Minerals Plan: Key Issues & Options

Derby & Derbyshire Minerals Core Strategy: Key Issues & Options

How do we maintain an adequate supply of industrial limestone?

7.19 On a simple mathematical calculation, Derbyshire's overall permitted reserves of industrial limestone would appear sufficient to last for many years beyond the period of the plan. This would suggest that there should not be any need for further permissions to be granted during the plan period.

7.20 However, the term industrial limestone encompasses a range of different chemical compositions of stone, some of which are rare and supply nationally important industries which may not be able to secure an adequate alternative should the supplying quarry exhaust its permitted reserves and be unable to secure an extension.

7.21 It is likely that the most appropriate way of dealing with this issue would be to include a policy within the Core Strategy similar to that which already exists in the Minerals Local Plan, and which states that new permissions for industrial limestone will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, where there is a proven need for material of a particular specification which would otherwise not be met.

Issue 3: Criteria Based Policy for Industrial Limestone (a)

Do you agree that a criteria based policy is the best way of dealing with the issues outlined above?

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Issue 3: Criteria Based Policy for Industrial Limestone (b)

Please explain why you came to that decision. If you disagreed, please suggest an alterntaive approach that we could take.

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7.22 There are some operations which have very specialist markets, such as at Longcliffe, Grange Mill and Whitwell.  Whitwell Quarry, in particular, is one of only two sources in the UK of refractory stone and high iron content limestone for the steel industry and as such is considered to be of national importance. The quality of refractory stone produced is very specialised indeed with significant exports to a number of countries.

7.23 Permitted reserves at Whitwell Quarry are sufficient to last until 2025 so in order for production to continue for the final part of the strategy period (to 2030), there will be a need to indicate likely areas for extraction. There may be the potential for extraction to move south of Creswell Crags into Nottinghamshire, so we will have to work closely with Nottinghamshire County Council, as well as the operator, to ensure that all options are explored for the area in terms of specific site provision.

7.24 A general criteria based policy, such as that described above, can be written so as to deal satisfactorily with new proposals that come forward for industrial limestone, generally.  However, it is important that where we are aware of difficult decisions and we have sufficient evidence to address them (such as may be the case at Whitwell) we seek to do so in the core strategy rather than putting them off to a later date.  This approach provides a greater degree of certainty for operators and local communities and helps to ensure that our proposed strategy is deliverable.