Minerals Local Plan Issues and Options consultation

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Introduction

We each use on average the equivalent of around 10 tonnes of minerals every year to sustain our way of life.  Sand and gravel, crushed rock and brick clay are essential raw materials used in the building and construction industry; coal, oil and gas supply most of our energy needs and a wide range of other minerals are vital for our manufacturing, food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries and agriculture.  Indeed almost all aspects of our material well-being depend to one degree or another on minerals. 

Nottinghamshire is rich in minerals – in fact most of the County overlies at least one potential surface or underground resource.  Sand and gravel, gypsum and brick clay are our largest extractive industries, all of which are regionally or nationally important.  Other minerals worked include:  building stone, silica sand, coal and oil. There are also other mineral resources such as industrial dolomite, coal bed methane and shale gas that could be worked in the future.

Whilst many of our mineral resources remain plentiful, permitted reserves are often limited and finding sufficient new reserves to meet future demand will be a challenge over the next 15-20 years.  Unlike other forms of development, minerals are finite and can only be worked where they are found.  These factors, combined with the potential environmental impacts of extraction can limit where mineral extraction is feasible.  It is therefore important both to identify where future mineral extraction will be acceptable and to safeguard resources so that suitable sites are not unnecessarily lost to other development.

Scope of the new Minerals Local Plan

The County Council is preparing a new Minerals Local Plan to resolve these issues and to provide the planning policy blueprint against which all proposals for new minerals development will be assessed.  The current Minerals Local Plan was adopted in December 2005 and is now due for replacement.  The new Minerals Plan will cover the next 19 years until 2036.  Its over-arching theme is the promotion of sustainable development and achieving the highest quality restoration possible.  This means balancing the economic benefits and need for minerals against the social and environmental disruption and harm that their extraction can cause. Long term environmental gains can be achieved, for example, by creating wildlife habitats out of worked out quarries. Sustainability also means safeguarding mineral resources from unnecessary sterilisation so they can remain available for extraction for future generations.

In order to achieve this, the Plan will identify a steady and adequate supply of minerals over the Plan period along with a range of development management policies that set out environmental and other standards that all new minerals development proposals should comply with.  

Have your say

The purpose of this 'issues and options' consultation exercise is to set out the main issues expected to arise during the Plan period and to explore what reasonable options exist to resolve them.  We need to gather the views from all sections of Nottinghamshire's communities on these issues.  There is likely to be a wide range of views about the shape of future mineral extraction in the County so we need to find deliverable solutions that have the best consensus of opinion.  It is therefore vital you let us know what you think so we can take your views into account before any decisions are made about what should go into the new Plan.

This document will be open for comments until 14th January 2018.  To help you make comment we have included some specific questions throughout this document but feel free to raise anything else you think is relevant.  We would encourage you to respond online to this consultation at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/minerals or you can email/write to us at the addresses shown below.  Please note all comments that you make will be public.

What happens next?

At the end of this consultation exercise we will consider all comments received and decide which options should go forward into the new Plan. You will then be able to comment on a draft Minerals Local Plan and tell us that you think before a final decision is made about what will go into the final Plan. A summary of all of the main stages of plan preparation before it can be adopted is set out below. Under our current timetable it is hoped the new Minerals Local Plan will be adopted in 2019.

Key stages in preparing the new Minerals Local Plan

Issues and Options

Consultation on the key issues facing Nottinghamshire in relation to minerals and what reasonable choices we have.  Responses to this stage will help decide which options to take forward.

Draft plan

Having looked at all the options, we will consult on a draft set of policies and site specific allocations that we think provide the most appropriate way forward. This is your chance to tell us if we have got it right.

Submission

Following a six week period for formal representation on our proposals, we will submit our draft minerals plan to the Government.

Examination

This is an independent examination by a Government Appointed inspector who will look at whether the Minerals Local Plan is sound and takes account of any representations made at the submission stage. This will involve a public hearing.

Adoption

This is the final stage if the Minerals Local Plan is found sound. The County Council will adopt the final plan and this will then become adopted policy.

Want more information?

This consultation paper provides a summary of the issues and options. This may be sufficient for your purposes, but for a fuller picture we have prepared a range of background papers which set out in detail the particular issues faced by each mineral and some other key topic areas. There are also a number of technical reports.

Contact us

Online: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/minerals

Email: planning.policy@nottscc.gov.uk

By post:

Planning Policy Team

Place Department. 

Nottinghamshire County Council

County Hall 

West Bridgford

Nottingham

NG2 7QP

By Phone: 0300 500 80 80 (customer contact centre)

Please ensure that we receive your comments by14th January 2018

Alternative formats

This information can be made available in alternative formats or languages on request.

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