Minerals Plan: Key Issues & Options

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Comment Information

Comment Information
Document Section Derby & Derbyshire Minerals Core Strategy: Key Issues & Options Part Two: Vision, Objectives, Issues & Options Chapter 7: Major Issues & Options Objective A: Ensuring Sufficient Provision of Minerals How do we address the need for building stone? the Need for Building Stone in Derbyshire section [List all comments on this document part]
Comment ID /3614945/13
Respondent Alan Morey - Chesterfield Borough Council [List all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 16 Jul 2010
Comment
These comments are provided by Chesterfield Borough Council in respect of issues concerning the extraction of building stone and its impact on the built environment.

General Comments

The Minerals Core Strategy should include reference to facilitating and strengthening the distinctive character of Derbyshire by allowing for and facilitating the extraction of local stone or clay (minerals) for use in the repair and maintenance of the County's historic buildings, conservation areas and new development to enable the distinctiveness of the County to be maintained and reinforced.

We consider that the Minerals Core Strategy should address all of Derbyshire's minerals needs, not just those of national or regional importance. This is necessary to ensure that locally significant minerals considerations are not overlooked to their exclusion by more strategic considerations such as supplies of crushed aggregate or sand and gravel.

The provision of local quarries to supply materials for heritage related projects, conservation areas, and local building stone and clay for future developments are very important local considerations that should be addressed by the relevant policies.

Specific Comments

Buildings of historic or architectural importance

The conservation of our built heritage (both the Borough's and the County's) is closely linked with the use of and access to sources of local naturally occurring minerals. Continued access to sources of local stone for the repair and maintenance of historic buildings is essential in order to ensure their future maintenance and survival. The closure of historic quarries that supplied such materials has led to a shortage of suitable materials for the repair of some listed buildings.
This may partly be the reason why many historical building materials and techniques are no longer used in today's construction processes which has resulted in a lack of craftspeople involved in traditional construction processes. Their legacy can only be found in fine physical structures recognized for their beauty, exquisite detailing and proportion.

Preservation and enhancement of Conservation Areas

The provision of sources of natural building stone is also important in ensuring that the character and appearance of the County's numerous conservation areas is safeguarded and maintained for future generations. Without access to suitable sources of local stone the character and appearance of such areas will be likely to be diminished through use of unsuitable or inappropriate materials, used in place of local stone, where sources of local stone no longer exist.

Planning for local distinctiveness

Planning Authorities are required - via LDFs - to identify strategies and land to enable additional housing to be provided. The design quality of new development must be raised and proposals must reflect/respond to local distinctiveness of the area in which it is located (PPS1). One key component to help introduce local distinctiveness into new development is the use of local stone/materials. This helps 'tie' the development to the place and integrate new buildings into the existing fabric of the built environment and wider landscape.

All areas should have the opportunity to draw on and utilise local minerals for use as building stone/stone slating, clay for brick production and roofing and to help strengthen the heritage and local distinctiveness of the County.

Energy Conservation and Sustainability

There is also a need to identify the role of locally sourced materials in new developments, both in terms of creating developments that are locally distinctive and related to their context, but also on sustainability grounds. It is important to ensure that access remains available to existing surviving sources of local building stone, and that the potential exists to allow for the opening of new quarries or the re-opening of closed quarries for these purposes (notwithstanding concerns relating to impacts on local landscape).

It makes economic and environmental sense to conserve the energy spent to produce building materials, transport them around the world and then construct buildings, rather than to expend further energy demolishing, transporting and storing building waste in landfill.
The use and adaptation of existing historic buildings to new uses is an environmentally sustainable option for development. Where materials for historic building and landscape conservation can still be sourced locally, development also supports local industries and their communities and helps to secure local investment and lower transport costs.

Any policy relating to the provision of building stone should be underpinned by an understanding of the following:

a) The number and location of building stone quarries and clay extraction pits for stone, tile and brick production in Derbyshire should be recorded by District/Borough;
b) The type and quantity of stone and clay extracted in relation each building stone quarry and clay pit identified;
c) Information relating to the nature of the products/services provided by each quarry e.g. building stone suitable for walling, stone roofing slates, cut stone cladding systems, surfacing materials i.e. for use in paving/public realm, brick and/or tile production.
d) Case studies where local materials are necessary for the repair and maintenance of historic buildings where the lack access to materials has inhibited this or where available sources of stone have facilitated appropriate repairs (Districts, EH and the National Trust could assist with gathering such case studies).
e) Case studies of new developments incorporating local materials to strengthen the distinctiveness of the development as well as those where a lack of the use of such materials has resulted in poor or bland 'anywhere' type developments.