Restoration to take place at old quarry

A QUARRY at a Peak District beauty spot will have to be restored for agriculture and nature conservation following the outcome of a public inquiry held in January.

The restoration at Bonsall Moor will improve the landscape and provide additional wildlife habitat.

The site is a former fluorspar quarry at Blakemere Pit, an eight-hectare site which has not been worked for minerals for around 18 years.

The planning permission issued by the Peak District National Park Authority in 2001 required its restoration by August 2005, but the owners did not carry out the works.

The Authority took enforcement action in November 2009.

In his decision, announced this month, planning inspector Keri Williams said the site was an intrusive feature which could be seen from viewpoints across a wide area used by walkers and cyclists, and the original time limits for restoration were reasonable and necessary.

He stated: “I find that there is unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the area and to the landscape from the unrestored site.” He added that a four-year extension would perpetuate that harm almost ten years beyond the original intention, and he could not accept that.

The land will have to be restored to agriculture. Several dry stone walls need to be reinstated and repaired, and Moorlands Lane and Moor Lane, which were diverted round the site, need to be put back on their original routes.

The site has also been used illegally by off-road 4x4 vehicles and motorbikes for a number of years.

As a result, the Authority took further enforcement action to stop the unauthorised use.