Quarry idea thrown out by planners

CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after council plans for a controversial development at a Chesterfield quarry were refused.

Derbyshire NSF Ltd, based in Staveley, applied for planning permission to extract up to 78,000 tonnes of sandstone at Alton Quarry, Alton, over ten years.

But Derbyshire County Council’s planning committee quashed the bid at a meeting in Matlock on Monday after worried Alton residents and district councillors raised a number of concerns about the scheme.

After the decision, protesters said: “This is a victory for the local community.

“We’ve been brought closer together during this fight.”

Campaigners feared the development would spark more noise, dust and vehicular movement and “introduce an industrial impact to a quiet rural community”.

Jenny Butler, who runs Alton Riding School near to the quarry, claimed horses might cause disaster after feeling vibrations during excavations.

“If they get spooked, horses get frightened and run away. They could get out on to roads and cause an awful lot of accidents,” she said.

Residents feared the long-running riding school would have been forced to close if the scheme received approval.

Alton councillor Peter Riggott added: “This development would have an adverse impact on the local community.”

Derbyshire NSF Ltd said the sandstone would be used as building stone and in the production of a new product and would provide up to 30 jobs

But, in a report, planning chiefs said the current proposals did not represent the best and most sustainable use of the stone and recommended the bid be refused.

Speaking after the meeting, a Derbyshire NSF Ltd spokesman said: “The company is disappointed with the outcome of this application. It is considering its options in terms of ways forward.”

l What do you think about the refusal? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.