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Eldon Hill (Quarrying)

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 9 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in the light of his recent decision to refuse to allow an extension of quarrying at Eldon Hill in the Peak District, he will make a statement on his policy on working and winning of minerals in national parks.

All applications for development whether inside or outside national parks must be considered on their own merits. However, it is also the Secretary of State's policy as expressed in DOE Circular 4/76 that, because of the serious impact mineral working may have on the natural beauty of the parks, applications for the extraction of minerals in national parks must be subject to the most rigorous examination. In his view extraction should be demonstrated to be in the public interest, and consideration of such applications should therefore normally include an assessment of:

  • (i) the need for the development, including the extraction of the mineral, in terms of national considerations and the impact of permitting or refusing it upon the local economy;
  • (ii) the availability and cost of alternative sources of supply;
  • (iii) any detrimental effect on the environment and the landscape and the extent to which that could and should be moderated;
  • (iv) whether in the light of this assessment the proposed development would be justified in the public interest.
  • Local authorities should have regard to this policy in the preparation of, and alterations to, their development plans.