Cowdale Quarry, about 2 miles east of Buxton, was last quarried for limestone in 1948 and has spent the intervening years returning back to nature with many mature trees and wildlife. It is a popular spot for climbers, walkers and picnickers and has been used for years as grazing land. Unfortunately this tranquil spot is now under threat from massive development in the shape of a 5 hectare mineral water bottling plant within a 20 hectare business park and surrounded by 800 car parking spaces. The proposal also includes massive excavations on the A6 to drive a new entrance into the quarry through the side of Ashwood Dale and the removal of thousands of tonnes of what are now tree covered spoil heaps. Many councils with old quarry workings in their areas would give a lot to see them restored naturally in this way but the proposal will destroy most of what is now there. The development amounts to an industrial abomination in a rural location and must be fought against and refused.

The quarry is in an Area of Special Landscape adjacent to the Peak Park and is registered as agricultural land. Wildlife includes nesting kestrels, bats, lizards and badgers with sightings of sparrowhawk and goshawk. It is not in the High Peak Borough Council local plan as development land and any development there would totally contrary to HPBC planning policy. Why then has the council not thrown out the application? There is a whiff that big business is involved and maybe the council see new jobs, but the site cannot be reached on foot or by any transport other than car and is totally unsustainable. The planning inspector removed Foxlow Farm on the outskirts of Buxton from the allocation of land for business because the demand for new office space in Buxton was so low. Why is this application even being considered?

The HPBC planning committee will be meeting in the next couple of months to make a decision, please make your views known soon using the comments button here.

In addition, there is now a facebook group for the campaign, where you can express your support and/or stay informed about developments, as well as become more involved.