Minerals Plan: Key Issues & Options

Derby & Derbyshire Minerals Core Strategy: Key Issues & Options

How should we address the need for new sand and gravel provision?

7.9 There are currently estimated permitted reserves of 10.6 million tonnes of sand & gravel in Derbyshire (the landbank).  There is sufficient material, therefore, to last just over another seven years, at current rates of production.  There are also a number of sites that are allocated for extraction in the Minerals Local Plan for which planning applications are currently under consideration, and these sites could potentially provide material for an additional two to three years. This means that we will have to find sites for the extraction of sand & gravel in order to maintain the landbank at the required level and to ensure continuity of production throughout the period of the Core Strategy. 

Future Apportionment

7.10 The East Midlands Aggregates Working Party has apportioned the regional sand and gravel supply figure between the mineral planning authorities.  This requires Derbyshire to provide an average of about 1.49 million tonnes of sand and gravel each year from 2005 to 2020.   This amounts to 23.84 million tonnes of sand and gravel in this period (i.e. 1.49 x 16). Actual sales of sand and gravel between 2005 and 2008 total 4.86 million tonnes. Reserves which already have planning permission amount to 10.64 million tonnes. This comes to 15.5 million tonnes and this figure should be subtracted from 23.84.  This means that we will have to identify sites to provide a further 8.3 million tonnes to ensure that Derbyshire provides its share of the regional apportionment of sand and gravel to 2020. 

7.11 If the agreed annual apportionment is rolled forward on a straight line basis to 2030 (See Issue 1), this would amount to an additional 14.9 million tonnes for the period 2020-2030.  Because figures have not been agreed for this period, there is less certainty, so our preferred approach is to define areas of search for this 10 year period rather than specific sites.  

Site Allocations

7.12 Government policy is that strategic sites may be identified in core strategies i.e. sites which will be key to the delivery of the strategy.  It will be a key objective of the plan to make an appropriate level of provision for sand and gravel supply as part of a national and regional managed aggregates supply system.  It will be appropriate, therefore, for sites which make this provision to be regarded as strategic sites.

7.13 We built up a large evidence base on aggregates through work on the discontinued Sites DPD.  Much of this work is still relevant and, where appropriate, will be drawn on in identifying strategic allocations in the plan, especially in the earlier part of the period.  It will be updated to ensure that the evidence is still valid and other sites can be put forward for assessment, along with those that were considered previously.    

New Sites or Extensions to Existing Sites?

7.14 Government policy advises that there are benefits of extensions to existing sites rather than new sites.  These benefits arise mainly from reduced environmental disturbance, especially where access and mitigation measures are already in place, but the disadvantage is the potential cumulative impact that continued extraction could have on an area if successive extensions are permitted.   

7.15 All sand and gravel workings in Derbyshire are currently located in the Trent and Derwent Valleys in an area from Attenborough and Willington.  There is more potential in this area for new permissions to take the form of extensions to existing sites rather than wholly new sites.  Resources are, however, gradually becoming depleted in this area and remaining resources are often in areas that are considered to be increasingly sensitive in environmental and social terms. 

7.16 There will be sufficient resources at these existing operations in potentially acceptable locations to sustain agreed levels of extraction to 2020 but, towards the end of the strategy period (2020 - 2030), it is likely that sites with extensions at a number of these existing working areas would be in increasingly sensitive locations, in both social and environmental terms.  As a result, the benefits of this approach of allowing extensions to existing sites may be increasingly outweighed by the disadvantages of cumulative impact.  It is likely, therefore, that progressive expansion of existing operations may become a less satisfactory option as the Core Strategy progresses.

7.17 A major issue that will have to be considered, therefore, will be whether, after 2020, we permit further extensions to existing sites or whether we begin a search for wholly new sites in other areas of the river valleys.  The area of the Dove Valley around Foston and Sudbury is the main area with potential sand & gravel working, although much of this has yet to be explored.  In this respect, the ongoing cumulative impact on the environment and on communities of allowing further extensions to existing sites will have to be weighed against the social and environmental impact of allowing large scale extraction from new sites in a new area. 

7.18 There is some clarity over the provision required to 2020, so it may be preferable to identify specific sites to that date, but from 2020 to 2030, when there is less certainty over provision, identifying areas of search may be a better approach.

Issue 2: Identification of Sites for Sand & Gravel (a)

Taking all these considerations into account, one approach to meeting the necessary provision targets would be:

For the period up to 2020 - allocate specific extensions to existing sites rather than allocating new sites

For the period 2020-2030 - allocate broader Areas of Search

 

Do you agree with this approach?

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Issue 2: Identification of Sites for Sand & Gravel (b)

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

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