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Save Cowdale Quarry group members have discovered new information about what the developers propose for the quarry.

The Operations Director in charge of two local Buxton quarries told campaigners that quarry equipment contractors have been asked to quote for a 5 year programme of spoil heap excavation and aggregate extraction. According to the senior manager, the mining process will involve stripping off all topsoil from the quarry floor and replacing it with waste from the spoil heaps. The aggregate extracted will then be sold off.

The spoil heaps, together with a new roadway, contain 1.75 million tons of material to be dug out and processed and could earn the developer around £12million. Clearly, in spite of what the developers say, there will be no access to the quarry by climbers or anyone else for 5 years at least, and what is left will be a desolate wasteland until it is built upon – if ever.

If they extract 250,000 tons per year and cart it off-site this means 80 HGV movements per day, every working day for 5 years.


Frustrated by the lack of suitable ‘artists impression’ style images at the recent Express Park Buxton open day, campaigners against the plans for Cowdale Quarry have decided to produce their own. Above is how the Quarry will most likely look from the Southwest across the Wye Valley, a view from within the Peak Park.

The photo below shows how Express Park Buxton plan to level the site by removing the spoil heaps (outlined in red).

The Save Cowdale Quarry campaign has organised a public meeting, which plans to run an exhibition of the proposal alongside pictures of the quarry – of both when it was being worked (i.e. over 60 years ago), and as it is now. The details are as follows:

DateSaturday, 24th April

Time1.30 – 4.30 pm

VenueBuxton Methodist Church, Chapel Street, Buxton, SK17 6HX (click here for a map)

A speaker from CPRE is now confirmed, and a speaker from the Green Party has been invited. You can show your support for the meeting on facebook, and the campaign’s facebook page can be found here.

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.

Ongoing Consultations

April 2018
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