentally flawed" and "demonstrably unworkable" remits decision back to Secretary of State. Judge is also asked by all parties to give declaration of meaning of 52 permission. This corresponds with position Bleaklow have always held. Secretaryof State to pay Bleaklow costs! This is exactly the question that Peak Park avoided in 97. All the waste of time and taxpayers money since then stem from this!

Wagers Flat public Inquiry still to come. Based on what?

8th April 2008. Peak Park withdraw the Stop Notices at Backdale and Wagers Flat-compensation consequences will follow.

11th April 2008. Authority withdraws Enforcement Notice at Wagers Flat. The Inquiry will not now take place but the taxpayer Will have to pay for all the wasted preparation!
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BACKGROUND
The mineral deposits on Longstone Edge have been worked since before Roman times. Lead, fluorspar, barytes and limestone have all been won. Large areas have been mined, holes, heaps and various other features covered the landscape virtually all of which has been disturbed. In 1952 the land was, for the first time, subject to a planning permission.


THE PLANNING PERMISSION
Permission was given for "The winning and working of fluorspar and barytes and for the working of lead and any other minerals which are won in the course of working these minerals, by turning over old spoil dumps, by opencast working and by underground mining".

Bleaklow has had one QC throughout since 1997 and we have shown the authority his opinion of what the permission means. That opinion has not changed. We say that the permission contains no limitation as to the depth of working, the quantities of minerals worked or the proportion of minerals worked.

In contrast the Planning Authority has had advice from several QCs. It has refused to show us any of them so as to convince us that it is right. It has claimed, variously. That limestone is not a mineral. That only vein minerals can be won. That any limestone that had to be removed must be replaced. That limestone removed must be inextricably mixed with the other minerals. Then that the limestone had to be "ancillary" to extraction of the named minerals. Its present position is unclear.


THE ROMP
(Review of Old Mineral Permissions) APPLICATION
In 1997 an application was made for a review of the 52 permission under the 95 Environment Act to offer new conditions so as to bring the method of working up to date. In 1998 after many delays caused by the authority it determined the application. In 1999 that determination was Quashed in the High Court, Peak Park admitted it had acted unlawfully, had to pay all costs and was refused leave to appeal. It said it needed an Environmental Impact Assessment of the effects of the application. Bleaklow commissioned an EIA and submitted it in 2000. The planning authority refused to accept it for petty bureaucratic reasons. We now know those reasons were not lawful. It then wanted a Traffic Impact Assessment despite the site having been used for this purpose for 15 years. While this was being done it entered into a s.106 agreement whose sole purpose was to sterilise the minerals covered by the ROMP. Taken together the authority has done everything it can to frustrate a process designed to bring improvement.

The ROMP process is predicated on the assumption that the planning authority will make every effort to speed applications through so as to have new conditions applied to old existing permissions. In this case this has not happened.


ENFORCEMENT
From 1988 onwards the planners threatened enforcement action based on their varied interpretations of the permission. None was served. In 1997 we asked the Authority if it would go to the High Court for a Declaration so that a Judge would rule on the meaning of the permission and thus clarify the rights for the ROMP process. They refused. In 2004 it finally issued an enforcement notice. In 2006 the planning inspectorate ruled that notice null and void because "The notice is insufficiently clear and unambiguous on its face to allow the recipients to tell with reasonable certainty what steps have to be taken to remedy the alleged breach". This was based not as the planners alleged on some recent ruling but on one from 1963 called Miller-Mead. It has since issued a new enforcement notice and a Public Inquiry will follow. Meanwhile though it is sure enough of its position to issue these draconian measures it has asked Bleaklow if it will go to the High Court for a Declaration nearly 10 years (and an enormous amount of public money wasted) after it was first asked. Bleaklow has agreed.


THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF THE PLANNERS ACTIONS has been to produce a more visible mark on the landscape than would otherwise have happened (see picture above). Even if they succeed with the latest enforcement this will not be reinstated since the enforcement contains no reinstatement clause. This to defeat a scheme with better screening from view and a full modern restoration. If the latest enforcement succeeds it makes further working in other parts of the permission area more likely. It will have cost the taxpayer a huge amount of money.

  > S.L.E.G. Save Longstone Edge Group
Misleading leaflets and website - the facts

> EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)
details - What was offered

Details of what was offered to the Peak Park
Is this really what the Peak Park wanted?
- click here to see what was offered in detail

 
Offered restoration plan
Offered restoration plan in the ROMP scheme - click for enlargement
 

Areas offered for exclusion from working
Areas offered for exclusion from working in the ROMP scheme - click for enlargement

 

Mineral veins in the ROMP schemeMineral veins in the ROMP scheme
- click for enlargement

 

Map showing veins and working method for Backdale submitted by Peak Park for Public inquiry to be held in 2006 now prohibited from working by latest enforcement notice
- click for enlargement

 

Working method taken from AEC5 to deeper level as allowed by planning permission
- click for enlargement

> S.L.E.G. Save Longstone Edge Group
Misleading leaflets and website
- the facts
 
> EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)
details - What was offered