Minerals Plan: Key Issues & Options

Derby & Derbyshire Minerals Core Strategy: Key Issues & Options

Objective F: Safeguarding minerals

7.73 Revised national guidance on mineral safeguarding is due to be published but this should not alter to any significant degree what follows in this section.

7.74 Government policy sets out that mineral planning authorities should define mineral safeguarding areas (MSAs).  They are not a tool to guide future mineral extraction.  Their purpose is to ensure that mineral resources are taken into account when they are at risk from being lost to non-mineral development.  This approach will ensure that minerals are not sterilised unnecessarily by other forms of development, so that that they are available for use by future generations.  There is no presumption that these resources will be worked i.e. they do not represent specific allocations.  There is also no presumption against mineral extraction in areas that are not safeguarded, as MSAs may not necessarily capture every viable resource.

Which Minerals will be Safeguarded?

7.75 All minerals of sufficient economic value and those of conservation value will be considered for safeguarding.  This includes sand & gravel, Limestone for both aggregate and industrial uses, Coal, building stone and brick clay.

How will they work?

7.76 In two tier authority areas such as Derbyshire, Government policy requires County MPAs to define Mineral Consultation Areas (MCAs) based on MSAs.

7.77 The MCA, within which the MPA will be consulted on applications for non mineral development, will include the safeguarding area (i.e. the resource) and also a wider area (buffer zone) beyond the area of the resource.  This is because the environmental effects of quarrying often extend beyond the boundary of the resource and the construction of development close to a resource could limit its future use.  The buffer zone will help ensure that development close to the margin of the resource is controlled and does not sterilise the resource.  Different types of mineral would require buffer zones of varying size, depending on issues such as blasting, for example.  Blasting could have significant impacts on areas surrounding limestone quarries if sensitive developments were permitted to close to them. 

7.78 The District planning authorities will have to include the Mineral Consultation Areas on their proposals maps and will be obliged to consult the mineral planning authority on developments which are proposed within them.  This mechanism will ensure that the Mineral Planning Authority is able to advise the District planning authority if the reserve is of sufficient value to warrant protection and whether planning permission for the non-mineral development should therefore be refused.

7.79 Existing and potential mineral facilities such as wharves, railheads and recycling facilities located beyond the actual resource can also be safeguarded.  This is unlikely to be a major issue in Derbyshire.

Issue 15: Defining Mineral Safeguarding Areas (a)

What will be the most appropriate way of defining MSAs?

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Issue 15: Defining Mineral Safeguarding Areas (b)

It is likely to be inappropriate and unworkable to define all resources, so what criteria do you think we should use to ensure that sufficient minerals are safeguarded for the future? 

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Prior Extraction

7.80 Where there is an overriding need for development to take place on land within urban areas containing important workable mineral deposits, the mineral should, wherever possible, be extracted in advance of development unless it would lead to unacceptable social, economic or environmental impacts.  This is most likely to apply to surface mined coal. 

7.81 Reserves of coal still exist in the county and can often be found underlying the urban areas in the east of the county at shallow enough depths to allow its extraction by surface mining methods.  This is the only mineral in Derbyshire where prior extraction is likely to be considered in urban areas, to allow for extraction to be considered as part of the redevelopment of a large site.  This could be embodied in a safeguarding policy, such as suggested in Issue 16.

7.82 The safeguarding area for surface coal would not have to cover the urban areas if this policy is applied.

Issue 16: Sterilisation of Mineral Resources (a)

Existing MLP Policy MP17 states proposals for development which would sterilise the future working of economically workable mineral deposits will be resisted, except where there is an overriding need for the development and prior extraction cannot be undertaken.  Where the development is considered essential and proven mineral deposits would be sterilised, permission will be granted provided it would not lead to adverse environmental impacts.


Do you agree that we should continue this approach in the Minerals Core Strategy?


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Issue 16: Sterilisation of Mineral Resources (b)

Please explain why you came to that decision

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