Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for the River Valleys

Progress so Far

5       Progress So Far – What you have said and how we have responded

5.1    From the initial stages in the preparation of the Minerals Local Plan, people have expressed support for the development of a comprehensive restoration strategy for the Trent Valley.  65% of responses at the Issues and Options stage supported the development of such a strategy (Option 1 in the Issues and Options report), rather than the piecemeal approach (Option 2 in the Issues and Options report). 

5.2    In late 2012, through a series of drop-in sessions held with communities in the river valleys, the local communities continued to express their support for the development of a restoration strategy and to offer comments on how this should be developed.  At these sessions, communities were also presented with the Environmental Sensitivity Mapping project, an area of work carried out by the County Council’s Conservation & Design Section.  This assesses the relative sensitivity of the river valleys in overall environmental terms.  The most sensitive areas are those that are above average with respect to their ecology, historic environment and landscape qualities, and will be most susceptible to change and which should be protected from mineral working.  Those areas defined as the least sensitive have the potential for more change and, in particular, change that can help to deliver a range of economic, environmental and community benefits that will help to make the local environment more attractive and accessible.

5.3    This work has the opportunity to create more resilient landscapes firstly, through the conservation of areas of highest environmental value, secondly with robust mitigation and management in areas where some change is proposed and thirdly through the planning and enhancement of areas currently deficient in these environmental qualities.  There will be resultant environmental, economic and community benefits in all cases.

5.4    This work was initially put forward as a basis for the strategic restoration of sand and gravel sites.  However, it emerged through discussions with the communities that people considered that this work could also form an important part of the assessment of sites which have been put forward for mineral working.  Along with further detailed site assessment work, therefore, it is proposed to use this work to inform the assessment of sites for sand and gravel extraction. 

5.5    We have held meetings with Nottinghamshire County Council who also support the development of a new vision for the Trent Valley, and in its Minerals Local Plan Preferred Approach has undertaken a project to assess areas of Multiple Environmental Sensitivity in the Trent Valley.  We have held discussions with Staffordshire County Council who are seeking to develop a compatible strategy for its part of the Trent Valley.  This should ensure consistency of approach along the Trent Valley.  As a result of these developments, the strategic nature of the approach has been strengthened.

5.6    As a result of the support shown and comments made, we have been making significant progress in developing the Strategy. 


The Interim Sustainability Appraisal concluded that Option 1 in the Issues and Options Paper (the overall strategy) would bring significant positive effects to the local landscape in the medium to long term, as it would provide a joined up approach to landscape management in the area and the potential to ensure a particular standard is met for all sites, in terms of management and after-care, providing certainty to the minerals industry. Compared to Option 2, Option 1 is, therefore, expected to perform better with regards to achieving objectives related to heritage and landscape, biodiversity flora and fauna, land and water resources, communities and health and the local economy.