Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Aggregate Crushed Rock

Progress so Far - Sites

6          Progress so far – Allocation of Sites -Sites for Aggregate Crushed Rock

6.1     Issues and Options

The issue regarding the provision of sites for aggregate grade crushed rock has evolved since preparation of the Plan began in 2009.  National policy at this time in Minerals Policy Statement 1 encouraged the minerals industry to consider the relinquishment of sites where landbanks were considered to be excessive.  Taking account of this, the Issues and Options report considered the possible reduction in the landbank of crushed rock in Derbyshire (Option 1) or in both Derbyshire and the Peak District (Option 2), by proposing an approach whereby applications for new reserves of crushed rock would only be permitted by encouraging mineral operators to relinquish greater amount of reserves elsewhere if the new reserves are more acceptable in overall sustainability terms (Issue 17 of the Issues and Options Report). 

6.2     There was, however, little public support for such an approach which sought to reduce the landbank just in Derbyshire at that stage; the majority of people saying that we should help also in reducing quarrying in the Peak District National Park.  Concern was also expressed that such an approach would be bias in favour of the larger mineral operators, which have more quarries and larger reserves to relinquish.

 

 

The Interim Sustainability Appraisal concluded that both options would assist in reducing the potential for intensification of extraction should new permissions be granted and existing permissions also be worked. It found that this could reduce potential negative effects in relation to achieving environmental and social objectives. It found that Option 2 is expected to perform better than Option 1 in terms of achieving environmental and social objectives, by reducing permitted extraction in the Peak District National Park and therefore assisting in the delivery of the Park’s objectives and also maintaining potential recreational areas for Derbyshire and Derby’s communities.

In terms of meeting economic objectives, both options would reduce the overall land bank for crushed rock. However, it concluded that this is not expected to result in provision for less than what is required as part of the apportionment provision and both options would still grant new permissions, therefore, still encouraging minerals extraction where this is needed. This would also help to maintain the important role the extraction of this aggregate plays in national supplies.

 

 

6.3     Latest Information

Government policy has changed with the publication of the NPPF in 2012 and the NPPG in 2014, and the reconsideration of excessive landbanks is not referred to in this document.  It is important to note now that one of the Government’s key objectives is to promote sustainable economic growth, and an approach which seeks proactively to reduce the landbank of crushed rock may appear to be contrary to this objective. 

6.4     Also, with the Councils now working closely with the Peak District National Park by agreeing to increase its apportionment to offset an ongoing reduction in quarrying in the Peak District National Park, it may now seem unwise to pursue an approach whereby we try also to actively reduce the landbank of aggregate crushed rock in Derbyshire.

6.5     It is apparent, therefore, that the potential for seeking a reduction in the size of the crushed rock landbank in Derbyshire should be reconsidered as an issue which should be addressed in the Minerals Local Plan.  (This will not alter the Councils emerging approach of helping to reduce quarrying in the Peak District National Park - see separate paper Towards a Strategy for Reducing Quarrying in the Peak District National Park, November 2014).

6.6     Taking account of the most recent 2013 sales figures[1] for aggregate crushed rock, the 10 year rolling average has reduced from 7.04mt to 6.96mt.  The most recent 3 year average is significantly lower than this, at 6.1mt.  However, in accordance with the LAA, Councils will continue to provide a greater amount of aggregate crushed rock than suggested by these average figures, in order to compensate for the continued and progressive reduction of quarrying in the Peak District National Park.  The 2014 LAA sets out, therefore, that the area covered by the Councils will seek to provide 7.27mtpa of aggregate crushed rock to 2030.  The LAA was agreed by members of the East Midlands Aggregates Working Party in January 2015.  It will be reviewed on an annual basis.

 

[1] EMAWP Annual Report 2013