Question 25: What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM4: Protection and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity

Showing comments and forms 1 to 18 of 18

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 30720

Received: 28/08/2018

Respondent: Teri Browett

Representation:

Natural England are no longer to be trusted with the environment. I know people who work there who tell me that this government is reversing policy at an alarming rate to enable shale extraction at all costs.
The cost is to the environment. You cannot restore natural habitats that have taken millenia to develop.
The cost is to high.
Shale extraction must not be allowed anywhere.

Full text:

Natural England are no longer to be trusted with the environment. I know people who work there who tell me that this government is reversing policy at an alarming rate to enable shale extraction at all costs.
The cost is to the environment. You cannot restore natural habitats that have taken millenia to develop.
The cost is to high.
Shale extraction must not be allowed anywhere.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 30721

Received: 28/08/2018

Respondent: Teri Browett

Representation:

"...unless there is no available alternative and the need for development outweighs the landscape interest and the harmful impacts can be adequately mitigated;"

Here lies the problem. What can possibly outweigh the landscape interest? Harmful impacts can not be adequately mitigated. What does that even mean. What do you consider adequate?

Out countryside is under serious threat. It is the most important asset that we have. The needs of the environment and our dwindling species of wildlife that inhabit it should outweigh all else.

These proposals are driven by greed not need.

Full text:

"...unless there is no available alternative and the need for development outweighs the landscape interest and the harmful impacts can be adequately mitigated;"

Here lies the problem. What can possibly outweigh the landscape interest? Harmful impacts can not be adequately mitigated. What does that even mean. What do you consider adequate?

Out countryside is under serious threat. It is the most important asset that we have. The needs of the environment and our dwindling species of wildlife that inhabit it should outweigh all else.

These proposals are driven by greed not need.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 30769

Received: 13/09/2018

Respondent: Newark & Sherwood District Council

Representation:

NSDC is supportive, and the reference to the ppSPA in paragraph 5.47 is welcomed.

Full text:

NSDC is supportive, and the reference to the ppSPA in paragraph 5.47 is welcomed.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 30810

Received: 17/09/2018

Respondent: Coddington Parish Council

Representation:

Coddington Parish Council supports the policy in general, but some of the wording of clause 2 (e.g. adequately mitigate) is weak.

Full text:

Coddington Parish Council supports the policy in general, but some of the wording of clause 2 (e.g. adequately mitigate) is weak.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 30839

Received: 19/09/2018

Respondent: P.A.G.E.

Representation:

We support the wording

Full text:

We support the wording

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 30840

Received: 19/09/2018

Respondent: P.A.G.E.

Representation:

The use of the term "European Commission" in 5.52 should be replaced. The provision of alternative habitat described in 5.54 needs to be approved by independant experts such as the RSPB

Full text:

The use of the term "European Commission" in 5.52 should be replaced. The provision of alternative habitat described in 5.54 needs to be approved by independant experts such as the RSPB

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 30909

Received: 20/09/2018

Respondent: Cemex UK operations

Representation:

No comment

Full text:

No comment

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 30961

Received: 22/09/2018

Respondent: Greenfield Associates

Agent: Greenfield Associates

Representation:

For minerals development that have a direct impact on Local Wildlife Sites, a "need for and benefits of the development in that location outweigh the impacts". However for higher level sites (eg SSSI) the benefits need to be shown rather than a need.
Does an allocation within the Mineral Plan give a presumed need for a minerals development.?

Full text:

For minerals development that have a direct impact on Local Wildlife Sites, a "need for and benefits of the development in that location outweigh the impacts". However for higher level sites (eg SSSI) the benefits need to be shown rather than a need.
Does an allocation within the Mineral Plan give a presumed need for a minerals development.?

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 31146

Received: 28/09/2018

Respondent: Mrs Jackie Armstrong

Representation:

CAGE supports DM4 but notes that many claims stated in 5.44 as benefits of biodiversity also apply to agricultural land and to forestry. Well and sensitively managed agricultural land contributes to biodiversity, human health and well-being, and to employment and the enjoyment of the rights-of-way network.

The ability of agricultural land to support farmland birds and other animals appears to be undervalued by the nature lobby. Walkers value hedgerows, copses and woodland but they also appreciate distant views afforded in areas with gappy hedges and larger fields.

Full text:

CAGE supports DM4 but notes that many claims stated in 5.44 as benefits of biodiversity also apply to agricultural land and to forestry. Well and sensitively managed agricultural land contributes to biodiversity, human health and well-being, and to employment and the enjoyment of the rights-of-way network.

The ability of agricultural land to support farmland birds and other animals appears to be undervalued by the nature lobby. Walkers value hedgerows, copses and woodland but they also appreciate distant views afforded in areas with gappy hedges and larger fields.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32146

Received: 28/09/2018

Respondent: Woodland Trust

Representation:

The 2018 revision significantly improves the protection of ancient woodland with the revised policy set out in
paragraph 175c.
This is a significant change from the wording set out in Policy DM4: Protection and Enhancement of
Biodiversity and Geodiversity which echoes the 2012 NPPF. We hope to see this updated in the next iteration of your plan.

It must be noted that the PPG gives equal protection to Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) as it does to Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW). We are also expecting the PPG to be further updated to reflect the NPP revisions.

Full text:

Nottinghamshire County Council Draft Minerals Local Plan Consultation
As the UK's leading woodland conservation charity, the Trust aims to protect native woods, trees and their wildlife for the future. Through the restoration and improvement of woodland biodiversity and increased awareness and understanding of important woodland, these aims can be achieved.
We own and manage over 1000 sites across the UK, covering around 23,000 hectares (57,000 acres) and we have 500,000 members and supporters.
Ancient woodland is defined as an irreplaceable natural resource that has remained constantly wooded since AD1600. The length at which ancient woodland takes to develop and evolve (centuries, even millennia), coupled with the vital links it creates between plants, animals and soils accentuate its irreplaceable status. The varied and unique habitats ancient woodland sites provide
for many of the UK's most important and threatened fauna and flora species cannot be re-created and cannot afford to be lost.
As such, the Woodland Trust aims to prevent the damage, fragmentation and loss of these finite irreplaceable sites from any form of disruptive development.
Approximately one quarter of priority UK BAP species are associated with woodland habitats.
Forests, woods, and trees make a significant contribution to biodiversity, and ancient sites are recognised as being of particular value. Due to their longevity, ancient woodlands are more species rich, and are often refuges for specialist woodland species that struggle to colonise new areas.
Planning Policy
We note that you recognise that your consultation period overlaps with the publication of the revised NPPF and that subsequent drafts will reflect the new framework. The 2018 revision significantly improves the protection of ancient woodland with the revised policy set out in paragraph 175c:
...development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats (such as ancient woodland and ancient or veteran trees) should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional
reasons58 and a suitable compensation strategy exists; and
Footnote 58 states:
For example, infrastructure projects (including nationally significant infrastructure projects, orders under the Transport and Works Act and hybrid bills), where the public benefit would clearly outweigh the loss or deterioration of habitat.
This is a significant change from the wording set out in Policy DM4: Protection and Enhancement of Biodiversity and Geodiversity which echoes the 2012 NPPF. We hope to see this updated in the next iteration of your plan as per your commitment set out on page nine of the draft.

It must be noted that the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) gives equal protection to Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) as it does to Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) (Paragraph:
021 Reference ID: 8-021-20140306). We are also expecting the PPG to be further updated to reflect the NPP revisions.
Allocated Sites
Planning authorities and inspectors increasingly act to prevent its direct destruction. However, the damage and impacts posed to ancient woods by nearby development are not so widely appreciated.
As such we are concerned to see that minerals activities have been allocated next to two ancient woodland sites, as set out in the table below. We request that every effort is made to appropriately buffer these woodlands with new planting of a minimum of 50m to protect their unique and irreplaceable nature. Please consult the Woodland Trust at the earliest opportunity in the event of any future applications on the site.
Site Allocation Nottinghamshire County Council's Draft Minerals Local Plan 2018

MP2r - Botany Bay
Retford Sand and gravel quarry
Adjacent Unmapped ancient woodland
Barnby Fox Covert*
(SK6676383259)
MP2s - Mill Hill (Near Barton in Fabis) Beeston Sand and gravel quarry
Adjacent Brandshill Wood -
ASNW**
(SK5307433430)
*Ancient woodland status of Barnby Fox Covert should be assessed by Natural England.
**Currently being added to the Ancient Woodland Inventory by Natural England.

Intensifying land uses adjacent to ancient woodland can have a significant impact upon the woodland in a number of different ways:
Increased activity such as through mineral extraction can result in: modified local hydrological regimes; vibration; noise and light pollution; vehicular collisions with wildlife; external activity visible from within the wood; an increase in wind-blown litter accumulation; and tree surgery or felling along the woodland edge for safety reasons or subsidence prevention.
Noise and light pollution interfere with interactions between species, affecting foraging and predation, reducing breeding success and thereby affecting on-going population viability.
Disturbance may, therefore, lead to species being eliminated from woods.
Vegetation clearance near to ancient woodland may affect woodland hydrology, increasing the likelihood of water-logging or drought and leading to loss of trees and changes in species composition. Soil compaction adjacent to woodland increases water run-off and soil erosion. It can cause severe damage to tree roots, leading to tree defoliation, crown dieback, and death.
The Trust asks that ancient woodland is considered as a key constraint in the future development of these sites and that the appropriate planted buffer is put in place. We would also take this opportunity to ask to be consulted on all forthcoming applications affecting ancient woodland.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32173

Received: 28/09/2018

Respondent: United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas

Representation:

It is important to recognise that all onshore oil and gas sites are temporary in nature and provide a clear opportunity, post decommissioning, for sites to be restored to an enhanced environmental condition, for example; a site can be redeveloped to maximise habitat potential and improve
biodiversity.
We also note that the plan highlights that Nottinghamshire does not contain any European registered 'Special areas of conservation (SACs) or Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

Full text:

RE: Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan - Draft Plan Consultation (27th July to 28th Sept 2018)
UKOOG is the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry, including exploration and production. We are supportive of the development of this plan, in that it will enable Nottinghamshire to, 'prepare an up-to-date Minerals Local Plan which will guide the future development of mineral planning in our county up to 2036'.
We would like to remind the Council to have full regard of the Written Ministerial Statement: Energy Policy of 17th May 20181.
Our response to the specific questions, relevant to our industry are as follows:
Strategic Objectives:
Question 1 - What do you think to the draft vision and strategic objectives set out in the plan?
UKOOG Response: UKOOG supports the Nottinghamshire local plan's vision and strategic objectives in their current form. The plan states that 'Over the plan period to 2036 minerals will continue to be used as efficiently as possible across Nottinghamshire. Minerals are a valuable natural resource and should be worked and used in a sustainable manner and where possible reused to minimise waste'. UKOOG appreciate this pragmatic approach to mineral development and the recognition as part of the plans vision that 'Nottinghamshire will continue to provide minerals to meet its share of local and national needs.' However, we believe the objective needs to present a wider position and we suggest the wording is modified to include 'and facilitate the development of' minerals to meet local needs and contribute to the national need, 'particularly for energy if the opportunity arises'. UK onshore oil and gas development is compatible with the plan's 8 key strategic objectives, specifically through the development of an adequate supply of domestic minerals under a regulatory environment superior to that of countries from which the UK imports its minerals. It is also important that the plan recognises the need to minimise the impact on climate change. A domestic oil and gas supply offers significant
carbon savings over fuels which otherwise would be imported from overseas.
Policy SP1 - Sustainable Development:
Question 2 - What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable development?
UKOOG Response: UKOOG are supportive of the general themes in policy SP1, as we believe that sustainable domestic development is of great importance to the UK. This is especially the case, as the plan makes clear, in the transition to a low carbon economy. Failure to develop UK minerals in a sustainable and heavily regulated domestic environment will result in the offshoring of tax revenue,
jobs, and our carbon emissions. Policy SP1 is aligned with the NPPF but must also take full account of the Written Ministerial Statement: Energy Policy of 17th May 2018.
We note in SP1 - Point 2 states applications .... 'will be approved' and SP1 - Point 3 says that planning permission will be granted. In both cases we believe the wording should be changed to 'applications will be supported', as the approval and/or granting of planning permission is a matter for the determining person/committee, and there is no certainty of outcome.
In the justification text in paragraph 3.6, we believe that the wording should be modified to; 'It is also national policy to support the exploration, appraisal and potential production of hydrocarbons and other minerals, as part of addressing climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy'.
Policy SP2 - Minerals Provision
Question 3 - What do you think to the draft strategic policy for minerals provision?
UKOOG Response: It is UKOOGs view that this strategic policy should be worded to equally apply to all minerals. In its current form the policy appears to be very 'aggregate' orientated and should be more flexible in supporting the development of other mineral types.
SP2 point 2 The reference to 'avoidance' should be replaced with 'minimisation' as avoidance may not be possible in the event of a national need.
Policy SP4 - Climate Change:
Question 5 - What do you think of the draft strategic policy for climate change?
UKOOG Response: UKOOG supports the ambitions of the Climate Change Act (2008), which is the UK Government's mechanism for addressing climate change and its 'nationally determined contribution' to the Paris Agreement.
Policy SP4 states that: 'All minerals development, including site preparation, operational practices and restoration proposals should minimise their impact on the causes of climate change for the lifetime of the development.'
The industry already acts to ensure that emissions associated with hydrocarbon development are minimised. Wells and associated activities are comprehensively monitored in-line with environmental permits throughout the exploration, appraisal and production phases, applying 'Best available techniques' (BAT). Similarly, wells are decommissioned, and sites are restored to ensure environmental impacts are minimised. The wording of the policy is inconsistent with the NPPF which
requires plans to take a proactive approach to 'mitigating and adapting to climate change' (paragraphs 20 (d) and 149, for example). The requirement for proposals to minimise the impact on climate change throughout the lifetime of the development is unduly onerous and exceeds the guidance in the NPPF
and the climate change PPG. Instead, the policy should be amended to state the proposals should 'minimise the impact on climate change by mitigating and managing development emissions'.
The only the emission related issues, which represent material planning considerations, are those associated with the local development of the resource, such as limiting traffic movements. The control of onsite emissions, directly associated with the operation, are regulated by the Environment Agency,
which include methane and NMVOC's. The end use combustion of the hydrocarbons produced, is not a local material local planning consideration, as that is controlled and regulated by central government. For example, if natural gas is produced and sent to a separate combined cycle gas turbine, this facility is already separately permitted and regulated, and any climate impacts are
accounted for within national assessments.
Policy SP5 - Sustainable Transport
Question 6 - What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable transport?
UKOOG Response: UKOOG agree that minimising traffic movements in the development of minerals
is sound, where it is practical to do so. The onshore industry aims to maximise the reuse and recycling of materials and waste products from its operations, wherever it is feasible to do so, but the policy must align with the principal that minerals, including oil and gas, can only be worked where they are found. This may not explicitly align with policy SP5 - 2(b), which states, 'within close proximity to the
County's main highway network and existing transport routes in order to avoid residential areas, minor roads, and minimise the impact of road transportation'. It is our view that site specific traffic management plans will address local impacts, should they be identified, and that this policy is over restrictive in its current form. The policy must also recognise the short-term traffic impacts of some
mineral developments, where there may be more intense periods of traffic activity but only for a very limited time. Sp5 - Point 1 should also include reference to other forms of transport; for example, conveyors and pipelines etc.
Policy SP7 - The Nottinghamshire Green Belt
Question 8 - What do you think of the draft strategic policy for the Nottinghamshire Green Belt?
UKOOG Response: It is our view that the policy should provide for development uses that have temporary impacts on the openness of the Green Belt.
Policy SP8 - Minerals Safeguarding, Consultation areas and Associated Minerals Infrastructure Question 9 - What do you think of the draft strategic policy for Mineral Safeguarding, Consultation Areas and associated minerals infrastructure?
UKOOG Response: The policy does not take full account of circumstances where proposals may come forward for hydrocarbon exploration, appraisal or production in a safeguarding area. The policy as currently drafted is ambiguous in that it refers to 'non-mineral development' in parts 1,3 and 4 but 'development' in part 2. Oil and gas (including conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons) are a
mineral resource of local and national importance (Annex 2 of the NPPF). The depth and occurrence and nature of hydrocarbon reserves means that they can be explored and extracted without undue sterilisation of the eight minerals resources referred to in paragraph 3.82 of the draft plan. Proposals
for hydrocarbon development in a safeguarding area and consultation areas should be considered favourably by the MPA. The policy and supporting text should be amended accordingly.
Policy MP12 - Hydrocarbon Minerals
Question 21 - What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for hydrocarbon minerals over the plan period?
UKOOG Response: UKOOG believe the policy is generally aligned with both the NPPF and Planning Practice Guidance. The policy states;
'Policy MP12: Hydrocarbon Minerals Exploration
1.Proposals for hydrocarbon exploration will be supported provided they do not give rise to any unacceptable impacts on the environment or residential amenity.
Appraisal
2.Where hydrocarbons are discovered, proposals to appraise, drill and test the resource will be permitted provided that they are consistent with an overall scheme for identifying the extent of the resource and do not give rise to any unacceptable impacts on the environment or residential amenity.
Extraction
3.Proposals for the extraction of hydrocarbons will be supported provided they are consistent with an overall scheme enabling the full development of the resource and do not give rise to unacceptable impacts on the environment or residential amenity.
Restoration
4.All applications for hydrocarbon development will be accompanied with details of how the site will be restored once the development is no longer required'.
It is our opinion that the use of the term 'any' in the exploration and appraisal policy text, as underlined above, is overly restrictive and is also inconsistent with the wording used in the Extraction policy text, which states; 'do not give rise to unacceptable impacts'. We suggest that the wording used in the 'extraction' policy text 'do not give rise to unacceptable impacts', should be used in the
Exploration, Appraisal and Extraction policy text consistently.
The wording used for 'restoration' reads as a condition requirement, rather than a policy. We would suggest that this is changed to, 'sites will be restored to their former use, or agreed improved condition, or to an alternative agreed acceptable use, in accordance with the policies of the development plan'.
The policy should also reflect the WMS of 17th May 2018 and changes to the NPPF, which came into effect on the 24th of July 2018
The draft policy text for appraisal states that 'proposals to appraise, drill and test the resource will be permitted provided, that they are consistent with an overall scheme for identifying the extent of theresource'. Similarly, the draft policy for extraction states that, 'proposals for the extraction of hydrocarbons will be supported provided they are consistent with an overall scheme enabling the full
development of the resource'. However, there is no explanation of what comprises the 'overall scheme', and whether this is required to be submitted at the time of any planning application.
Furthermore, the requirement for 'an overall scheme' is not referred to in either the NPPF or the Minerals PPG. In fact, the regulatory auspice for the identification and assessment of the oil and gas mineral resource resides with the Oil and Gas Authority. If it is referring to an overall scheme for exploration and appraisal in a general wider context, the text should be deleted, as this will not be known at that stage.
UKOOG comments on Justification text for section MP12: Hydrocarbon Minerals
We agree with the wording used in paragraph 4.109 in the justification text, which states,
'It is considered that there is no justifiable reason in planning policy terms to separate shale gas from other hydrocarbon development. All hydrocarbon development has the potential to deliver national energy requirements but should be subject to environmental safeguards.
Applied to the local circumstances of the Minerals Local Plan, the assessment of environmental and amenity impact (i.e. the constraints on hydrocarbon development) is covered by and can be delivered through the application of the development management policies'.
Both hydrocarbon source rocks and other hydrocarbon bearing geologies, give rise to the same products. These products are extracted through the same surface infrastructure, via boreholes on a purpose-built facility, consisting of the same basic design and features/equipment. For example,
hydraulic fracturing has been undertaken at 10% of the 2000 + wells drilled onshore in the UK into conventional reservoirs. There is common misunderstanding applied to the terms 'conventional' and
'unconventional' as being 'processes'. In fact they refer to the sub-surface geology and not the process. We support the draft plan policy that there is no planning consideration which justifies the separation of shale gas from other hydrocarbon development.
We further note that paragraph 4.113. states, 'A hydrological assessment will be required in support of any planning application and water availability may be a limiting factor in any proposal'.
Both aspects, a 'hydrological Assessment' (groundwater/surface water assessments) and 'water availability' fall under the regulatory remit of the Environment Agency (EA) and are not planning considerations. The inclusion of a hydrological assessment and any assessment of water availability
are not justified in planning policy terms as it duplicates the requirement by the EA under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR). The draft plan also appears to suggest that a hydrogeological assessment is solely a requirement for onshore hydrocarbons and not to other extractive industries discussed in the draft plan, to which the EPR regulations equally apply.
Section 5 - Development Management policies
Paragraph 5.4, on page 97, - Environmental Impact Assessment. The final line 'Where EIA is required,
the findings of this', appears to have text missing, as it is an incomplete sentence.
Page 98 - The Policy MP11: Coal - this section appears to be duplicated from page 88.
Policy DM1 - Protecting Local Amenity
Question 22 - What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM1: Protecting local amenity?
UKOOG Response: UKOOG are supportive of the policy statement in DM1, 'Proposals for minerals
development will be supported where it can be demonstrated that any adverse impacts on amenity
are avoided or adequately mitigated to an acceptable level', recognising that existing guidance, such
as Planning Practice Guidance and the NPPF provide the framework for assessing impacts on amenity
such as noise mitigation and landscape.
Policy DM2 - Water Resources and Flood Risk
Question 23 - What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM2: Water resources and flood
risk?
UKOOG Response: As clearly stated within the supporting policy justification text, para 5.24; 'The
Environment Agency is the main authority for safeguarding the water environment'. Therefore, the
policy text under 'water resources' in Policy DM2, duplicates the role of the Environment Agency in regulating the water environment and should be deleted.
'Policy DM2:
Water resources
1. Proposals for minerals development will be supported where it can be demonstrated that:
a. Surface water flows at or in the vicinity of the site are not detrimentally altered;
b. Groundwater quality and levels are not detrimentally altered;
c. There are no unacceptable risks of polluting ground or surface waters;
d. Water resources, where required, should be used as efficiently as possible'.
It is the role of the Environment Agency, through the Environmental Permitting Regulations to determine appropriate measures for the protection of surface and groundwater water resources, not the mineral planning authority. Planning Practice Guidance clearly states that it is the role of the Environment Agency to 'protect water resources (including groundwater aquifers)'.
Policy DM3 - Agricultural Land and Soil Quality
Question 24 - What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM3: Agricultural land and soil quality?
UKOOG Response: Minerals, including oil and gas, can only be worked where they are found. The Government in the WMS 17th May 2018 state, 'Mineral Plans should reflect that minerals resources can only be worked where they are found, and applications must be assessed on a site by site basis and having regard to their context. Plans should not set restrictions or thresholds across their plan area
that limit shale development without proper justification'. The currently drafted policy is overly restrictive and does not take account of this, neither does it address the temporary nature of development.
'Policy DM3: Agricultural Land and Soil Quality Agricultural land
1. Proposals for minerals development located on the best and most versatile agricultural land (grades 1, 2 and 3a) will only be supported where it can be demonstrated that:
a. There is no available alternative and the need for development outweighs the
adverse impact upon agricultural land quality; or
b. Proposals will not affect the long term agricultural potential of the land or soils; or
c. Alternative land of lower agricultural value has considerations which outweigh the adverse impact upon agricultural land quality.
2. Where alternative options are limited to varying grades of best and most versatile land, the development should be located within the lowest grade'
Site selection is a fundamental part of any oil and gas development proposal and it is our view that the policy test established under DM3 are unnecessarily high. The policy should be amended to facilitate the use of land for a temporary period, which would not result in the longer-term impact on 'the best and most versatile land'. It should also specifically include reference to land restoration to
its former use, or an agreed improved use, once temporary operations are completed.
Policy DM4 - Protection and Enhancement of Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Question 25 - What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM4: Protection and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity?
UKOOG Response: The draft plan states that proposals for minerals development will only be supported where they can demonstrate 'they are not likely to give rise to a significant adverse effect on a Site of Special Scientific Interest'. Under the UK regulation, oil and gas developments for the surface extraction of shale gas are prohibited from Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Areas of
Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks, other onshore oil and gas development proposals should be considered on a case by case basis.
It is important to recognise that all onshore oil and gas sites are temporary in nature and provide a clear opportunity, post decommissioning, for sites to be restored to an enhanced environmental condition, for example; a site can be redeveloped to maximise habitat potential and improve biodiversity.
We also note that the plan highlights that Nottinghamshire does not contain any European registered 'Special areas of conservation (SACs) or Special Protection Areas (SPAs).
Policy DM5 - Landscape Character
Question 26: What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM5: Landscape character?
UKOOG Response: Onshore oil and gas developments have for decades, operated safely within sensitive environments. Production sites are typically screened by trees or other natural features and are designed not to adversely impact the character and distinctiveness of the landscape.
Once a site is decommissioned, the land is restored in-line with planning conditions and any environment consenting requirements, taking full account of landscape character.
Policy DM6 - Historic Environment
Question 27 - What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM6: Historic Environment?
UKOOG Response: The draft minerals plan states that 'the use of careful design, buffer zones, considered restoration schemes and other mitigation may make it possible to accommodate mineral developments in the vicinity of designated heritage assets'.
The NPPF and WMS 17th May 18, make clear that the use of arbitrary buffer zones or 'set restrictions or thresholds' for shale or onshore oil and gas development should not be established 'without proper justification'. However, the careful design, on a site by site basis of proposed developments in the
vicinity of designated heritage assets is appropriate and compatible with national policy.
Policy DM8 - Cumulative Impact
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM8: Cumulative impact?
UKOOG Response: The plan states that proposals for minerals development will be supported 'where it can be demonstrated that there are no unacceptable cumulative impacts on the environment or on the amenity of a local community'. The draft plan justifies this by specifying that this would apply in relation to a collective effect of different impacts or an individual proposal, or in relation to the effects of a number of developments occurring either concurrently or successively.
UKOOG firmly believe that developments should be considered on a case by case basis and that 'potential future developments' should be excluded from contemporary material planning considerations. Therefore, the description that minerals plans are considered in conjunction with 'reasonably foreseeable developments' is not appropriate and should be deleted.
Policy DM10 - Airfield Safeguarding
Question 31 - What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM10: Airfield safeguarding?
UKOOG Response: The draft policy states that, 'Proposals for minerals development within the following Airfield Safeguarding Areas will be supported where the applicant can demonstrate that the proposed extraction, restoration and after use will not result in any unacceptable adverse impacts on aviation safety'. The wording here should be amended to include reference to proposed exploration and appraisal, and not just extraction and restoration.
Yours Sincerely,

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32210

Received: 29/08/2018

Respondent: Shelford Against Gravel Extraction (SAGE)

Representation:

We agree with this policy but would prioritise protection over creation of habitats.

Full text:

Response to Nottinghamshire County Council's Draft Minerals Plan

Submitted by SAGE and Shelford Parish Council

Question 1
What do you think to the draft vision and strategic objectives set out in the
plan?

We believe that the vision and objectives are clear, straightforward and achievable. In particular we are pleased with the emphasis on minimising transport effects on the environment by choosing sites which are close to forecast demand. Also we appreciate the importance attached to minimising the effect on communities.

Question 2
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable development?

We are generally in agreement with the draft policy.

Question 3
What do you think to the draft strategic policy for minerals provision?

We are generally in agreement with the draft policy, in particular the emphasis on extending existing sites.

Question 4
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for biodiversity led restoration?

We are in agreement with the draft policy and approve of the move towards wetlands as an objective rather than deep cold water lagoons.
We would repeat our previous comment that while accepting that LBAP indicators are the only policy objectives available, there are other issues connected with the loss of farmland habitats and information from wildlife surveys and RSPB red and amber listed birds should be noted.

Question 5
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for climate change?

We are generally in agreement but note the correlation between flood risk and climate change and the unpredictability of extreme weather conditions.
In addition we appreciate the emphasis placed on efficient site operations and minimising transport emissions.

Question 6
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable transport?

We are in full agreement with the draft policy and note particularly the recognition that barging up stream to Nottingham may not be economical and that sites should minimise transport distances to main markets.

Question 7
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for the built, historic and natural
environment?

We are generally in agreement with the draft policy and approve of the requirement that "such planning will have to take account of the impacts of potentially more extreme flood events".
However we are concerned by the statement "Future mineral extraction within high risk areas is unlikely to be avoidable". The consequences of this on communities, either from flooding or from structural flood prevention measures would be enormous and conflicts with the policy of minimising effects on communities.

Question 8
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for the Nottinghamshire Green
Belt?

We are in agreement with this policy.

Question 9
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for Mineral Safeguarding,
Consultation Areas and associated minerals infrastructure?

We are in agreement with this policy.

Question 10
What do you think of the draft policy approach towards aggregate provision?

We support the options chosen. The forecast statistics appear more reasonable in the light of current and foreseeable construction activities.
However we are concerned by the statement "Proposals for aggregate extraction outside those areas identified in policies MP2, MP3 and MP4 will be supported where a need can be demonstrated".
We would argue that the same rigour be that has been applied to the Minerals Plan would need to be used in the approval of any additional proposals and that this policy does not allow for a "free for all" development situation.

Question 11
What do you think of the draft site specific sand and gravel allocations?

We support the draft policy approach and believe it satisfies many other policy requirements, especially proximity to demand and minimising the impact on communities. In particular it is pleasing to see the bulk of demand being satisfied from existing resources.

Question 12
What do you think of the draft site specific Sherwood Sandstone allocations?

We agree with the allocations.

Question 13
What do you think of the draft policy to meet expected crushed rock demand
over the plan period?

We are in agreement with this policy.

Question 14
What do you think to the draft policy regarding secondary and recycled aggregates?

We are in full agreement with this draft policy.


Question 15
What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for brick clay?

We are in agreement with the allocation.

Question 16
What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for gypsum?

We are in agreement with the allocation.

Question 17
What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for silica sand over the
plan period?

We are in agreement with the policy.

Question 18
What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for Industrial dolomite over the plan period?

We are in agreement with the policy.

Question 19
What do you think to the draft policy to meet demand for building stone over
the plan period?

We are in agreement with the policy.

Question 20
What do you think of the draft policy relating to meet demand for coal over the
plan period?

We are in agreement with the policy.




Question 21
What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for hydrocarbon minerals over the plan period?
We are in agreement with the policy.

Question 22
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM1: Protecting local amenity?

This is a critical area and generally we support the provisions. However it is important that proposed site working arrangements are satisfactory before planning approval is given.
In addition we feel more emphasis should be given to health (respiratory) implications of air particulates, especially in the Trent Valley where a funnelling effect may concentrate particulates and thus aggravate health problems for local communities.

Question 23
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM2: Water resources and
flood risk?

We are generally in agreement with the draft policy wording and are pleased to see the use of the Sequential Test to direct the choice of sites to those with the least risk of flooding.
We believe this subject to be the most uncertain and variable as to its outcomes and will require the utmost rigour to be applied, particularly with regard to climate change. For instance, when considering proposals for mineral extraction at the very earliest stage, we would emphasise the need to produce an interim flood risk assessment (via an EIA) so that early decisions can be taken on an informed basis, using robust data.
At a more detailed level we question the assumption that the storage of flood-plain water in worked out quarries would not jeopardise existing river-flow patterns.

The intangible cost to communities in terms of flood alleviation schemes and the potential barriers and structures that may be necessary needs to be set against the benefits of extraction.

Question 24
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM3: Agricultural land and soil quality?

We accept the inevitability of trading agricultural land for minerals extraction over the medium tem but believe the major effort should be directed towards restoration wherever possible. Following potential political (BREXIT) and climatic problems provision of food should be prioritised over amenity.




Question 25
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM4: Protection and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity?

We agree with this policy but would prioritise protection over creation of habitats.

Question 26
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM5: Landscape character?

We support this policy. However, we feel it should include reference to the approach to be taken to landscape assessment at the local level when considering specific mineral developments AND the inclusion of the role of local communities in this assessment.

Question 27
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM6: Historic environment?

We strongly support this policy but would like to see mention made of protecting physical access to archaeological and historic sites in addition to he specific sites themselves.

Question 28
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM7: Public access?

We support this policy but wonder how the "unacceptable impact" on the existing rights of way will be judged?

Question 29
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM8: Cumulative impact?

We support this policy but the wording could include reference to the potential of future mineral workings in an area, especially as many mineral operators would have long term realistic strategies for an area in addition to specific development proposals.

Question 30
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM9: Highways safety and
vehicle movements/routeing?

We support this policy but in addition to c) "routeing to minimise the impact of traffic on local communities" we would like to see the inclusion of the impact of air quality on local communities arising from routeing and vehicular movements.

Question 31
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM10: Airfield safeguarding?

We support this policy.

Question 32
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM11: Planning obligations?

We strongly support this policy.

Question 33
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM12: Restoration, after-use
and aftercare?

We support these policies but would add the following :
Restoration - add 4 d) provide evidence that imported waste would not contaminate water sources or the environment generally.
After-use - add (in 8?) after-use proposals should not cause undue problems or inconvenience for local communities through for example noise, traffic impact, etc.


Question 34
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM14: Incidental mineral
extraction?

We support this policy.

Question 35
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM15: Borrow pits?

We support this policy.

Question 36
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM16: Associated industrial
development?

We support this policy. We would add the words "but those developments falling outside the GPDO would be subject to planning permission in the normal way"

Question 37
What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM17: Mineral exploration?

We support this policy but would add the words "should be notified to the County Council but would generally" after "Proposals for mineral exploration" and before "be permitted etc".

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32250

Received: 28/08/2018

Respondent: Shelford Parish Council

Representation:

We agree with this policy but would prioritise protection over creation of habitats.

Full text:

Response to Nottinghamshire County Council's Draft Minerals Plan

Submitted by SAGE and Shelford Parish Council

Question 1
What do you think to the draft vision and strategic objectives set out in the
plan?

We believe that the vision and objectives are clear, straightforward and achievable. In particular we are pleased with the emphasis on minimising transport effects on the environment by choosing sites which are close to forecast demand. Also we appreciate the importance attached to minimising the effect on communities.

Question 2
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable development?

We are generally in agreement with the draft policy.

Question 3
What do you think to the draft strategic policy for minerals provision?

We are generally in agreement with the draft policy, in particular the emphasis on extending existing sites.

Question 4
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for biodiversity led restoration?

We are in agreement with the draft policy and approve of the move towards wetlands as an objective rather than deep cold water lagoons.
We would repeat our previous comment that while accepting that LBAP indicators are the only policy objectives available, there are other issues connected with the loss of farmland habitats and information from wildlife surveys and RSPB red and amber listed birds should be noted.

Question 5
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for climate change?

We are generally in agreement but note the correlation between flood risk and climate change and the unpredictability of extreme weather conditions.
In addition we appreciate the emphasis placed on efficient site operations and minimising transport emissions.

Question 6
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable transport?

We are in full agreement with the draft policy and note particularly the recognition that barging up stream to Nottingham may not be economical and that sites should minimise transport distances to main markets.

Question 7
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for the built, historic and natural
environment?

We are generally in agreement with the draft policy and approve of the requirement that "such planning will have to take account of the impacts of potentially more extreme flood events".
However we are concerned by the statement "Future mineral extraction within high risk areas is unlikely to be avoidable". The consequences of this on communities, either from flooding or from structural flood prevention measures would be enormous and conflicts with the policy of minimising effects on communities.

Question 8
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for the Nottinghamshire Green
Belt?

We are in agreement with this policy.

Question 9
What do you think of the draft strategic policy for Mineral Safeguarding,
Consultation Areas and associated minerals infrastructure?

We are in agreement with this policy.

Question 10
What do you think of the draft policy approach towards aggregate provision?

We support the options chosen. The forecast statistics appear more reasonable in the light of current and foreseeable construction activities.
However we are concerned by the statement "Proposals for aggregate extraction outside those areas identified in policies MP2, MP3 and MP4 will be supported where a need can be demonstrated".
We would argue that the same rigour be that has been applied to the Minerals Plan would need to be used in the approval of any additional proposals and that this policy does not allow for a "free for all" development situation.

Question 11
What do you think of the draft site specific sand and gravel allocations?

We support the draft policy approach and believe it satisfies many other policy requirements, especially proximity to demand and minimising the impact on communities. In particular it is pleasing to see the bulk of demand being satisfied from existing resources.

Question 12
What do you think of the draft site specific Sherwood Sandstone allocations?

We agree with the allocations.

Question 13
What do you think of the draft policy to meet expected crushed rock demand
over the plan period?

We are in agreement with this policy.

Question 14
What do you think to the draft policy regarding secondary and recycled aggregates?

We are in full agreement with this draft policy.


Question 15
What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for brick clay?

We are in agreement with the allocation.

Question 16
What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for gypsum?

We are in agreement with the allocation.

Question 17
What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for silica sand over the
plan period?

We are in agreement with the policy.

Question 18
What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for Industrial dolomite over the plan period?

We are in agreement with the policy.

Question 19
What do you think to the draft policy to meet demand for building stone over
the plan period?

We are in agreement with the policy.

Question 20
What do you think of the draft policy relating to meet demand for coal over the
plan period?

We are in agreement with the policy.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32302

Received: 27/09/2018

Respondent: Rushcliffe Borough Council

Representation:

Should alter wording so that policy seeks to prevent 'adverse effects on integrity' and mitigated changed to compensated as fully mitigated would imply all effects have been avoided and if not, this is compensation not mitigation. Also remove significant from adverse effects in part b which will give greater protection for SSSIs. Part 5.46 should be amended to reflect requirements of the habitats regulations. Para 5.52 has confused priority habitats as referred in the government circular and the local biodiversity action plan.

Full text:

Dear Sir/Madam
Nottinghamshire Draft Minerals Local Plan
Thank you for consulting Rushcliffe Borough Council on the Draft Minerals Local Plan and supporting Draft Minerals Local Plan Interim Sustainability Report. Having read the documents, please accept the following responses to selected questions which are pertinent to minerals developments in Rushcliffe.
Draft Minerals Local Plan
Q1: What do you think to the draft vision and strategic objectives set out in the plan?
Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) broadly supports the overarching vision and welcomes the additional paragraph which requires mineral developments are designed, located and operated to ensure that environmental harm and impacts on climate change are minimised.
However, as stated within our previous representation on the Issues and Options Minerals Local Plan, the vision should not prioritise proximity to major markets, growth areas and sustainable transport nodes over other considerations. Whilst the proximity of the resource to the market is important, the location of minerals development should also consider environmental constraints (including impacts on the natural environment and local communities). Consequently the second paragraph should read:
"Within geological and wider environmental constraints, minerals development will be concentrated in locations that offer..."
When telephoning, please ask for :
John King
Telephone no :
0115 9148257
Email:
jjking@rushcliffe.gov.uk
Our Reference :
950.0
Your Reference :
Date :
27 September 2018
Furthermore, in accordance with the mitigation hierarchy as set out in paragraph 118 of the NPPF (avoid, mitigate and last resort compensate), the plan should prioritise sites that avoid adverse impacts on the environment rather than mitigate or compensate through appropriate working, restoration and after-use. The fourth paragraph should read:
"All minerals workings will contribute towards a 'greener Nottinghamshire' by ensuring that the County's diverse environmental and historic assets are protected, maintained and enhanced through the sensitive selection of minerals sites, appropriate working, restoration and after use."
Q2: What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable development?
Policy SP1 and the supporting text should be amended to reflect the presumption in favour of sustainable development as set out in paragraph 11 of the revised NPPF (2018). Specifically Part 3 of the policy and part d) of paragraph 11 of the NPPF.
Q3: What do you think to the draft strategic policy for minerals provision?
RBC supports the prioritisation of extending existing sites as set out in Policy SP2 part 1) b) and the need in Part 2 to demonstrate that the avoidance of adverse social, economic and environmental impacts have been prioritised. The Council is not convinced however that these requirements have been equally applied to the selection of the mineral allocations, specifically the selection of MP2s Mill Hill as this is a new sand and gravel quarry which the SA, identifies as being significantly constrained by a wide range of environmental issues (landscape and visual amenity, biodiversity, flood risk, agricultural land and degraded air quality). It is also in close proximity of Barton in Fabis.
Q4: What do you think of the draft strategic policy for biodiversity led restoration?
RBC supports the prominence and importance given to restoration within the draft plan and Policy SP3 in particular. The specific reference to the Local BAP and Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping Project is welcomed, however the justification does not include an explanation of the mapping project and how it should be used to inform restoration. Rather the text refers to landscape scale restoration, National Character Areas and priority habitats which the opportunity mapping project brings together.
Q8: What do you think of the draft strategic policy for the Nottinghamshire Green Belt?
RBC welcomes policy SP7and its supporting justification which highlights the need to consider the impact of infrastructure, which is required to extract the mineral, upon the openness of the Green Belt. In accordance with the NPPF, the policy (or supporting justification) should ensure that if the openness is harmed during operation and restoration, this is inappropriate and can only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. Harm to the Green Belt's openness should be given substantial weight, and development should only be permitted if this harm to openness, Green Belt purposes and any other harm are clearly outweighed by other considerations. These considerations will include the need for the mineral, the existence of alternative sources outside
the Green Belt, and the measures undertaken to reduce the harm to the Green Belt and its purposes.
This approach should be applied and explained where allocations are proposed in the Green Belt.
Q10: What do you think of the draft policy approach towards aggregate provision?
RBC supports the identified levels of demand and subsequent provision of minerals (within Policy MP1) based on the Local Aggregates Assessment average 10 year data and the provision of 7 year land bank for sand and gravel and sandstone, or 10 years land bank for crushed rock. This approach complies with the NPPF.
Q11: What do you think of the draft site specific sand and gravel allocations?
East Leake North - MP2q
The extension of the existing sand and gravel quarry at East Leake is not opposed in principle. This however is subject to the maintenance of the existing hydrological conditions that maintain the water levels of Sheepwash Brook and the condition of the Local Wildlife Sites to the South of Sheepwash Brook.
Mill Hill - MP2s
RBC has serious concerns regarding the proposed sand and gravel allocation at Mill Hill near Barton in Fabis (MP2s).
Green Belt and Landscape Impacts
As the site is within the Green Belt, and would require significant infrastructure to transport the mineral up Mill Hill to the loading area adjacent to Green Street, there is likely to be significant harm to the openness of the Green Belt and the Green Belt purpose which safeguards the countryside from encroachment. This concern is confirmed by the landscape appraisal of the allocation, which according to the SA and Site Assessment Methodology document determines the landscape impacts to be very negative. Post-restoration, the landscape impacts are considered to remain very negative.
Loss of Rights of Way and Impacts on Visual Amenity
Impacts on visual amenity are exacerbated by the number of rights of way that cross the site, including a bridleway and footpath to Barton in Fabis. The diversion of these routes and the enjoyment of them will be significantly affected whilst the quarry is in operation. The Trent Valley Way, an important regional trail, is on the opposite bank of the River Trent, within the Attenborough Nature Reserve. The enjoyment of this route is also likely to be affected.
Impacts on Nature Conservation Assets
Located within the Trent Valley, the site includes or is immediately adjacent to the Barton Flash Local Wildlife Site (LWS), Barton Pond and Drain LWS, Brandshill Wood LWS, Brandshill Grassland LWS and Brandshill Marsh LWS. It is also in close proximity to Attenborough Gravel
Pits and Holme Pit Site of Special Scientific Interest, and several more LWSs including Clifton Fox Covert, Burrows Farm Grassland and Clifton Wood. Whilst restoration would include the creation of 62ha of priority habitat, the SA Report concludes that the allocation would still involve an overall reduction in BAP habitat and the loss and degradation of a number of LWSs and features used by protected species. The overall net reduction in priority habitat is a significant constraint.
Concerns regarding the surveys of protected and priority species have been raised, specifically Barn Owls which nest in the vicinity of the site. Given the known presence of this species, further surveys should be undertaken to establish the importance of the site for this species and whether breeding birds or their young would be disturbed (which is contrary to Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981).
Where such ecological impacts occur, in accordance with paragraph 175 of the NPPF, the 'mitigation hierarchy' should be applied. This favours avoidance (alternative sites) rather than mitigation or compensation (as is occurring here through restoration) as a last resort. If compensation would not avoid significant harm (as is the case with this allocation), the NPPF permits the refusal of development. As such the direct loss of LWS should be avoided and adequate avoidance and mitigation measures (such as buffers) put in place to ensure LWS and SSSIs in the vicinity are not adversely affected by noise, dust or changes in ground water quality and levels.
Transportation of Mineral
Whilst the site is located in close proximity of Nottingham, a significant local market for sand and gravel, and can easily access the M1 (via the A453), the quarried material from Mill Hill will be transported by road only. This conflicts with draft Policy SP5 part 1 which states that all mineral proposals should seek to maximise the use of sustainable forms of transport, including barge and rail. Given the site's location adjacent to the River Trent, and notwithstanding the increased disturbance to the river environment and neighbouring nature reserve, the transportation of the mineral by road clearly conflicts with this policy. Regarding the SA, we do not agree that the transportation by road should be scored +1 (slightly positive) against the 3rd SA Objective which promotes sustainable patterns of movement and the use of sustainable modes of transport. This should be neutral, as the location close to markets is negated by the transportation by HGVs.
Impacts on Air Quality
The transportation by road and generation of dust raise air quality concerns, and the cumulative impact of this allocation and the adjacent Clifton Pastures employment and housing strategic urban extension must be considered. SA objective 11 seeks to protect and improve air quality, however the SA Interim Report's assessment of Mill Hill (on page 131) does not examine the types and levels of pollution generated (only the number of lorry movements) and there is no considerations of cumulative effects with the neighbouring strategic urban extension. The only mitigation measures proposed is dust suppression.
Any extension to existing quarries or use of new land for sand and mineral extraction should be accompanied by air quality assessments. These assessments should consider the air quality impact as a result of operations including land movements, extraction of sand and gravel. As well as the impact on vehicle movements arriving and leaving the sites, this assessment should reference the IAQM guidance on Mineral Dust Impacts for Planning 2016 as well as LAQM Technical Guidance (TG16). The scope of works should be agreed with officers from Rushcliffe Borough Council before any assessments commence.
Noise and Vibration
Any extension to existing quarries or use of new land for sand and mineral extraction should be accompanied by noise and vibration assessments. These assessments should be in line with MPG 11 - control of noise at surface mineral workings. The scope of works should be agreed with officers from Rushcliffe Borough Council before any assessments commence.
Contaminated Land
Due to the potential for land surrounding the areas of mineral works being highlighted as potentially contaminated land I would recommend that at least a Phase 1 desk top study is submitted with any application to determine whether a source - receptor pathway exists.
Cumulative Effects
Given the proximity of the Clifton Urban Extension, other cumulative effects should also be considered within the SA.
Impacts on Local Residents
In addition to environmental impacts, the SA recognises that the site is in close proximity to settlements, especially Barton in Fabis which is approximately 130m to the south and west, and that during the operational phase there could be an adverse effect resulting from noise, dust and traffic. In terms of visual amenity, there would be a significant adverse change to views for residents on the northern edge of Barton in Fabis with windows facing the site and riverside properties to the eastern edge of the River Trent. It concludes that the allocation would have a very negative adverse effect on the SA's 14th objective which requires the protection and improvement of human health and quality of life.
Sustainability Appraisal
Overall the allocation has a negative effect on 8 of the 14 SA objectives (4 of which are very negative) and only scored positively against those objectives that other sites would equally perform positively against (meeting mineral needs and local employment). Only the allocation's close proximity to the A453 and Nottingham are unique to this site and this appears to have led to the site's allocation.
Paragraph 7.10 of the SA Interim Report states that twenty sand and gravel sites were assessed and it was found that those which scored most negatively in the operational period included Barton-in-Fabis (Mill Hill). This is a consequence not only of the issues above, but the site's location within flood zone 3, impact on the historic environment, loss of agricultural land, and loss of water quality (all of which result in a negative assessment in the SA). Furthermore the Areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity Study 2014, which has informed the SA, identifies the site as being High Environmental Sensitivity ('Red').
The negative impacts identified within the SA Interim Report have been recognised within the Draft Site Selection Methodology and Assessment which justifies the allocation of the site (page 55). It states that:
"...whilst the site has high landscape impacts and the sustainability appraisal reports very negative impacts in the operational phase, these become slight negative impacts in the long term. Taking
account of the contribution of this site to the provision of minerals in the Nottingham area, it is considered appropriate to include the proposal as an allocation in the Draft Minerals Plan."
RBC accepts that there should be geographical spread of minerals to meet needs across the county and beyond, however, given the significant adverse effects upon the environment and local community of Barton in Fabis, and the site's location within the Green Belt (which protects openness and Green Belt purposes), a detailed comparison of potential allocations within the Nottingham Area and appropriate weighting of the sites benefits and adverse effects is required in order to justify this site
Finally, the trajectory of mineral extraction from Mill Hill indicates that this will commence in 2019. This appears ambitious given that the submitted application has not yet been determined.
Q16: What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for gypsum?
RBC supports policy MP7 and the retention of the Marblaegis Mine as a permitted site for Gypsum.
Development Management Policies
The last sentence of paragraph 5.4, which addresses EIAs, ends abruptly and the following page repeats Policy MP11 coal.
Q25: What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM4: Protection and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity?
The wording of Part 1 a) should be amended as it refers to 'likely significant adverse effects on the integrity' of a European site. The Habitats Regulations however seek to prevent 'adverse effects on integrity', not 'likely significant adverse effects on integrity'. The assessment of 'likely significant effects' is undertaken as part of the HRA screening to determine whether an appropriate assessment of possible adverse effects is required
'Mitigated' should be changed to 'compensated'. Fully mitigated would imply adverse effects have been avoided/addressed, if so there are no adverse effects and development can proceed. If adverse effects cannot be avoided or mitigated, and imperative reasons of overriding public interest (IROPI) are proven, compensation, not mitigation for the harm/loss must be provided.
Part b should be amended to reflect the NPPF which states that development likely to have an 'adverse effect' (not 'significant adverse effect') should not normally be permitted. This provides greater protection for SSSIs as any adverse effect on the interest of the site would be weighed against the benefits of the scheme, not just significant effects. The policy should also refer to the impacts on the network of SSSIs as whole, not just individual sites.
Part 3 c) should refer to the Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping Report.
Paragraph 5.46 should be amended to reflect the requirements of the habitats regulations - adverse effect on integrity - not significant effects (see comments above).
Paragraph 5.52 addresses effects on priority habitats and species, but has confused priority habitats as referred to in the Government circular 06/2005 (which covers European Sites that are priority habitats) and priority habitats within the Local Biodiversity Action Plan (which covers local habitats). The later receives less protection than the former and does not require agreement from the European Commission that imperative reasons of overriding public interest exist.
Q26: What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM5: Landscape character?
If harmful impacts can be mitigated then it is demonstrated that it will not adversely impact on character and distinctiveness. Consequently there would be no requirement for further mitigation. Policy DM5 should be amended as follows:
"Proposals for minerals development will be supported where it can be demonstrated that it will not adversely impact on the character and distinctiveness of the landscape unless there is no available alternative and the need for development outweighs the landscape interest and the harmful impacts can be adequately mitigated;"
Supporting justification should require avoidance and mitigation measures where a development will have adverse impacts on character and distinctiveness. If these measures do not prevent residual adverse effects, then the assessment of alternative options and weighting of adverse impacts against the benefits of the proposal are engaged.
Policy DM5 Part 2 should be amended as follows:
"Mitigation and compensation measures that comprise landscaping, planting and restoration proposals should take account of the relevant landscape character policy area as set out in the Landscape Character Assessments covering Nottinghamshire and, where appropriate, the output of the Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping Report."
Q28: What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM7: Public access?
As a number of allocated sites and mineral reserves are in the Green Belt, the supporting justification for DM7 should cross refer to, and reflect, national Green Belt policy which states LPAs should plan positively to enhance their beneficial use, such as the provision of access, opportunities for sport and recreation, enhance landscapes, visual amenity and biodiversity.
Q33: What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM12: Restoration, after-use and aftercare?
RBC supports the restoration policy. However, the supporting justification should refer to the delivery of the priority habitats and opportunity areas within the Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping Report.
Q37: What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM16: Associated industrial development?
The supporting text should cross refer to Green Belt policy and explain that associated industrial developments are inappropriate within the Green Belt and that very special circumstances must be proven to exist in order to grant planning permission for these ancillary/associated activities.
We look forward to reviewing the next iteration of the Minerals Local Plan and supporting SA in due course.
This concludes Rushcliffe Borough Council's representation.
If you would like to discuss our comments on the emerging plan, please feel free to contact me.
Yours faithfully,

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32352

Received: 28/09/2018

Respondent: Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Representation:

Support for the thrust of the policy however some amendments suggested to:
Paragraph 5.49
Paragraph 5.54
Paragraph 5.58

Full text:

Re: Draft Minerals Local Plan Consultation
Thank you for consulting NWT on the above. NWT strongly welcomes the MPA's continued approach in seeking to embed the large scale restoration and re-creation of biodiversity into the MLP. NWT supports the MLP's aim to create more habitat, larger areas of habitat, enhanced habitat and habitats that are linked, as this is in accordance with the aims of the Lawton Review and the Natural Environment White Paper. We have welcomed the opportunity to work with the MPA for several years on discussing the concepts behind this approach and also recognise that a great deal of good biodiversity restoration has been both approved and undertaken under the period of the current MLP. We look forward to working in a similar manner with the MPA in the future, underpinned by a shared vision for the substantive conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in the County.
NWT welcome that the MPA has adopted many of the suggested forms of words as submitted in our previous responses, and we commend the MPA on a very good Draft MLP. Our comments below relate to matters of important details, but do not detract from our support for the thrust of the MLP to protect the environment through the mineral planning process and ensure that where mineral development is permitted, then exemplary biodiversity-led restoration at a landscape scale is achieved.
In this response, I have followed the convention of showing the existing text from the consultation document in italics and recommended changes in bold italics.
Page 10 Supporting documents:
The following paragraph needs to be updated:
Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping

A project undertaken for the Sherwood and Trent Valley areas to identify particular opportunities for the enhancement, expansion, creation and re-linking of wildlife habitats has been extended across the county and now covers most of the potential allocations that are the subject of this Plan. The BOM can provide important information to help to meet creation/restoration targets set in the UK Post 2010 Biodiversity Framework and Local Biodiversity Action Plan.
Image: Courtesy
Question 1 What do you think to the draft vision and strategic objectives set out in the plan?
P15 Nature
This section requires explicit reference to SSSIs and LWS, particularly as the latter are often undervalued by applicants, who fail to understand their importance :
"2.13. Nottinghamshire supports a wide range of important sites for nature conservation, including a Special Area of Conservation within Sherwood Forest, near Edwinstowe, that is of international importance. A large part of central Nottinghamshire is also being considered as a possible Special Protection Area for birds which would provide protection at the international level under European regulations. The quality of Nottinghamshire's natural environment has suffered in the past from the impacts of development and there has been a significant decline in biodiversity, with losses of ancient woodland, heathland, species-rich grassland, hedgerow and wetland habitats, as well as the species that these habitats support. Despite this decline, there remains is a significant network of SSSIs and LWS across the County, representing the wide range of habitat types found on the varying geologies of the County and hosting diverse, and often scarce, species of flora and fauna. Some of these historic declines are now being halted, and in some cases reversed, with neglected sites brought into positive management and new areas of habitat created as a result of the activities of partner organisations in the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group, by initiatives such as Environmental Stewardship and the English Woodland Grant Scheme, and as a result of restoration schemes. This action is being co-ordinated and quantified through the Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan."

Vision
NWT welcomes the principles in the draft vision and strongly supports the stated aim to ensure that landscape-scale biodiversity delivery is achieved, as requested in our previous submissions. Our concerns relate to the potential misinterpretation of the good intentions of the Vision, particularly with regards to the meaning of "sustainable", we would therefore suggest the following addition:
"Over the plan period to 2036 minerals will continue to be used as efficiently as
possible across Nottinghamshire. Minerals are a valuable natural resource and
should be worked and used in an environmentally sustainable manner and where possible reused to minimise waste ".

NWT's only concern in the later paragraphs is the use of "have regard to" which is insufficiently robust to prevent token use, and its use cannot be rigorously quantified. We would expect to see a stronger requirement such as:

"All mineral workings will contribute towards 'a greener Nottinghamshire' by ensuring that the County's diverse environmental assets are protected, maintained and enhanced through appropriate working, restoration and afteruse and by ensuring that proposals take rigorous and quantifiable account of Nottinghamshire's historic environment, townscape and landscape character, biodiversity, geodiversity, agricultural land quality and public rights of way. This will result in improvements to the environment, contribute to landscape-scale biodiversity delivery, including through the improvements to existing habitats, the creation of large areas of new priority habitat, and the re-connection of ecological networks, with sensitivity to surrounding land uses. "

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals
In terms of detail this paragraph appears to include some replicated text, which should be removed. NWT also expects explicit reference to protection as shown below:
"Assist in creating a prosperous, environmentally sustainable and economically vibrant County through an adequate supply of all minerals to assist in economic growth both locally and nationally. Provide sufficient land to enable a steady and adequate supply of minerals over the plan period whilst also ensuring the protection and enhancement of Nottinghamshire's natural and historic heritage resources."

SO6: Protecting and enhancing natural assets
NWT strongly support this Strategic Objective.

Question 2 What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable development?
SP1 Sustainable Development this requires updating with reference to the new NPPF. For the avoidance of doubt, NWT recommends the minor addition below:
"When considering development proposals the Council ..... will work proactively with applicants jointly to find solutions which mean that proposals can be permitted wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area, whilst ensuring that no irreplaceable environmental assert is lost or damaged"
Question 3 What do you think to the draft strategic policy for minerals provision?
NWT support Policy SP2 - Minerals Provision in principle and welcomes the explicit reference to the need for all proposed development whether new sites, extensions or unallocated proposals to be subject to the same robust environmental assessment. This is essential if sustainable development it to be achieved.

Question 4 What do you think of the draft strategic policy for biodiversity led restoration?
NWT strongly support the principles of SP3 Biodiversity-led restoration, but have some reservations about the detail, in order to support the whole policy our comments are as follows:
We require the following addition of a 4th point to avoid potential misinterpretation of the Policy, as has been seen in recent applications:
"Policy SP3 - Biodiversity-Led Restoration
Restoration schemes that seek to maximise biodiversity gains in accordance with the targets and opportunities identified within the Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan and Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping Project will be supported.
2. Where appropriate, schemes will be expected to demonstrate how restoration will contribute to the delivery of Water Framework Directive objectives.
3. Restoration schemes for allocated sites should be in line with the relevant Site Allocation Development Briefs contained within Appendix 3.
4. Proposed restoration schemes will be robustly assessed to ensure that they are not used to justify the unacceptable loss of irreplaceable habitats, or habitats that cannot be reasonable replaced within a generation in terms of diversity and quality.

Para 3.17 includes a specific reference to floodplains which seems incongruous and also does not provide a comprehensive picture of what might be achieved, hence we would recommend the following minor amendments:
" The restoration of all types of mineral voids offers a significant opportunity for the establishment or re-establishment of priority habitats, often on a large-scale, and for providing re-created linkages between fragmented blocks of specific habitat types, thereby strengthening and enhancing ecological networks."

Para 3.22.contains another slightly incongruous reference to wetland schemes and could be amended as follows:
"Minerals extraction, particularly sand and gravel extraction in the Trent Valley, but also the extraction of resources in other parts of the County, can contribute significantly towards meeting these targets and add to the success of existing priority habitat restoration schemes. Restoration schemes should be carefully considered so that they can deliver as much LBAP priority habitat as possible and that such habitats are appropriate to the relevant National Character Area. Applicants are therefore encouraged to engage in early discussions with the County Council and other appropriate bodies in relation to restoration proposals."
Para 3.24 sandstone - add wood pasture to the list of priority habitats.
Para 3.26. "LBAP priority habitats in areas where the extraction of clay, gypsum and coal takes place should reflect those habitats occurring in the vicinity and will differ depending on locality. More generally, other habitats, including Ponds and Hedgerows, can be incorporated into most restorations independent of location, but it should be noted that to be of value to wildlife, ponds should generally be less than 300sqm in size. It is also expected that Eutrophic Standing Waters (lakes )may be created as a result of quarrying, although this habitat should be minimised as far as possible in favour of the other habitat types listed above, as there is already sufficient habitat of this kind in the County..
An explanatory paragraph is required in this Policy text to make it explicit that long term restoration management of re-create habitats is required, as for most habitats meaningful outcomes cannot be achieved in 5 years. This is reflected later in the MLP but needs explaining in this section. There should also be reference to the fact that extended aftercare and long term protection of restored sites is required, as the restoration cannot be used as a partial justification for the mineral scheme, if the habitats will not exist in the long term. Sadly, cases such as this have been seen in recent years in the County, where the habitat has been lost once the aftercare has ceased, or in one case, threatened by development before it has even been restored, but where the mineral has already been extracted.

Question 5 What do you think of the draft strategic policy for climate change
NWT support the principles of seeking to reduce greenhouse gases produced by mineral extraction processes, but we believe this policy should include a target to reduce extraction of hydrocarbons in the County in order to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Question 6 What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable transport?
NWT supports much of this Policy but the text requires mention of impacts on habitat from NOx and other forms of Nitrogen that are specifically derived from transport associated with mineral development. The designation of part of Nottinghamshire as a SNAP (Shared Nitrogen Action Plan) area by NE is very pertinent in this regard and should be referenced.
Question 7 What do you think of the draft strategic policy for the built, historic and natural environment?
NWT broadly support Policy SP6 - The Built, Historic and Natural Environment, particularly the explicit need for protection of habitats and species as listed in paras 3.47 and 3.48.
The following amendments are required to ensure consistency, particularly the removal of "as far as possible" which can be misinterpreted:
"3.49. It is therefore important to ensure that new minerals development is correctly managed and that no adverse impacts occur to designated sites at all levels ,or priority habitats and species. Policy SP3 promotes a biodiversity-led restoration approach which seeks to maximise the biodiversity gains resulting from the restoration of mineral sites."
Further to my substantive previous submissions on the distinction between valuable agricultural soils and the need for them to be in agricultural use and what that use may comprise, NWT strongly welcome the recognition that appropriate restoration can safeguard those soils whilst still creating priority habitats. This is explained later in the Draft MLP but should also be cross-referenced here as follows in para 3.60:
.3.60. Minerals development often involves large areas of land ........County's finite agricultural soils. However, appropriate management and restoration of mineral workings can secure the safeguarding of best and most versatile soils, and the re-creation of priority habitats can protect those soils for the future, particularly from the damage caused by arable practices, whilst ensuring that the soils are available should they be needed for future food production"
The damage and loss of soils through intensive farming practices has been recognised as a serious issue at a national and global level. Reversion of land to grassland, and other habitats, from arable use has been extensively promoted by successive governments and supported through substantial public funds. The irreparable damage that occurs to soils from excessive tillage, addition of mineral nutrients, over-cropping and loss of organic matter from arable practices is a serious problem and restoration of mineral sites provides an opportunity to secure those soils for the future by their protection under habitats such as grassland and woodland. Soils under BAP priority habitat can also be effective in capturing CO2, rather than losing it, as happens under arable cropping.
Para 3.67 requires specific reference as follows:
"The majority of minerals are transported by road due to the relatively short distances to local or regional markets. Minerals proposals therefore need to take into account the likely impacts upon both the local highway network and nearby communities and sensitive habitats arising from increased levels of traffic. Potential impacts could include congestion, road safety, noise, dust, and vehicle emissions. ...etc"

Question 11 What do you think of the draft site specific sand and gravel allocations?
NWT recognises that the MPA must make adequate provision for minerals supply and so supports the principle of Policy MP2: Sand and Gravel Provision but not all the detail. Many of the comments below relate to our concerns about the details of sites, rather than the principle of the proposed allocation per se. We strongly welcome that our recommendations for priority habitats have been included in the Development Briefs, and the use of such Briefs is to be wholly supported. There are some allocations, however, that cause concern in principle and these are clearly highlighted in the following text.
Where NWT objects to the details, rather than the principle of the proposed extensions, further details that NWT considers are pertinent to the Development Brief and are of concern are highlighted in bold italics, in most cases our objection to the allocation would be removed by the resolution of these issues. Lack of objection for an allocation, does not, of course, presuppose that we would support an application, as our position would be based on the results of detailed EIA.

MP2l Bawtry Road West - Object to details
NWT note that the footprint of this proposed extension allocation is quite small, but would take at least 5-7 years to be worked and is in close proximity to both the Slaynes Lane LWS, Rugged Butts LWS and Units 1 and 2 of the Idle Washlands SSSI. Whilst the extension appears to be on arable land, UK BAP/Sn41 habitats may be present within or in proximity to the proposed site boundary, which could be subject to direct or indirect impacts, including noise, dust and NOx effects. The effects of further dewatering in this area on the groundwater-dependent LWS and SSSIs, the newly restored groundwater-dependent habitats at Newington Quarry and surface water effects on the nearby woodland should be particularly robustly assessed. Protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees, hedgerows and the ditches within the proposed site boundary, and in this area the farmland may be associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and corn bunting. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, particularly given that the current approved restoration scheme is mainly to species-poor pasture of limited ecological value and small, scattered copses. NWT note that no best and most versatile soils are present

NWT would expect the restoration to be biodiversity-led and welcomes the clear expectation in the Development Brief that this should be the case. We would expect, however, that the consideration of the extension should be an opportunity to review the restoration for the current site and to ensure that the whole scheme is properly restored to high value habitats, as the scheme appears to have developed in a piecemeal manner over several years as extensions have been granted. The proposed habitats should be appropriate for NWT's Idle and Ryton Living Landscape Area and for the Humberhead Levels NCA therefore NWT welcomes that the list of priority habitats is as requested in our previous submissions.

MP2m Scrooby Thompson Land - Object to details
NWT note that this proposed allocation is close to a number of LWS, and in proximity to the Scrooby Top Quarry SSSI. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The latter is particularly pertinent to the Mattersey LWS complex, which may be affected by dewatering. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed.
The proposed allocation appears to be mainly in arable use, but protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees, hedgerows and ditches within the proposed allocation boundary, and in this area the farmland may be associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and corn bunting. NWT welcome the recognition in the Brief to the proximity of this site to Annexe 1 bird species and potential inclusion in the Sherwood pSPA. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats nearby.

NWT would expect the restoration to be biodiversity-led and welcomes the explicit requirement in the Development Brief that this should primarily be the case. NWT recognises that some 3a soils may be present, but this should not compromise the need for a biodiversity-led restoration, as these soils can be protected within the restored site by being utilised under species-rich grassland which can be grazed and/or cut for hay. The proposed habitats should be appropriate for NWT's Idle and Ryton Living Landscape Area and for the Humberhead Levels NCA, therefore NWT welcomes that the list of priority habitats is as requested in our previous submissions.
MP2n Scrooby North - Object to details
NWT note that this proposed allocation is immediately adjacent to Scrooby Sand Pits LWS, and in proximity to several other LWS around Mattersey and the Scrooby Top Quarry SSSI. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The latter is particularly pertinent to Scrooby Sand Pits LWS, which may be affected by dewatering. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed.
Protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees, hedgerows and the ditches within the proposed allocation boundary, and in this area the farmland may be associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and corn bunting. NWT welcome the recognition in the Brief to the proximity of this site to Annexe 1 bird species and potential inclusion in the Sherwood pSPA. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement LWS habitats nearby.

NWT would expect the restoration to be biodiversity-led and welcomes the explicit requirement in the Development Brief that this should primarily be the case. NWT recognises that a small area of 3a soils may be present, but this should not compromise the need for a biodiversity-led restoration, as these soils can be protected within the restored site by being utilised under species-rich grassland, which can be grazed and/or cut for hay. The proposed habitats should be appropriate for NWT's Idle and Ryton Living Landscape Area and for the Humberhead Levels NCA, therefore NWT welcomes that the list of priority habitats is as requested in our previous submissions.

MP2o Langford Lowfields south and west - Object to details
NWT note that this proposed allocation is immediately adjacent to Langford Lowfields LWS and the River Trent at Holme LWS, whilst The Ness LWS is across the River. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The latter is particularly pertinent to the closest LWS. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed.
The proposed allocation is under both arable and permanent pasture, so protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees, hedgerows, ditches and the Slough Dyke within the proposed allocation boundary, and also the adjacent River Trent, including bats, amphibians and riparian mammals. In this area the farmland is associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and lapwing. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible, no LWS should be lost, and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats nearby.

NWT welcome the stated aim that this restoration would be biodiversity-led, as we would expect. But, the location of Langford West immediately adjacent to the River Trent provides an important opportunity to secure natural flood risk management and biodiversity outcomes through the re-connection of the Trent to its floodplain, channel braiding and the creation of wet grassland floodplain /grazing marsh. It is therefore disappointing that the Brief states that there would be no excavation within 45m of the Trent and would expect this opportunity to be properly examined. NWT would expect the proposed habitats would be appropriate for NWT's Trent Valley Living Landscape Area and for the Trent and Belvoir Vales NCA, therefore NWT welcomes that the list of priority habitats is as requested in our previous submissions. But it is also important to be explicit that large open water bodies (lakes) are not a priority habitat in this area, as there is already a sufficient amount.

MP2p Langford Lowfields North - Object to details
NWT note that this proposed allocation is immediately adjacent to Langford Lowfields LWS, includes the Horse Pool at Collingham LWS and is immediately across the Trent from the Cromwell Pits LWS. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The latter is particularly pertinent to the closest LWS. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed.
The proposed allocation is under mainly arable with small areas of permanent pasture, so protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees, hedgerows, and the adjacent River Trent, including bats, badgers, amphibians and riparian mammals. In this area the farmland is associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and lapwing. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible, no LWS should be lost, and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats nearby.

NWT welcome that this restoration would be biodiversity-led, as we would expect. The location of Langford North in a meander of the Trent provides an important opportunity to secure natural flood risk management and biodiversity outcomes through the re-connection of the Trent to its floodplain, channel braiding and the creation of wet grassland floodplain /grazing marsh, so we would expect this opportunity to be properly examined. The proposed habitats would be appropriate for NWT's Trent Valley Living Landscape Area and for the Trent and Belvoir Vales NCA, therefore NWT welcomes that the list of priority habitats is as requested in our previous submissions. But it is also important to be explicit that large open water bodies (lakes) are not a priority habitat in this area, as there is already a sufficient amount.
MP2q East Leake North - Object to details
NWT note that this proposed allocation is immediately adjacent to the Sheepwash Brook Wetlands LWS. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to this site, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The latter is particularly pertinent to the closest LWS. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed.
The proposed allocation is under arable use, but protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees and hedgerows along the boundary, the ditches and the Sheepwash Brook, including bats, badgers, amphibians and riparian mammals. In this area the farmland is associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and lapwing. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible, no LWS should be lost, and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats nearby.

NWT expect the restoration to be biodiversity-led, with habitats appropriate for the Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire Wolds NCA, therefore NWT welcomes that the list of priority habitats is as requested in our previous submissions. But it is also important to be explicit that large open water bodies (lakes) are not a priority habitat in this area, as there is already a sufficient amount. NWT recognises that some 3a soils may be present, but this should not compromise the need for a biodiversity-led restoration, as these soils can be protected for the future within the restored site by being utilised under species-rich grassland, which can be grazed and/or cut for hay.

NWT are surprised by the withdrawal of Besthorpe Eastern Extension as an allocation , as this allocation has the potential to achieve restoration benefits over the current land use, and also to achieve better public access to a wildlife-rich landscape.
New Site Allocations
MP2r Botany Bay - Object to details
NWT note that this proposed allocation is close to a number of LWS, including the Chesterfield Canal which runs along the boundary, Daneshill Lakes LNR and LWS and also in proximity to the Sutton and Lound Gravel Pits SSSI. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The latter is particularly pertinent to the Chesterfield Canal and the SSSI. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed.
The proposed allocation appears to be mainly in arable use, but protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees, hedgerows and ditches within the proposed allocation boundary, and the adjacent canal and woodlands, including bats and riparian mammals. In this area the farmland may be associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and corn bunting. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats nearby.

NWT would expect the restoration to be biodiversity-led and so we welcome the explicit reference to this in the Brief. The proposed habitats should be appropriate for NWT's Idle and Ryton Living Landscape Area and for the Humberhead Levels NCA ,therefore NWT welcomes that the list of priority habitats is as requested in our previous submissions. But it is also important to be explicit that large open water bodies (lakes) are not a priority habitat in this area, as there is already a sufficient amount. NWT recognises that some 3a soils may be present, but this should not compromise the need for a biodiversity-led restoration, as these soils can be protected for the future within the restored site by being utilised eg. under species-rich grassland, which can be grazed and/or cut for hay.

MP2s Mill Hill near Barton in Fabis - Object in principle
NWT note that an application is already under consideration for this proposed allocation area, thus our comments are consistent with our response to that application. This proposed allocation includes or is immediately adjacent to the Barton Flash LWS, Barton Pond and Drain LWS, Brandshill Wood LWS, Brandshill Grassland LWS and Brandshill Marsh LWS and in close proximity to the Attenborough Gravel Pits SSSI. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The latter is particularly pertinent to the closest LWS. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed.
The proposed allocation is under extensive permanent pasture, species- rich grassland, and arable use, and protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species are present in features such as the mature trees, hedgerows and woodlands, the ditches and ponds, and the nearby River Trent, including bats, badgers, amphibians and riparian mammals. In this area the farmland is associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and lapwing and also a number of protected bird species. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible, no LWS should be lost, and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats nearby.

NWT fundamentally object to this allocation, on the basis of the substantive impacts to LWS, SN 41 Habitats of Principal Importance and Species of Principal Importance, and protected species. The high quality of the existing habitats present in this proposed allocation renders it an unsuitable site for a new quarry.

Were the site to be allocated, NWT expect the restoration to be biodiversity-led, with habitats appropriate for NWT's Trent Valley Living Landscape Area and for the Trent Valley Washlands NCA, and note that our previous comments on suitable habitats have been included in the brief However, explicit reference should be made to the fact that large, open water bodies are not a priority habitat in this area as there is already a sufficient amount.

NWT consider that the scheme as proposed would involve an overall reduction in BAP habitat and the loss and degradation of a number of LWS and features used by protected species.


Question 12 What do you think of the draft site specific Sherwood Sandstone allocations?
MP3g Scrooby Top North - Object to details
NWT note that this proposed allocation is in proximity to the Scrooby Sand Pits LWS and Serlby Park Golf Course LWS, and appears to include the Scrooby Top Quarry SSSI. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The impacts of hydrological changes may be particularly pertinent as would the impacts of Nitrogen deposition on species-rich grasslands. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed.
The proposed allocation is under mainly arable use, with some permanent pasture, so protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees and hedgerows along the boundary and the ditches including bats, herptiles and badgers. In this area the farmland is associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and lapwing. NWT welcome the recognition in the Brief to the proximity of this site to protected Annexe 1 bird species and potential inclusion in the Sherwood ppSPA. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible, no LWS should be lost, and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats nearby.

NWT note the proposal that restoration should include agricultural and biodiversity-led elements. We expect the restoration to be biodiversity-led, but this may include extensively managed, ecologically-rich agricultural habitats, such as acidic grassland or species-rich neutral grassland which could be grazed and/or cut for hay, as long as their long term management can be secured. The proposed habitats should be appropriate for NWT's Idle and Ryton Living Landscape Area and for the Humberhead Levels NCA, therefore NWT welcomes that the list of priority habitats is as requested in our previous submissions.

MP3e Bestwood II East and MP3f Bestwood II North - Object to both in principle
NWT note that an application is already under consideration for the proposed allocation area of Bestwood 2 East, thus our comments are consistent with our response to that application. These proposed allocations are entirely located within Longdale Plantation LWS and in close proximity to Longdale Heath LWS. There is therefore the potential for major direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for habitat loss, noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. Consequently, NWT fundamentally object to these allocations, as the loss of a LWS on this scale is unacceptable.
The proposed allocations are entirely within a LWS, so protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in the woodland, including bats, birds, herptiles and badgers. Were these sites to be allocated, any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats adjacent. NWT therefore welcome that the habitats listed in our previous submissions have been included in the Brief, but this does not indicate our support for these allocations.


Question 13 What do you think of the draft policy to meet expected crushed rock demand over the plan period?
MP4 Crushed Rock (limestone) provision
NWT supports this policy in principle, particularly the requirement in para 4.58 to review the restoration scheme to ensure that it is consistent with Policy SP2-Biodiversity Led Restoration. As previously submitted, NWT would expect the priority habitats to be appropriate for the Southern Magnesian Limestone NCA and our Magnesian Limestone Living Landscape Area, ie.:
* Calcareous grassland
* Ash-dominated woodland
* Streams, ponds
* Hedgerows

Question 15 What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for brick clay?
MP6c Woodborough Lane - Support
NWT does not object to the proposed allocation of the Woodborough Lane site in principle, as the area does not appear to either contain or be in proximity to any SSSIs, LWS, LNR or Ancient Woodlands. There may, however, be BAP/Sn 41 HPI or SPI present, and there may also be the potential for indirect impacts on important habitats or species which would require rigorous assessment of impacts. It is essential that at this stage the requirement for biodiversity-led restoration is explicit and the expected habitats are clearly identified, so NWT welcomes their inclusion in the Development Brief.

Question 16 What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for gypsum?
Bantycock Quarry South (MP7c) - Object in principle
NWT note that this proposed allocation includes the Cowtham House Arable LWS and the Shire Dyke LWS within the boundary, and is also in close proximity to the Staple Lane Ditch LWS, Grange Lane Drain LWS and Hawton Tip Grasslands LWS. There is therefore the potential for direct and indirect impacts to these sites, which should be fully assessed, including for noise, dust, NOx and changes to hydrology and hydrogeology. The impacts of hydrological changes may be particularly pertinent to the closest LWS as would the impacts of Nitrogen deposition on species-rich grasslands. The impacts of habitat loss on Sn41/BAP habitats within the site boundary should also be assessed rigorously. If the LWS cannot be removed from within the site boundary or shown to be unaffected by the working area, NWT object to this allocation.
The proposed allocation is under mainly arable use, with some permanent pasture, so protected and /or UK BAP/Sn41 species may be present in features such as the mature trees and hedgerows along the boundary, the ditches and the Shire Dyke and its associated grassland buffer, including bats, badgers, amphibians and riparian mammals. In this area the farmland is associated with red list BOCC farmland birds such as skylark, grey partridge and lapwing. Efforts should be made to retain as many existing habitat features as possible, no LWS should be lost, and any scheme should ensure substantive net gain in biodiversity, and should complement the LWS habitats nearby.

The Development Brief states that restoration would involve "the return of land to agriculture and nature conservation corridors" . NWT expect the restoration to be biodiversity-led, with the majority of the area restored to high value priority habitats, not least to outweigh the restoration of the current and nearby gypsum quarry sites, where large areas have been restored to arable land of low wildlife value. There would be a role for extensively managed, ecologically-rich, agricultural habitats, such as species-rich calcareous grassland, but this is only if the long term management can be secured. The proposed habitats should be appropriate for the Trent and Belvoir Vales NCA, therefore we welcome the inclusion of the habitats listed in or previous submissions.
Question 17 What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for silica sand over the plan period?
NWT support the policy in general, noting that any future allocations/extensions would have to be compliant with the policies in this MLP and with particular regard to the fact this area falls within the ppSPA , with the need for cumulative assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment that follows from that.

Question 18 What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for Industrial dolomite over the plan period?
NWT has concerns that the text does not explain the importance of the remaining scarce fragments of calcareous habitats that are found on the limestone resource in the west of the County and that the protection, management and expansion of these should be a prerequisite of any new building stone scheme. Any new quarry should add to the strength of the ecological network for calcareous grassland and woodland, not detract from it. The proximity of SSSs and many LWS to Whitwell and Creswell underlines this point.
Question 19 What do you think to the draft policy to meet demand for building stone over the plan period?
NWT has concerns that the text does not explain the importance of the remaining scarce fragments of calcareous habitats that are found on the limestone resource in the west of the County and that the protection, management and expansion of these should be a prerequisite of any new building stone scheme. Any new quarry should add to the strength of the ecological network for calcareous grassland and woodland, not detract from it.

Question 20 What do you think of the draft policy relating to meet demand for coal over the plan period?
MP11 Coal - In the absence of Development Briefs, the policy should include specific reference that any coal development should contribute substantively to priority habitat restoration and re-creation in accordance with the appropriate NCA and NWT Living Landscape (LL) areas as follows:
Sherwood NCA (Sherwood Heathlands LL area): lowland heath, acid grassland, small ponds (especially for amphibians), marsh, oak-birch woodland, wood pasture.
Southern Magnesian Limestone (Magnesian Limestone LL area): calcareous grassland, ash-dominated woodland, streams, ponds, hedgerows
Coal Measures (Erewash Valley LL area): wet grassland/floodplain grazing marsh, species-rich neutral grassland (meadows), ponds, rivers and streams, oak-dominated woodland, acid grassland/lowland heath, hedgerows, ditches.

This could be included in the justification text as above and also referenced in the Policy wording as below:
"...Reworking colliery spoil tips/lagoons
4. Applications will be supported for the reworking of colliery spoil tips/lagoons where the environmental and economic benefits of the development, including addressing the likelihood of spontaneous combustion and substantial environmental improvement of the site, outweigh the environmental or amenity impacts of the development or the loss of established landscape and wildlife features. All such development should result in the re-creation of priority BAP/Sn41 habitats appropriate to the relevant NCA as listed in the text in para xx."

Question 21 What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for hydrocarbon minerals over the plan period?
MP 11 hydrocarbons - NWT agree that the wording of the policy should make clear the need for robust environmental impact assessment at all stages of hydrocarbon exploration and extraction.
NWT consider that there should be an explicit statement that hydrocarbon extraction should reduce in order reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change.
NWT also consider that with regard to the need for environmental protection , there should be a presumption against unconventional hydrocarbon developments . Shale gas extraction is relatively untested in the UK, a very different working environment to the US, and in the last 2 years where it has occurred it has been demonstrated that operators are unable to robustly and consistently meet the requirements of their planning conditions, which have been imposed to protect the environment. Therefore NWT cannot support this Policy as it stands.
Further detail in the accompanying text is required to cover the following issues:
Oil - Specific consideration is needed for the requirement of new oil extraction schemes to result in enhanced priority habitats, as in some cases the relatively small scale of such scheme, but large number of sites, has lead to incremental impacts and degradation of habitats over several years, which has led to an overall loss of biodiversity when considered in the round. This should be recognised in any future provision through a robust assessment of likely cumulative effects on biodiversity.
CMM - given the location of most suitable seams/former mine sites, specific reference should be made to the potential for disturbance to nightjar and woodlark and need to assess the cumulative effects of nitrogen emissions from burning CMM on sensitive heathland habitats.
CBM and Shale Gas - The relatively unproven nature of these technologies when applied to the UK should predicate a highly precautionary approach, particularly given the unpredictable nature of the behaviour of the sandstone geology of the County which overlays much of the northern shale beds. This unpredictability is evidenced both by deep-mine accidents in Sherwood in recent history where unexpected pockets of methane have been encountered in fractured stone and also by the above-ground subsidence effects of planned mining activity, which do not always appear to happen as predicted by the industry. Both CBM, and Shale Gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing have the potential for far-reaching impacts on the quantity and quality of surface and groundwaters and through effects of noise and vibration, which may impact valuable habitats and sensitive species. Robust and very precautionary assessment is therefore required of any such schemes.

Question 22 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM1: Protecting local amenity?

NWT strongly support this Policy in principle but believe that the following should be added to the list:
" ...loss of greenspace , this is significant impact on amenity for local people, and loss can be contrary to the needs to support good health and wellbeing in local communities"
Question 25 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM4: Protection and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity?

NWT very much welcome and support the thrust of this policy and note that many of our previous comments have been incorporated into the policy wording and supporting text. There some matters however that still need further explanation to ensure that there is no ambiguity in their interpretation.

"5.49. Local Sites are designated at a local level and include Local Wildlife Sites (LWSs) and Local Geological Sites (LGSs). Whilst designated at a local level, these sites are of at least County ecological value according to criteria adopted by all the Nottinghamshire LPAs and the MPA. Some may also meet SSSI designation criteria but have not been designated, as only a representative suite of habitats are designated as SSSIs even though others may qualify. Some, but not all, Ancient woodlands are designated as LWSs within Nottinghamshire and are considered to be an irreplaceable habitat. Together, these designated sites form part of the country's or County's ? irreplaceable natural capital and the Minerals Local Plan will contribute towards their protection and encourage and support opportunities for enhancement."

It is essential to explain this in the supporting text as we regularly see this sort of statement misinterpreted as LWS being of only "local" ie. district level value, rather than of County importance.
NWT strongly support the text of paragraph 5.52 which provides a much welcome clarification of how "outweighing" benefits, or otherwise, should be assessed.
.

In para 5.54. add "Where compensation is required, this should ensure that there is no net loss of habitat, provide like for like replacements of habitat (recognising that newly created habitats take many years to reach the quality and diversity of well established habitats.) and make up for any lost connections between habitats. Where significant impacts on species are predicted, compensation schemes should also provide overall habitat improvements, in terms of quality or area, in comparison to the habitat that is
being lost. Use of the DEFRA Biodiversity Metric may be helpful in undertaking assessments to determine the compensatory habitat required "

Update paragraph 5.57. Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping has been substantially completed for approximately 75% of Nottinghamshire, including the Trent Valley. The study should be used to help inform proposals for mineral workings and restoration.

Para 5.58. "In order to assess biodiversity impacts fully, applicants will be required to carry out ecological surveys as part of their application in order that a robust ecological impacts assessment can be undertaken. "


Question 29 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM8: Cumulative impact?

NWT support this Policy in principle but there should be a specific reference to cumulative impacts on habitats and species.



Question 31 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM10: Airfield safeguarding?

Safeguarding is obviously important but should also be underpinned by robust science and a reasonable approach, in order to prevent interpretation that prevents restoration of a wide range of wetland habitats across large areas of the County. NWT therefore welcomes the recognition that nature conservation after-uses can be compatible with safeguarding, but in reality, we have sometimes found this to be used in a simplistic way, therefore we require the addition of the following:

"5.108. This policy does not preclude any specific forms of restoration or after-use but seeks to ensure that aviation safety is fully considered and addressed through appropriate consultation, avoidance and mitigation. Advice Notes on the safeguarding of aerodromes have been produced by the Airport Operators' Association and General Aviation Awareness Council. It is important that safeguarding representations are made on the basis of an accurate assessment of the likely effects of risks such as bird-strike depending on the type and use of the airfield, as this changes the likelihood of hazards occurring."


Question 32 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM11: Planning obligations?
NWT welcome this Policy in principle but consider that it requires further detail on how long the Obligations should remain in force, so that there can be certainty over the protection of restored habitats in the long term

Question 33 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM12: Restoration, after-use and aftercare?

NWT strongly support the principles of this Policy and have worked with NCC for a long time on the concepts that inform the Policy. We agree with the Policy wording with the exception of the following:


"3. All applications should normally be accompanied by a detailed restoration plan, this is particularly important where the potential for the restored habitats is being used as part of the case for the acceptability of the scheme. It is possible that there may be some exceptional circumstances where it is impracticable to submit full restoration details at the planning Stage, but this must be robustly justified, and proposals should include:

a) An overall concept plan with sufficient detail to demonstrate that the scheme is feasible in both technical and economic terms and is consistent with the County Council's biodiversity-led restoration strategy; and
b) Illustrative details of contouring, landscaping and any other relevant information as appropriate."

"..Aftercare
9. Restoration proposals will be subject to a minimum five year period of aftercare. Where proposals or elements of proposals, such as features of biodiversity interest, require a longer period of management the proposal will only be permitted if it includes details of the period of extended aftercare and how this will be achieved. Where the creation of new priority habitats is being used as part of the case for the acceptability of the scheme, it is essential that an extended aftercare period of at least 20 years must be secured, otherwise the justification for the scheme cannot be accepted. "


Para 5.124. Most mineral workings are on agricultural land. In general where the best and
most versatile land is taken for mineral extraction, it is important that the potential for land to be returned to an agricultural after-use be maintained through appropriate landform and soil profiles. It is not necessary, however, for the land to be returned to agricultural use per se, and the creation of priority habitats will better protect and conserve the soils in the long term".


Question 34 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM13: Incidental
mineral extraction?

NWT support this Policy in principle, but it requires explicit reference to the fact that " in most cases such applications will require the same levels of EIA as primary extraction applications."

Question 36 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM15: Borrow pits
NWT require the addition of a specific reference to the requirement for proper EcIA and biodiversity-led restoration in order to offset the impacts of borrow pit use..
Question 38 What do you think of the draft policy wording for DM17: Mineral exploration?

Seismic surveys can impact protected and sensitive bird and mammal species, particularly where undertaken in the breeding season, therefore the following is required:

"5.161. Most Seismic surveys have little environmental impact. However, noise and vibration can raise concerns when carried out in sensitive areas, particularly where sensitive fauna are present. This is especially the case when shot hole drilling is used and/or where surveys are carried out over a prolonged period. A particular concern is the interference to archaeological remains. Operators are encouraged to contact the County Council's archaeologists and ecologist prior to undertaking surveys. It is particularly important to ensure that species protected by law would not be affected by noise, vibration or other effects."

Glossary
LWS should be included in the glossary with a reference to the Site Selection handbook, as this is an area often poorly understood by applicants.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32369

Received: 26/09/2018

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation:

Biodiversity should be protected and enhanced throughout any mineral development. Development should be designed in such a way to ensure that any impacted areas of biodiversity are protected and enhanced.

We welcome point 3 of the policy that states that 'biodiversity....will be enhanced' as part of the restoration process. Restoration offers the opportunities to improve the biodiversity of the environment such as river restoration and floodplain wetland creation. Where relevant, the opportunities to provide these biodiversity enhancements should be looked into.

Full text:

Consultation on the Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Thank you for giving the Environment Agency the opportunity to respond to the Nottinghamshire Draft Minerals Local Plan. We welcome the opportunity to review this Minerals Draft Local Plan and provide detailed comments where appropriate.
After review of the Draft Local Plan the Environment Agency has the following comments to make:

Vision

We welcome the overall aims of the Vision of the Plan.

We recommend that the visions aim that 'Mineral development will be designed, located and operated to ensure that environmental harm and impacts on climate change are mitigated', and not minimised. This would allow a vision that ensures no environmental harm and allows climate change impacts to be mitigated.

We welcome the Visions aims to ensure a reduction in flood risk, and to maintain or enhance the water quality within Nottinghamshire. We would welcome the inclusion of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) within this section of the vision to ensure that the vision requires all development to have regard for WFD.

We welcome the Plan's vision to work towards 'a greener Nottinghamshire' and the protection and enhancements that the Plan strives for.

Strategic Objectives

SO3: Addressing Climate Change
The Environment Agency welcomes this objective, particularly in respect of the aim to reduce existing and future flood risk through good Quarry design and operation. We would also highlight that restoration offers the opportunity to reduce flood risk to the site and to others and should be a key consideration for all restorations proposals.

SO6: Protecting and enhancing natural assets
We welcome this strategic objective to conserve and enhance the natural environment of Nottinghamshire. We would ask that the word 'minimising' is removed to ensure that all development has no negative impact on the natural environment, especially biodiversity. We welcome the requirement to achieve the targets set out in the Water Framework Directive.
Policies

Policy SP2 - Minerals Provision
The Environment Agency welcomes point 2 of this policy requiring all proposals for mineral development to prioritise the avoidance of adverse environmental impacts of the proposed development through the use of appropriate mitigation and compensation conditions. This policy along with others for flood risk, water quality, biodiversity etc should be used to ensure suitable protection to the environment.

Policy SP3 - Biodiversity - Led Restoration
We welcome the inclusion of this strategic policy to ensure schemes that maximise biodiversity gains will be supported. We support the requirement to demonstrate how restoration will contribute towards WFD objectives by using restoration to improve and enhance the biodiversity of the environment.

We welcome the detailed inclusion of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) from section 3.29, in particular making reference to the Humber River Basin Management Plan (RBMP). The RBMP provides a framework for protecting and enhancing the benefits provided by the water environment. The Local Plan should ensure that all development follows the requirement of the RBMP and WFD to ensure suitable protection and enhancement of the water environment.

Policy SP4 - Climate Change
We welcome the overall aims of this policy. We would ask that part 1 of this policy is reworded to state that ' All minerals developments, including site preparation, operational practices and restoration proposals should reduce, or as a minimum, cause no increases in their impact on the causes of climate change for the life time of the development'

In respect of part b) we would suggest including that impacts should be 'reduced where possible, or as a minimum, fully mitigated' as well as stating that all development does not increase flood risk to the site and to others.

We welcome the inclusion of part c) to ensure that restorations schemes will address future climate change issues such as flood alleviation. We would highlight that water resources and water quality could be added in to this sentence to highlight these important issues.

Policy SP6 - The Built, Historic and Natural Environment
We welcome this policy and the initial requirement to ensure that all mineral development will be required to deliver a high standard of environmental protection and enhancement. We note that flood risk, water quality, water provision (Resources) and Biodiversity are included within this overall policy. The Environment Agency would highlight that these areas of impact will need to be protected and enhanced, and in the case of biodiversity, meet the requirements for WFD, and any development impacting flood risk will need to show that there is no increase in flood risk to the site, or to others.

Section 3.7.1 on page 44 refers to the Water Framework Directive and the date of 2015 for water bodies achieving good chemical and qualitative status. This date should be amended to 2027, which is the final deadline for meeting the objectives of the directive.
Section 4: Mineral Provision Policies

A number of the policies within this section for all mineral development types state that any proposals outside of the permitted sites will be supported where a need can be demonstrated. The Environment Agency would ask that additional wording is incorporated to ensure that these additional sites do not have a negative impact on the natural environment and are in line with the requirements of other policies to protect and enhance biodiversity, not increase flood risk to the site and others, and meet the targets of WFD.

General Water Resources Information

Abstractions for the purpose of dewatering mines, quarries or engineering excavations are currently exempt from the need for an abstraction licence under the Water Resources Act 1991. However, changes under the Water Act 2003 and draft regulations that have been laid in parliament before coming into force from 1st January 2018 will bring these abstractions into regulation under the abstraction licensing system. Once the regulations become live on 1st January 2018 a licence will be required for the majority of dewatering activities. There will be a two year application window until December 2019 for applications for existing dewatering operations to be made, to be followed by a three year determination period (from January 2020) for the Agency to process them. If the dewatering operations will take commence after 1st January 2018 the applicant would need to consult us at the earliest opportunity to discuss licensing requirements.

Any new licence would be dependent on whether resources are available as set out in the ALS (Abstraction Licensing Strategy). The applicant should be aware that the Sherwood Sandstone aquifer located within Nottinghamshire County Boundary is closed to further consumptive abstraction licences. In the Sherwood Sandstone the new extensions at Bestwood and Scrooby Top North could be impacted if there is any requirement for additional water from the underlying aquifer. Similarly, sand and gravel allocations for extensions and new sites will also have to have regard for any restrictions within the waterbodies the sites would be abstracting from. Any new consumptive abstractions may not be available depending on the location of the proposed allocation. This closureto the application of consumptive abstraction licences is to protect the ground and surface water environment. A copy of the relevant Abstraction Licensing Strategies the Lower Trent and Erewash and Idle and Torne can be found on Gov.uk following the links below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/291403/LIT_3309_b5e317.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/291404/LIT_5355_d453a5.pdf

Policy MP6 - Brick Clay Provision
This area of land is to the north of the Dorket Head Landfill. The current landfill permit does not include this area of land. If the restoration of the site required the importation of waste to restore the site then an application to the Environment Agency would be required for either a new permit or a variation to the current landfill permit. We would like to highlight that given the history of odour complaints relating to the now closed Dorket Head landfill site, we would oppose any proposals to restore this area with putrescible or other odorous wastes.
Section 5 - Development Management Policies

Policy DM2: Water Resources and Flood Risk
At the Issues and Options stage we highlighted whether this policy should be split into two to split up flood risk and water resources. We also note that water quality is highlighted within the general introduction but then is not specifically mentioned within the title of the policy or the main document. At the time of restoration, proposals that help to enhance water quality should be supported.

We would suggest that the Policy title is amended to read as 'Flood Risk, Water Quality and Water Resources'. We would suggest that part 1 of this policy should be amended to say 'Water Resources and Water Quality'. We would suggest an additional bullet point highlighting water quality such as 'Water quality, both surface and groundwater, should be managed to ensure no deterioration, and where possible enhancement at the time of restoration, to help meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive'.

Flood Risk
The Environment Agency welcomes the inclusion of a flood risk policy. We would ask that in paragraph 2 an additional bullet point is added stating 'development does not increase flood risk to the site, or to others'.

Paragraph 3 we suggest the following wording is added 'risks can be fully mitigated, and does not increase flood risk to the site or others'

We welcome paragraph 4's overall aim to encourage restoration proposals to incorporate flood reduction measures. We would recommend that the wording is strengthened by using 'shall' instead of 'should'. 'Where the opportunity exists, restoration proposals shall incorporate flood risk reduction measures e.g. flood plain storage.....'. We also suggest that the importance of working with natural processes should also be included.

Section 5.25 on page 103 mentions the Environment Agency's Groundwater Protection Principles and Practice. This document has been superseded by the policies and position statements contained in the Environment Agency's Approach to Groundwater Protection which updates the previous document. Please refer to this newer document in the Minerals Plan. The Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy is now known as an Abstraction Licencing Strategy. This wording should be amended accordingly.

In section 5.29 the Local Plan mentions that Mineral Extractions can 'temporarily reduce storage capacity and therefore increase the risk of flooding elsewhere'. The Environment Agency would query this assertion and argue that all development, no matter how temporary in nature should not increase flood risk to elsewhere and therefore other people not directly involved in the proposed development. We therefore ask that this section is either removed or reworded to ensure that any development, temporary or not is designed to ensure there is no increase in flood risk to others.

We welcome the recognition in section 5.32 that multiple environmental benefit can be delivered through the restoration of minerals working, including flood risk management, water quality and WFD improvements. Restoration offers the opportunity to reduce flood risk, both to the site, and to others and should be a key requirement of the future restoration plans.
We acknowledge that SUDs has been included in this policy but suggest that opportunities for encouraging biodiversity gains, and water quality improvements within SUDs features should also be included.

Policy DM3: Agricultural land and soil quality
We welcome the inclusion of soil quality within this policy to ensure that measures will be taken to ensure soil quality is protected. As mentioned within the justification, proper management of soils during restoration will ensure that there is reduced suspended solids entering local water courses, and in turn help towards the targets of the Water Framework Directive.

Policy DM4: Protection and Enhancement of Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Biodiversity should be protected and enhanced throughout any mineral development. Development should be designed in such a way to ensure that any impacted areas of biodiversity are protected and enhanced.

We welcome point 3 of the policy that states that 'biodiversity....will be enhanced' as part of the restoration process. Restoration offers the opportunities to improve the biodiversity of the environment such as river restoration and floodplain wetland creation. Where relevant, the opportunities to provide these biodiversity enhancements should be looked into.

Policy DM12: Restoration, after-use and aftercare
The Environment Agency welcomes the requirement that this policy should be considered alongside Policy SP3: Biodiversity - Led Restoration. We welcome point 1 of this policy that supports development where the restoration will enable long-term enhancement of the environment. Restoration offers the opportunity to provide multiple environmental benefits, such as enhancement of biodiversity, and where applicable, reducing flood risk through detailed and considered designs of the restoration scheme to provide reduced flood risk to the site and to others.

Regarding point 3, where full restoration plans are not available, we would expect to see detailed information on flood risk to show how flood risk could be reduced, as restoration offers the opportunity to reduce flood risk to the site and to others.

Regarding point 4 and the importation of waste, we would highlight that all waste importation would need to be assessed to understand whether a permit is required. We note that section 5.128 & 5.129 highlights the requirement to gain advice from the Environment Agency which we welcome.

Regarding point 8, we welcome this point highlighting that after-use proposals should provide benefits to the local and wider community from an environmental perspective in areas such as flood plain storage and reconnection.

Restoration also offers the opportunity to further improve and enhance others areas of the environment such as water quality and biodiversity such as river restoration for all watercourses, and floodplain wetland creation. The enhancements of these areas should also be a key requirement for future restoration proposals

DM14: Irrigation Lagoons
We welcome section 5.143 highlighting that abstraction in some parts of the county is closed.

DM17: Mineral Exploration
Section 5.166 on page 145 makes reference to deep boreholes specifically those associated with the exploration for coal, oil and gas. The construction of such boreholes would also require various permits from the Environment Agency usually to control the handling of any waste produced from drilling a deep borehole and to protect groundwater.

Appendix 3: Site Allocation Development Briefs

Bawtry
The site is situated in an area where any new consumptive abstraction may not be available.

Scrooby North
As previously mentioned, the site is situated in an area where any new consumptive abstraction may not be available.

Scrooby Thompson
As previously mentioned, the site is situated in an area where any new consumptive abstraction may not be available.

Botany Bay
As previously mentioned, the site is situated in an area where any new consumptive abstraction may not be available.

Langford Lowfields South and West
This site is situated in the flood zones. We welcome the inclusion of the 45m exclusion zones from the flood defences and River Trent. A flood risk assessment should also make use of available data from the Environment Agency.

We welcome the quarry restoration proposals to provide an increase in wetland habitats. As well as biodiversity improvements, restoration offers the opportunity to reduce flood risk to the site and to others and we ask that this is also mentioned within this section to ensure flood risk betterment.

As previously mentioned earlier in our response, restoration also offers the opportunity to improve the water environment and water quality. This should also be an aim of any future restoration.

Langford Lowfields North
This site is situated in the flood zones. We welcome the inclusion of the 45m exclusion zones from the flood defences and River Trent. A flood risk assessment should also make use of available data from the Environment Agency.

We welcome the quarry restoration proposals to provide an increase in wetland habitats. As well as biodiversity improvements, restoration offers the opportunity to reduce flood risk to the site and to others and we ask that this is also mentioned within this section to ensure flood risk betterment.

As previously mentioned earlier in our response, restoration also offers the opportunity to improve the water environment and water quality. This should also be an aim of any future restoration.

Mill Hill
This site is situated in the flood zones. We welcome the inclusion of the 45m exclusion zones from the flood defences and River Trent. A flood risk assessment should also make use of available data from the Environment Agency.

We again welcome the requirement for restoration to be biodiversity lead. Again to opportunity to enhance the biodiversity of the area is a welcome aim of the site specific policy. We also welcome that other multi - functional benefits such as flood storage should be explored. As previously mentioned, restoration offers the opportunity reduce flood risk to the site and others, and therefore should be another key requirement of any future restoration at this site.

As previously mentioned earlier in our response, restoration also offers the opportunity to improve the water environment and water quality. We welcome any investigation that will help to ensure water quality at the designated Holme Pit SSSI, which is something that has been highlighted by Natural England.

East Leake
If any additional abstraction is required from the Sherwood Sandstone aquifer then it is unlikely any water will be available for abstraction.

Bestwood 2 East and Bestwood 2 North
As previously mentioned, the site is situated in an area where any new consumptive abstraction may not be available.

Scrooby Top North
As previously mentioned, the site is situated in an area where any new consumptive abstraction may not be available.

Woodborough Lane
As previously mentoned in our comments for policy MP6 - Brick Clay Provision, this area of land is to the north of the Dorket Head Landfill. The current landfill permit does not include this area of land. If the restoration of the site required the importation of waste to restore the site then an application to the Environment Agency would be required for either a new permit or a variation to the current landfill permit. We would like to highlight that given the history of odour complaints relating to the now closed Dorket Head landfill site, we would oppose any proposals to restore this area with putrescible or other odorous wastes.

Bantycock
Part of the site is situated in the flood zone. A FRA may be required if development is proposed within this area.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32388

Received: 28/09/2018

Respondent: Natural England

Representation:

Natural England supports
this policy. In paragraph 1 of the policy wording reference should be made to the Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) which should accompany the plan. Reference to the "mitigation hierarchy" in paragraph 2 of the policy is welcome. We also support the enhancement measures set out in paragraph 3.
We acknowledge the requirement at 5.46 for a HRA at planning application stage but one would also be required for the local plan itself.
We welcome the reference to the Sherwood ppSPA at paragraph 5.47 and the risk based approach.

Full text:

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan
Thank you for your consultation on the above document dated 26 July 2018 which was received by Natural England on the same date.
Natural England is a non-departmental public body. Our statutory purpose is to ensure that the natural environment is conserved, enhanced, and managed for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development.
Nottinghamshire Minerals Plan
Natural England has reviewed the Draft Plan and has the following comments:
Supporting Documents
We advise that a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) of the Minerals plan should be undertaken and submitted as a supporting document with the plan.
Paragraph 2.13 - We suggest that the abbreviation used for the Sherwood possible potential Special Protection Area (ppSPA) should be clarified. A potential Special Protection (pSPA) is a particular stage of the designation. The Sherwood area has not yet reached this stage yet and is still under consideration which is why it is known as a possible potential SPA.
Draft Vision
Natural England generally welcomes the vision. We are pleased to note that climate change has now been included within the 2nd paragraph, however we suggest that the wording should be clarified to explain that the impact on climate change should be mitigated not minimised to ensure that no environmental harm is allowed.
Strategic Objectives
SO6: Protecting & Enhancing Natural Assets - We are pleased to note that many of our comments made at the issues and options stage of the plan have been included within this objective, particularly those concerning net gain and delivery of biodiversity at a landscape scale.
SO8: Protecting Agricultural Soils - We are pleased to note that protection of Best & Most Versatile (BMV) land has been included in this objective.
SP2 Minerals Provision
Natural England welcomes paragraph 2 of the policy wording and paragraph 3.11 of the explanatory text which establishes that development must demonstrate avoidance of environmental impacts.
SP3 Biodiversity led restoration
Natural England strongly supports this policy which has incorporated many of our previous comments. We welcome paragraphs 3.12 & 3.14 which emphasise the importance of considering restoration at the outset of a proposal and as integral to the management of the whole extraction process and phasing.
We welcome the reference to the National Character Areas, Local Biodiversity Action Plan targets and the Water Framework Directive.
The paragraphs setting out the justification for the policy are also supported particularly the emphasis on the potential for mineral extraction to deliver high-quality habitat and creating valuable places for both wildlife and people and contributing to the delivery of landscape-scale conservation.
We welcome the guidance on Priority Habitats from paragraph 3.23 which help to ensure that the right restoration solutions are followed in appropriate locations.
We are also pleased to note that at paragraph 3.28 that agricultural restoration can still be "biodiversity led".
Net Gain - We suggest that your authority may want to consider including an additional paragraph on net gain in light of its emphasis in the 25 year Environment Plan "Green Futures" and the revised NPPF. Biodiversity net gain is a demonstrable gain in biodiversity assets as a result of a development project that may or may not cause biodiversity loss, but where the final output is an
overall net gain. Net gain outcomes can be achieved both on and/or off the development site and
should be embedded into the development process at the earliest stages. Metrics exist for calculating the amount of biodiversity required to achieve net gain. The most commonly used are variants of the Defra metric which calculates the biodiversity units required to achieve biodiversity net gain. The advantage of using a recognised metric to deliver net gain is that it provides a clear,
transparent and evidence-based approach to assessing a project's biodiversity impacts that can assist with "de-risking" a development through the planning process and contribute to wider placemaking.
Natural England would be happy to advise further on this approach and there is further information available on the Defra website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technicalpaper-
the-metric-for-the-biodiversity-offsetting-pilot-in-england
SP4 - Climate Change
Natural England welcomes this policy
SP6 - The Built, Historic and Natural Environment
Natural England welcomes this policy which will ensure that mineral development will need to deliver a high standard of environmental protection and enhancement.
Nature Conservation - We agree with provisions regarding nature conservation within paragraphs
3.47 to 3.49 however reference should be made to the SA and HRA to ensure a full assessment of environmental effects has been carried out, including an assessment of alternatives, to ensure the most sustainable and least environmental sensitive sites are included in the Plan.
Geology - we welcome paragraph 3.50 regarding the protection of regionally important geological sites, however it should also refer to geological SSSI's which are of national importance.
Landscape -we welcome the reference to the Nottinghamshire Landscape Character Assessment.
Agricultural land and soil - this policy should safeguard the long term capability of best and most versatile agricultural land.
Minerals Provision Policies
Natural England cannot comment on minerals provision specifically but only on its implications for the natural environment. We would wish to ensure that cross reference is made to the SA and HRA to ensure a full assessment of environmental effects has been carried out, including an assessment
of alternatives, to ensure the most sustainable and least environmental sensitive sites are included in the Plan.
(We have made comments on the individual development briefs below.)
Development Management Policies
DM2 Water resources and Flood Risk - Natural England would like to see this policy give greater emphasis to the protection of habitats from water related impacts resulting from mineral development and seek enhancement, especially for designated sites. We acknowledge that paragraph 5.32 of the explanatory text does mention water quality and environmental benefits but this should also appear in the policy wording.
We welcome paragraph 4 of the policy wording which includes flood plain reconnection and the further explanation in paragraph 5.32. However we suggest that the importance of working with natural processes should also be included. We have discussed this issue with the Environment Agency.
We acknowledge that SUDs has been included in the policy but suggest that opportunities for encouraging biodiversity gains within SUDs features should also be included.
DM3 Agricultural land and soil quality - Natural England advises that minerals plans should recognise that extraction can have an irreversible adverse (cumulative) impact on BMV land.
Avoiding the use of high grade land is the priority as mitigation is rarely possible, even with the best restoration standards. We acknowledge that this has been included within the policy wording.
Some sand and gravel sites cannot always avoid BMV soil as the quality of soils tends to be higher over sand/gravel sites. In such cases restoration of the highest standard should be the norm with the focus on maintaining healthy soils.
We support paragraph 5.39 that explains that biodiversity led-restoration schemes can be carried out on BMV land as long as the land and soil is maintained in a state capable of supporting agriculture in future, should the need arise.
We welcome paragraph 5.40 which makes provision for biodiversity gains within agricultural restoration.
DM4 Protection and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity - Natural England supports this policy. In paragraph 1 of the policy wording reference should be made to the Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) which should accompany the plan. Reference to the "mitigation hierarchy" in paragraph 2 of the policy is welcome. We also support the enhancement measures set
out in paragraph 3.
We acknowledge the requirement at 5.46 for a HRA at planning application stage but one would also be required for the local plan itself.
We welcome the reference to the Sherwood ppSPA at paragraph 5.47 and the risk based approach.
DM5 landscape character - Natural England welcomes this policy and the reference to the Nottinghamshire Landscape Character Assessment. We suggest that reference should also be made to the National Character Areas (NCAs)
DM7 Public access - Natural England supports this policy.
DM12 Restoration and aftercare - Natural England plan would wish to ensure the high quality restoration and aftercare of mineral sites, including for agriculture, geodiversity, biodiversity, native woodland, the historic environment and recreation. We consider that the policy takes a strategic approach for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity
(linked to national and local targets) and green infrastructure.
We would however suggest that biodiversity net gain should be emphasised within the policy wording. We welcome reference to the Trent Valley "Bigger and Better" scheme which fits in with Council's biodiversity-led restoration approach.
Appendix 3 - Site Allocation Development briefs
MP2l - Bawtry Road west
We are pleased to note that potential indirect hydrological links to the Hatfield Moor SAC have been highlighted and we advise that a HRA would be required.
MP2n - Scrooby North
Please note it should be ppSPA not pSPA - it is a possible potential SPA
MP2m - Scrooby Thompson Land
Please note it should be ppSPA not pSPA - it is a possible potential SPA
MP2r - Botany Bay
Chesterfield Canal SSSI is adjacent to this site and it should be ensured that there is no adverse impact on interest features of this designation particularly in terms of water quality.
Please note it should be ppSPA not pSPA - it is a possible potential SPA
MP2p - Langford Lowfields North
We agree with the landscape scale approach to restoration across this site and the other sites in the Collingham and Besthorpe area and that this should be co-ordinated through the master-planning process to maximise opportunities to enhance biodiversity gain.
MP2o - Langford Lowfields South and west
We agree with the landscape scale approach to restoration across this site and the other sites in the Collingham and Besthorpe area and that this should be co-ordinated through the master-planning process to maximise opportunities to enhance biodiversity gain.
MP2s - Mill Hill near Barton in Fabis
Natural England welcomes the intention for a biodiversity led restoration for this site and acknowledge that the restoration targets are appropriate. The restoration offers the potential to deliver significant biodiversity enhancement through the creation of traditional floodplain wetland and grassland habitats. However we would need to be certain that all concerns about the effects on the current habitats have been considered first. There is a cluster of Local Wildlife Sites which form
an important ecological corridor beside the River Trent which would be directly affected by the proposed site. These Local Wildlife Sites make an important contribution to the wider ecological network which is a specific aim of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). We would wish to ensure that biodiversity net gain could be achieved at each stage of the proposal.
We note that Holme Pit SSSI has been mentioned but we advise that the brief should stress the importance of carrying out a full hydrological investigation to ensure that there will be no impact on the water quality of the SSSI. This designated site is vulnerable to hydrological changes, impacts to water quality, siltation problems and potentially non-native species issues within the SSSI which
could result from mineral extraction. It is important that existing water flows in the Barton and other feeder drains are maintained to supply Holme Pit SSSI to avoid damage to the swamp and marginal plant communities.
We would expect the water quality from any quarrying development and restoration to be of a much higher standard than the current levels.
The brief also does not mention Attenborough Gravel Pits SSSI which may be affected by the allocation. The site's interest features are water dependant and may be sensitive to changes in water flow and quality. Therefore hydrological and hydrogeological assessments should be undertaken. Appropriate bird surveys should also be undertaken and an assessment made of the potential effects to birds associated with the SSSI.
MP2q - East Leake North
No comment
MP3e - Bestwood 2 East & MP3f - Bestwood 2 North
We welcome the biodiversity led approach and consider that the biodiversity targets are appropriate.
This site is in close proximity to areas which are important for nightjars and woodlarks that have been identified for inclusion in the Sherwood Forest ppSPA we therefore suggest that this should be considered within the brief for the site.
MP3g - Scrooby Top North
Natural England would need to understand how the current exposure of the Scrooby Top Quarry
geological SSSI would be protected during extension of this site.
MP6c Woodborough Lane
The site is likely to include Best & Most Versatile (BMV) agricultural land.
MP7c - Bantycock quarry south
No comment
MP7c - Bantycock quarry south
No comment
We would be happy to comment further should the need arise but if in the meantime you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Comment

Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

Representation ID: 32445

Received: 28/09/2018

Respondent: Tarmac

Agent: Heaton Planning Ltd

Representation:

Policy is onerous and not in compliance with NPPF, particularly in regard to
the approach on local sites. Paragraph 2 of Policy DM4 should be
amended to reflect the significance of harm to allow a judgement to be made as
opposed to a blanket approach to all impacts. Placing populations of priority species
or areas of priority habitat alongside irreplaceable habitats (criteria d) also does not
distinguish between the value/significance of assets - irreplaceable habitats should
be given greater weight than areas of priority habitat. The distinction needs to be
made to ensure that development has the opportunity to present potential
mitigation or compensation strategies as required by part 2 of the policy.

Full text:

Draft Plan Consultation
Section 2 -Overview, Vision and Strategic Objectives
Q1 - What do you think to the draft vision and strategic objectives set out in the
Plan?
Paragraph 2.3 identifies the significant overlap of housing areas, business and
employment between Nottingham and South Yorkshire as well as Lincolnshire,
Leicestershire and Derby which is supported. However, recognition should also be
made of the likely pull on mineral resources to meet the anticipated demands from
these growth areas. This could be as an additional feature to Plan 1 - overview of the
Plan area. Without this we consider that the plan is not positively prepared and fails
to meet the tests of soundness set out in paragraph 35 of NPPF (2018).
Paragraph 2.27 identifies 'wider issues' which specifically refer to movement of
minerals both in and out the County. Opportunities to work with other Mineral
Planning Authorities to manage these movements is identified. However, these are
issues fundamental to securing steady and adequate supply of mineral from
Nottinghamshire and should be given more prominence throughout the document.
It is considered that the cross boundary relationship with neighbouring authorities,
particularly in regards to mineral supply should be identified taking into account:
1. cross boundary mineral supply from Nottinghamshire - eg to South
Yorkshire, and Leicestershire in light of their identified lack of available sand
and gravel resources and production capacity to meet demand over the Plan
period
2. The lack of available crushed rock/limestone resource within the County and
therefore the heavy reliance on import from adjoining Authority areas
3. The availability of infrastructure links - particularly good road network and
therefore links to market in assisting to secure mineral supply
4. The overlap of housing, business, infrastructure and employment links with
Derbyshire and Leicestershire are identified but there is currently no
reference to an overlap of mineral supply issues
5. The relationship with other mineral authorities and duty to cooperate in Plan
preparation should be referenced
6. The anticipated development needs for housing, employment and
infrastructure provision (including HS2)
Without the above factors being taken into consideration the Plan is not effective
and fails to meet the tests of soundness set out in paragraph 35 of NPPF (2018).
The Vision
In general terms we would support the Vision. However, as well as safeguarding
mineral resource, in accordance with the NPPF the Plan should safeguard mineral
associated infrastructure.
Strategic Objectives
Strategic Objective 1 and a locational strategy to securing mineral supply is
supported. This approach maintains the spread of operations across the County and
maintains a security in supply to the specific markets that these serve. As well as
seeking to 'efficiently deliver resources', the objective should include 'effectively
deliver' resources to ensure that operational capacity in addition to permitted
reserves is available to meet anticipated demand.
The principle of Strategic Objective 2 is supported. However, as referred above, the
Plan should identify the anticipated demand from adjoining Authority areas, failure
to do so will render the plan un-sound as it will not meet the tests of soundness
within paragraph 35 of NPPF (2018) being positively prepared or effective. As well as
ensuring that sufficient resource is allocated to meet anticipated demand, ensuring
that the operational capacity of sites is sufficient to meet anticipated demand.
Strategic Objective 4 should make reference to ancillary infrastructure to take
account of, 'existing, planned and potential sites for the bulk transport, handling and
processing of minerals, the manufacture of concrete and concrete products and the
handling, processing and distribution of substitute, recycled and secondary
aggregate material' as advocated by paragraph 204(e) of the NPPF.
Strategic Policies
Policy SP1 - Sustainable Development
Question 2 - what do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable
development?
No comments
Policy SP2 - Minerals Provision
Question 3 - what do you think to the draft strategic policy for minerals provision?
The general policy on minerals provision should ensure that the Plan maximises its
flexibility to respond to changes in demand. As we have advocated through previous
representations, the 10 years sales average alone does not give an accurate
portrayal of the demand scenario for Nottinghamshire. Closure of long established
sand and gravel quarries, non-replenishment of reserves, continuing impact from the
2008 recession on production capacity and production movements out of the County
have all impacted output from Nottinghamshire. The reduction in sand and gravel
output over the 10 year period should not be translated into a long term reduction in
demand in Nottinghamshire.
Section (a) of Policy SP2 states that the strategy will be to identify 'suitable land for
mineral extraction to maintain a steady and adequate supply of minerals during the
Plan period'. It is suggested that 'suitable' is unnecessary and could be removed.
Extensions to existing sites form a logical progression from an operating perspective
to secure additional mineral supply and are often sustainable and avoid needless
sterilisation. Tarmac encourages 'support' for extensions to ensure maximum
flexibility in securing continued supply from existing operations. All sites have an
operational limit/constraint which means that whilst they will continue to contribute
to demand, there will be a requirement for new greenfield sites to make up any
operational capacity shortfall and to provide an effective continuity when existing
operations become exhausted. The lead in period for development of a greenfield
mineral production site can be at least 5 years, and an overlap between existing
production and replacement production is likely to be required. At some stages of
the Plan Period it is therefore likely that there will be higher production capacity as
the transition between existing and replacement sites takes effect. Further
comments on the site specific approach to this and increasing flexibility in the Plan
are found below under the aggregate provision policies.
Policy SP2, section (c) and (d) allows for other minerals development on non
allocated sites providing that a need can be demonstrated and ensuring the
provision of minerals remains in line with wider economic trends through regular
monitoring. Reliance on the 10 year sales average influenced heavily by a recession
is not likely to reflect demand during a period of economic upturn/growth
particularly given the significant level of new housing and infrastructure planned for
during the Plan period. The strategy for minerals within the Plan needs to ensure
that there is certainty but also some flexibility and opportunity for operators to
invest in the development of mineral production sites throughout the Plan period
where there is a clear need for mineral supply to meet demand which cannot
otherwise be met. The annual LAA documents should be used to assist in that
process.
Policy SP3 - Biodiversity led Restoration
Question 4 - what do you think of the draft strategic policy for biodiversity led
restoration?
Whilst Tarmac support paragraph 3.12 and a 'restoration led approach' when
considering mineral operations, it is considered that a biodiversity led
approach/focus taken by Policy SP3 is overly onerous. As opposed to being
categorical about 'significantly enhancing' biodiversity, the policy should be
supportive where it is 'possible' or 'appropriate'. The policy as worded makes no
reference/acknowledgment to the beneficial use of land and the opportunities/
potential aspirations of landowners to have land restored back to
economic/commercial/agricultural after uses. Paragraph 3.14 goes part way to
recognising that there needs to be a balance/weighting of restoration considerations
but it neglects to reference the economic potential only social/recreation and
environmental opportunities. This policy should be reworded to provide emphasis
on a restoration focus to new mineral development without being overly prescriptive
of what restoration must be. In addition, the policy makes no acknowledgement of
the long term financial burden on ecological management post restoration and who
has to fund and manage these areas.
Paras 3.23 to 3.25 should commence with the wording 'If restoration allows, priority
habitats ... justified and effective in delivering the Plan and strategy to reflect the
comments made above.
Paragraph 3.28 discusses 'in some cases' restoration for leisure or agriculture may be
appropriate. Leisure and agricultural restoration are the most common forms of
restoration strategy. We agree with the sentiment that there are opportunities to
incorporate biodiversity/habitat enhancement but there should not be emphasis on
a biodiversity led approach.
Policy SP4 - Climate change
Question 5 - what do you think of the draft strategic policy for climate change?
In accordance with the NPPF, new development should be directed to areas outside
of flood zones. However, the policy as worded does not acknowledge that minerals
can only be worked where they are found. In the case of sand and gravel and river
sand and gravels working will often fall within areas of flood risk. Notwithstanding
this, the policy and sub text should acknowledge that minerals development is
considered an appropriate form of development within a flood zone in accordance
with the planning practice guidance, Table 2: Flood Risk Vulnerability Classification,
Paragraph: 066 Reference ID: 7-066-20140306.
Policy SP5 - Sustainable Transport
Question 6 - What do you think of the draft strategic policy for sustainable transport?
Whilst seeking to support the use of sustainable modes of transport, policy should
be worded to acknowledge/recognise the potential for impact upon the viability of
mineral extraction.
Minerals can only be worked where they are found. The requirement to be located
close to proposed markets is overly onerous. The value of the product and the
availability locally will determine the distance it needs to travel. It is considered that
this policy is overly onerous and discredits the geographical spread/locational
strategy which is being pursued by the Mineral Planning Authority. Such an
approach fails all the tests of soundness within paragraph 35 of NPPF (2018)
Policy SP5 should therefore be amended to read:
1. All mineral proposals should seek to maximise the use of sustainable forms of
transport, including barge and rail where possible and viable
2. Where it can be demonstrated that there is no viable alternative to road
transport, all new mineral working and mineral related development should
be located as close as possible to the County's main highway network and
existing transport routes in order to avoid residential areas, minor roads, and
minimise the impact of road transportation.
The suggested amendments above will therefore negate the requirement for
paragraph 3.42 within the policy justification. Alternative modes of transport will be
supported within the provided that it can be demonstrated that to deliver it would
not affect the viability/deliverability of mineral sites.
Policy SP6 - The Built, Historic and Natural Environment
Question 7 - what do you think of the draft strategic policy for the built, historic and
natural environment?
Tarmac support the recognition within paragraph 3.46 that detrimental impact on
the natural and built environment as a result of mineral extraction is temporary in
nature and can bring about many environmental benefits. In addition, paragraph
3.51 acknowledges that in regards to heritage and cultural assets, mineral
development provides major opportunities to understand the County's rich
archaeological heritage.
Policy SP6 as worded is overly onerous and does not recognise the weighting of all
facets of sustainable development that should be applied when considering
applications for development. In regard to mineral extraction, whilst there may be
potential for environmental impact, the economic benefit of mineral extraction
should be afforded 'great weight' (paragraph 205 of the NPPF). In addition, the
significance of impact depends on the significance of the asset it affects. Paragraph
171 of the NPPF states that Plans should, 'distinguish between the hierarchy of
international, national and locally designated assets' in regards to conserving and
enhancing the natural environment. Paragraph 184 of the NPPF recognises a similar
approach for the historic environment in that assets should be conserved in a
manner appropriate to their significance.
Paragraph 3.58 refers to Landscape Character Assessment which, 'can be used to
provide special protection to a specific feature'. As we have previously advocated,
whilst Landscape and Biodiversity Mapping is helpful as a baseline for looking at
potential for impact, these documents cannot be viewed or utilised in isolation and
the combined benefits of mineral extraction or opportunities for restoration
enhancement should be afforded weight as opposed to a negative constraint to
development.
Paragraph 3.63 should be deleted. As we have referred to above, mineral
development can only be worked where it is found. It is also a water compatible use
constituting appropriate development within a flood zone as advised within Planning
practice guidance, Table 2: Flood Risk Vulnerability Classification, Paragraph: 066
Reference ID: 7-066-20140306.
Paragraph 3.66 should be deleted as issues associated with infrastructure is handled
under the provisions of the Mining Code.
Policy SP7 - The Nottinghamshire Green Belt
Question 8 - what do you think of the draft strategic policy for the Nottinghamshire
Green Belt.
The final bullet point of Policy SP7 should be amended. Paragraph 3.78
acknowledges that, 'it is likely that suitably designed, landscaped and restored
mineral workings can be accommodated in the green belt'. Whilst it is correct that
minerals development would need to meet the tests within the NPPF on green belt,
a requirement for higher standards of working is unnecessary as is restoration to
enhance the beneficial use of the green belt. This fails to meet the tests of
soundness within paragraph 35 of NPPF (2018) as it is not consistent with national
policy. Ensuring that the operation and restoration is compatible with green belt
objectives is a more appropriate strategy and reflective of the NPPF.
Policy SP8 - Minerals Safeguarding, Consultation Areas and Associated Minerals
Infrastructure
Question 9 - what do you think of the draft strategic policy for Mineral Safeguarding,
Consultation Areas and associated minerals infrastructure?
Policy SP8 should refer to 'known' locations of specific mineral resource as opposed
to 'economically important' in accordance with paragraph 204 of the NPPF. Whilst
we agree that known resources should not be sterilised by non mineral
development, the policy should be clearer that all Mineral Safeguarding areas will
become Mineral Consultation Areas.
It is considered that the Minerals Plan would be more effective if it was to define
more specific Mineral Consultation Areas. The proposed approach to define
consultation areas on the same scale as safeguarding areas could mean that large
amounts of development will be caught within an MSA/MCA which would be
onerous on developers having to potentially submit minerals assessments and the
MPA in assessing the potential for impact of development on mineral
resource/mineral associated infrastructure.
As well as safeguarding mineral associated infrastructure, rail heads should be
expanded to include rail heads at coal fired power stations. A wharf facility at
Colwick is specifically referenced for safeguarding. Tarmac has existing river wharf
facilities at Besthorpe Quarry (loading) and Cromwell Quarry (receiving) which
should also be referenced and marked on the Policies Map. The river wharf facility at
Besthorpe Quarry last operated in 2013 but has been retained in a mothballed state.
It is possible that the wharf facility will be put back into use and therefore it should
be identified and safeguarded. Tarmac also has a river wharf facility at Cromwell
Quarry which should be safeguarded within the Plan. Cromwell Quarry has been
promoted at the 'call for sites' exercise for receiving sand and gravel from the
Burridge Farm site near Newark. The Cromwell Quarry river wharf operates
periodically for receiving river dredging, either for processing and sale or disposal
within the quarry site to enhance restoration of the site. The Cromwell Quarry site is
an important facility for the long term dredging operations carried out to maintain
water navigation on the River Trent and the site should therefore be safeguarded for
continued operation throughout the Plan period.
The importance of Local Plan's (District and Borough Council) in understanding and
appreciating the role of safeguarding and defining areas/sites within Local
Development Plan Documents should be explained within the Mineral Plan. The
Planning system is a tiered system with the policies contained within the Mineral
Plan and Local Plan pertinent to the consideration of Planning Applications at County
and District level. The MPA has an important role in ensuring mineral safeguarding is
not perceived as just a County function but guiding and supporting Local Authorities
to appreciate they also have a role to play in accordance with the Planning Practice
Guidance.
In light of the above and the identification of safeguarding areas on the policies
maps Plan 4 is not required.
Paragraph 3.93 is contrary to the NPPF paragraph 204 (e) and should be deleted.
Policies should safeguard all ancillary infrastructure and the NPPF does not
distinguish that only strategic facilities should be safeguarded. Whilst it may be
unnecessary to identify all facilities on policies maps, the policy wording itself should
ensure that these facilities will be safeguarded.
Policies regarding safeguarding should make reference to the 'agent of change'
identified at paragraph 182 of the NPPF. This seeks to ensure that the onus is on
Applicants for new development to put in place adequate mitigation to ensure that
the development would not place unreasonable restrictions on existing
businesses/operations.
Minerals Provision
Policy MP1 - Aggregate Provision
Question 10 - What do you think of the draft policy approach towards aggregate
provision?
The 10 years average sales figures are not the most suitable methodology for
forecasting aggregate demand. National Policy states, forecasts of demand should be
based on a rolling average of 10 years sales data, other relevant information and
through assessment of all other supply options. The 10 years average sales are
heavily influenced by the impact of the recession. In addition, the movement of
production at Finningley outside the County boundary has effectively skewed the
perceived sales/demand. This is particularly apparent given the picture across the
East Midlands which in all other cases have seen increases in sales figures. Whilst,
recycled and secondary aggregate has a role to play in meeting demand in some
circumstances it cannot be relied upon for ensuring continuity in supply. In addition,
given the location of the County it is unlikely that demand can be met from other
sources (for example marine). Considering this, the other relevant local information
is particularly important in forecasting future demand in the County. Considering the
above the Mineral Planning Authority is underproviding sufficient sand and gravel
resource over the Plan period. We support the MPA in their previous approach
which reviewed sales data pre and post-recession to give a greater appreciation of
likely anticipated demand in recession and a period of economic growth.
The operational capacity of permitted operations within the County needs
consideration to ensure that anticipated demand is met. A decline in sales is not
necessarily an indication of a decline in demand. Production moving outside of the
County will impact upon perceived sales figures as well as sites/resource not being
replaced when exhausted.
A Delivery schedule has been prepared as Appendix 2 to the Draft Plan. Tarmac have
enclosed an edited version (Appendix 1a) which shows the available production
capacity from existing sites and proposed allocations as proposed within the Plan
against the identified annual requirement for sand and gravel. The sites proposed for
sand and gravel extraction including allocations are insufficient to even meet that
depressed annual requirement. An edited version is also enclosed at Appendix 1b
which shows how additional allocations could assist in meeting the identified
shortfall.
Although the landbank is sufficient at the start of the Plan period, sites will become
exhausted during the Plan period and provision should be made for replacements.
The Plan should not focus or specify a definitive/maximum amount of mineral
provision. The sales data is an indication of current demand and should not be
perceived as a maximum requirement. The Plan needs to provide flexibility to
support additional sites/resources coming forward during the Plan period to meet
demand/operational requirements to serve existing/future markets. Policy M1
should be updated to provide a more realistic sand and gravel provision figure which
is reflective of economic growth at pre-recession levels. As a minimum the policy
should be clear that the provision of sand and gravel, Sherwood Sandstone and
Crushed Rock are minimum requirements. Section 3 of the policy does not make any
allowance for the benefit of sustainable extensions to existing operations in securing
continued delivery of mineral as advocated by the Strategic Policy SP2.
Policy MP2 - Sand and Gravel Provision
Question 11 - What do you think of the draft site specific sand and gravel
allocations?
Tarmac are supportive of the approach to work permitted reserves as well as
allocating extensions to existing operations and through the provision of new
greenfield sites. There needs to be allowance in the Plan for both extensions and
new greenfield sites. However, the Plan should provide flexibility and policy should
be supportive in securing extensions to existing operations, this ensures a
continuation in supply without sterilising mineral reserves. Currently the Policy does
not support the strategic policy SP2. This could be achieved through an additional
criterion to Policy MP2 to allow for new mineral sites to come forward to continue to
meet demand subject to environmental considerations. The Plan needs to build in an
element of flexibility to address the issue of long term longevity of mineral
operations in Nottinghamshire - only 4 sand and gravel sites identified in Policy MP2
have long term and significant production capacity.
We support the Council in adopting a locational approach to mineral development
sites to ensure there is a spread in sites to meet anticipated demand. However,
operational capacity constraints still apply (imposed by plant capacity, planning
conditions or HGV routing agreements) which can limit production / distribution to
meet demand in some market areas. These are all important considerations in
locating new sites for mineral development. There should not be a sole reliance on
their physical location in the County. Besthorpe Quarry and Girton Quarry (currently mothballed) for example have vehicle movement restrictions through S106 planning
agreements which forces HGV routing northward. As a result those sites are
generally more aligned to the North Nottinghamshire / Doncaster / Humberside
market areas as opposed to Newark.
Tarmac are very disappointed and surprised that the Besthorpe Quarry East
Extension has not been included as an allocation in the draft plan. The permitted
resource and proposed allocations do not at any time over the Plan period meet the
proposed annual requirement for sand and gravel (1.7mt). The Tarmac revised
Delivery Schedule (appendix 1a and 1b) illustrates this point. The Council is
advocating an approach that gives preference to extensions to existing operations
and on review of the Sustainability Appraisal and Site Assessment supporting paper,
the eastern extension to Besthorpe Quarry is one of the best scoring sites in meeting
the sustainability objectives. There is a very clear and compelling case for the
Besthorpe Quarry East site to be allocated in the Plan.
There is also a clear case for additional allocation of green field sand and gravel sites
to be allocated to come into production during the Plan period. The serious decline
in sand and gravel reserves and projected production capacity in Leicestershire is
clearly evidenced through the Leicestershire Mineral & Waste Local Plan review and
sites have been promoted into the Nottinghamshire Local Mineral Plan review to
meet that identified shortfall and the consequential need for alternative supply from
adjoining authority areas. Tarmac's promoted site 'Great North Road (North)', near
Kelham meets that objective and would deliver a long term sand and gravel
production site with a sustainable output of 250,000 tonnes per annum to serve the
Nottingham and North East Leicestershire market over the plan period to 2036. The
Great North Road (North) site should therefore be allocated in the Plan.
The Great North Road (South) site has a proven significant future sand and gravel
resource which would provide a natural long term extension to the Great North Road
(North) site.
The combined sand and gravel resources at the "North" and "South" sites would
provide a stable long term supply facility to meet the likely strong demand for
construction materials in the Nottingham / NE Leicestershire markets throughout
and beyond the 2036 Plan period.
In addition, Tarmac's proposed new green field extraction site at Burridge Farm,
which is proposed to use river barge transportation to feed sand and gravel to a
proposed new processing plant at the former Cromwell Quarry site previously
operated by Lafarge, would also provide some additional support production
capacity in the second part of the Plan period. The Cromwell plant site is well
situated with good access onto the A1 interchange at Cromwell. The Burridge Farm
site would not have capacity to operate at high output levels due to likely physical
constraints on barge transportation along the River Trent through Cromwell Lock.
Appendix 1 to this letter illustrates the productive capacity of sites within the Plan
area with additional sites included as allocations. Appendix 2 to this letter includes
revised Sustainability Appraisal Matrices supplemented by additional evidence
where appropriate carried out as part of further site investigation work to support
Screening and Scoping submissions and Planning Application documents.
Policy MP3 -Sherwood Sandstone
Question 12 - what do you think of the draft site specific Sherwood Sandstone
allocations?
The LAA recognises the high level of export to markets outside the County due to
limited resources elsewhere. As per comments on sand and gravel, there is a need
where resource exists to maintain production and operating capacity to meet
demand. The Plan should identify appropriate extensions to existing operations or
new sites to meet demand. Identified demand based on sales is a minimum
requirement of the Plan and there should be flexibility built into the Plan to allow
sites to come forward. The plan should address anticipated demand from outside of
the County. As per comments on Policy MP2 an additional criteria regarding modest
extensions should be included to ensure flexibility in the Plan and to allow the
continued supply of Sherwood Sandstone which is not just important within
Nottinghamshire.
The Plan should recognise the unique properties of the sand as well as markets.
Colour variances as well as properties of the sand are also important factors and
therefore additional reserves (as allocations or new sites) should not solely be based
upon estimated demand based on sales figures.
Policy MP4 - Crushed Rock
Question 13 - what do you think of the draft policy to meet expected crushed rock
demand over the Plan period.
It is likely that there is a wider demand for crushed rock within the County than that
met by Nether Langwith. Crushed rock requirements are likely to be met from
imports to meet the demand within the south of the County to minimise the
distance crushed rock will need to travel.
Policy MP5 Secondary and recycled aggregates
Question 14 - what do you think to the draft policy regarding secondary and recycled
aggregate?
Support for the MPA in seeking the use of alternative aggregates and the
appreciation that there are limits on how far alternatives can substitute primary
aggregate. Whilst support for alternative aggregate should be encouraged in the
Plan, the contribution should be viewed as a 'bonus' over and above the required
amount of primary aggregate. This is reflective of the NPPF (para 204 (b)) which
states that local Plans should take account of the, 'contribution that substitute or
secondary and recycled materials and minerals waste would make'. The reduction in
ash materials from coal fired power stations is also likely to increase the demand for
primary aggregate over the Plan period to address this specific resource shortfall.
The approach to recycled aggregates reflects the Mineral Products Association Long
Term Aggregates Demand and Supply Scenarios Paper which indicates that the
potential for recycling has reached an optimum level (approximately 28-30%
volume).
Policy MP9 Industrial Dolomite Provision
What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for industrial dolomite over
the plan period?
Reserves of industrial dolomite are of international importance and the resource
itself is scarce with only a small number of sites within the UK. As such there will
always be a need for the resource, therefore the policy should be reworded to state
that:
'Proposals for industrial dolomite extraction will be supported providing that
development does not give rise to any unacceptable levels of environmental impact'.
Whilst additional resource areas do not need to be identified as an allocation, the
resource within Nottinghamshire should be identified within the Plan and recognised
as a proven resource to be safeguarded.
Development Management Policies
Policy DM1 - Protecting Local Amenity
Question 22 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for DM1: Protecting local
amenity?
No comments
Policy DM2: Water Resources and Flood Risk
Question 23 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for DM2: water
resources and flood risk?
It is considered that the use of 'detrimentally altered' is not an effective strategy as
there is no quantifiable method by which it can be monitored, nor severity of impact
measured. It is suggested that giving rise to 'unacceptable impacts' would be more
appropriate.
In regard to flooding, criterion 3. states that 'proposals for mineral extraction that
increase flood risk to local communities will not be supported unless the risks can be
fully mitigated'. This statement appears contradictory as in cases where 'risks can be
fully mitigated' the proposal would not 'increase flood risk to local communities'. As
such, the purpose/ intent of this statement is unclear, and it is recommended that
the policy is re-worded.
Policy DM3: Agricultural land and soil quality
Question 24 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for DM3: Agricultural
land and soil quality
Whilst it is correct to protect and enhance soils (NPPF paragraph 170) and therefore
the best and most versatile agricultural land, the policy is not positively prepared nor
an effective strategy. Minerals can only be worked where they are located and in the
majority of circumstances this is in areas of countryside and often on agricultural
land. Notwithstanding this, with appropriate soil handling strategies the value of soil
resource can be retained, and the land restored for agricultural purposes.
The policy should be reworded as follows:
Policy DM3: Agricultural Land and Soil Quality
Agricultural land
Proposals for minerals development located on the best and most versatile
agricultural land (grades 1, 2 and 3a) will be supported where it can be demonstrated
that where alternative options are limited to varying grades of best and most
versatile land, the development should be located within the lowest grade where
possible.
Soil quality
Measures will be taken to ensure that soil quality will be adequately protected and
maintained throughout the life of the development and, in particular, during
stripping, storage, management and final placement of soils, subsoils and
overburden arising's as a result of site operations.
Policy DM4: Protection and Enhancement of Biodiversity and Geodiversity
Question 25 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for policy DM4:
protection and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity?
Policy DM4 is onerous and not in compliance with the NPPF, particularly in regard to
the approach on local sites. Paragraph 175 of the NPPF advises that 'if significant
harm to biodiversity cannot be avoided...' Paragraph 2 of Policy DM4 should be
amended to reflect the significance of harm to allow a judgement to be made as
opposed to a blanket approach to all impacts. Placing populations of priority species
or areas of priority habitat alongside irreplaceable habitats (criteria d) also does not
distinguish between the value/significance of assets - irreplaceable habitats should
be given greater weight than areas of priority habitat. The distinction needs to be
made to ensure that development has the opportunity to present potential
mitigation or compensation strategies as required by part 2 of the policy.
Policy DM5: Landscape Character
Question 26 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for DM5: landscape
character?
Policy DM5 should reflect the guidance within the NPPF at paragraph 170 to 'protect
and enhance valued landscapes ... (in a manner commensurate with their statutory
status or identified quality in the development plan)'. Paragraph 171 goes further to
state that plans should, 'distinguish between the hierarchy of international, national
and locally designated sites' It appears that the policy is seeking to place a weight on
the impacts upon landscape character comparable to that of nationally designated
landscapes (of which there are none in Nottinghamshire).
The wording of Policy DM5 appears confused. The policy, as worded, implies that
minerals developments will only be supported if they do not result in an adverse
impact on the landscape and that harmful impacts can be adequately mitigated. In
situations where there is no available alternative to the development and the
development outweighs the landscape interest, the policy still requires that harmful
impacts are adequately mitigated.
Policy DM6: Historic Environment
Question 27 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for DM6: historic
environment?
Paragraph 184 of the NPPF recognises that assets should be conserved in a manner
appropriate to their significance. In regard to non-designated assets (part c of policy
DM6), the Policy is not consistent with paragraph 197 of the NPPF. In the event of
applications that directly or directly affect non designated assets, a balanced
judgement is required having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the
significance of the asset. Paragraph 197 does not require there to be public benefit.
Paragraph 3.51 acknowledges that in regard to heritage and cultural assets, mineral
development provides major opportunities to understand the County's rich
archaeological heritage. Policy DM6 does not currently recognise this and should
refer to the NPPF requirement of assessment proportionate to the assets
importance (paragraph 189).
Policy DM7: Public Access
Question 28 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for DM7: public access
As worded policy DM7 part 1 and 2 are contradictory. It is considered that the policy
should be reworded as follows:
Policy DM7: Public Access
Proposal for mineral development will be supported where it is demonstrated that
development does not give rise to unacceptable impact on existing rights of way and
its users. Where proposals for temporary or permanent diversions are required they
should be of equivalent interest and quality.
Improvements and enhancements to rights of way networks will be supported and
where practicable enhanced public access to restored mineral workings will be
encouraged.
Policy DM12: Restoration, After use and Aftercare
Question 33 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for DM12: restoration,
after use and aftercare
Section 2 should refer to agricultural restoration. The economic long term use of
land should be recognised as should the long term aspirations of landowners.
Section 4 refers to 'satisfactory evidence' which is difficult to quantify. It is suggested
that just evidence regarding to sources of waste being available over an appropriate
timescale would be sufficient.
Policy DM14: irrigation lagoons
Question 35 - what do you think of the draft policy wording for DM14: irrigation
lagoons
The sub text refers to mineral 'usually being taken offsite for processing'. This should
be essential criteria as part of the policy to ensure that mineral extracted cannot
substitute/replace/prejudice extraction of resource permitted or allocated as a
mineral extraction site (as per part d of the policy)
Other Considerations
Monitoring
Given the concern regarding the anticipated demand for sand and gravel over the
Plan period, the Plan needs to set out a very clear strategy on monitoring and review
to ensure that it can respond quickly enough to changes in economic circumstances.
Sustainability Appraisal
General Comments
As we have stated as part of previous consultation responses on other MLP Drafts,
the weighting of each of the Sustainability Appraisal objectives should be explained
and how these will be used to assess the Plan policies and any sites promoted for
allocation. Currently the SA Objectives are heavily weighted to potential
environmental effect. However, economic and social facets of sustainability are
critical elements relating to minerals development - i.e maintaining supply, access
and proximity to market, beneficial restoration objectives, non-sterilisation of known
resource by promoting extensions to existing operations etc. Attention is drawn to
the NPPF and that 'minerals are essential to support sustainable economic growth'.
As well as providing an 'adequate' amount, the SA has failed to take account of the
need to plan for a 'steady and adequate' supply of aggregate (paragraph 207). There
is a requirement for the MPA to recognise that as well as ensuring they have a
sufficient land bank of resource that the Plan maintains aggregate provision across
the whole Plan period - comments above on operational capacity are particularly
pertinent to this.
Site Specifics
As referred to above under the site specific Policy DM2, Tarmac have reviewed the
Sustainability Appraisal for their sites and provided additional evidence where
necessary to support proposed allocations (see appendix 2).
I trust that the above comments are helpful. Should you have any queries or wish to
discuss any of the points raised in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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