Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Industrial Limestone

Duty to Co-operate

  1. Duty to Co-operate

4.1     In planning for minerals, mineral planning authorities, local planning authorities and other public bodies are required to co-operate on strategic cross border matters. Several duty to co-operate strategic matters have been identified so far relating to the provision of industrial limestone.

4.2       We will be seeking your views on Duty to Co-operate issues in a separate paper, which will be published later in the process.

4.3     Whitwell Quarry

          Whitwell Quarry is currently (2014) one of only three active sites producing industrial dolomite in the United Kingdom. We have liaised with other local authorities, Durham County Council and Doncaster MBC, where active industrial dolomitic sites are located with a view to establishing whether there are any strategic issues relating to the national supply of industrial dolomite and any implications for the Plan. The conclusion reached is that there are no strategic cross border matters that we need to take into account in the Plan with regard to national supply.  Details of these findings are set out in a separate Paper on Duty to Cooperate Issues which the MPAs will shortly be consulting upon.

          The resource at Whitwell Quarry also straddles the county boundary with Nottinghamshire.  The operator (Lafarge/Tarmac) has put forward five possible sites to extend the quarry, one of them lies within Nottinghamshire and has been provisionally allocated to come forward for working, over the period to 2030, in the Nottinghamshire Minerals Plan (preferred options stage–winter 2013). At a quarry liaison meeting local people told us that it would be a good idea if the Councils worked together to achieve a joined up approach to the future development of the quarry. We have taken this into account and are working closely with Nottinghamshire CC to achieve a coordinated approach to the quarry’s future development.

          As well as straddling the county boundary, the extensions put forward also lie close to Creswell Crags, a scheduled monument and site of special scientific interest, and a potential world heritage site. Together with Nottinghamshire CC, therefore, we are liaising jointly with appropriate bodies, including English Heritage, to ensure the continued protection of the Crags from any future mineral working.

4.4     Ashwood Dale Quarry

          Secondly, an important duty to co-operate issue has arisen in relation to Ashwood Dale Quarry where the operator (Omya UK) has put forward an extension to the quarry.   The High Peak Local Plan Submission (April 2014) includes a potential housing allocation, B8 West of Tongue Lane, Buxton, the boundary of which adjoins the quarry extension proposal in part. This situation raises a potential conflict of interest between the expansion of the quarry and the development of the potential housing site. The proximity of the working quarry and its potential expansion may have an unacceptable impact on residential amenity and prejudice delivery of the housing site whilst development of the housing site may lead to sterilisation of part of the mineral and prejudice the delivery of potential mineral development. In view of this, in July 2014, the County and City Councils lodged a holding objection to the housing proposal in the Submission Plan.

          High Peak Borough Council’s Submission Plan is currently (February 2015) under examination by an Inspector (appointed by the Planning Inspectorate) who will, amongst other things, assess whether the Plan has been prepared in accordance with the duty to co-operate requirements and take into account any representations made on the Plan at the Submission stage.

          In line with the duty to cooperate regime the MPAs, HPBC and the quarry operator Omya UK Ltd have worked together to produce a ‘Statement of Common Ground’[1] which has been submitted to the Inspector. The Statement sets out a mutually agreed solution to the issue which would enable both developments to proceed with modifications to the Submission Plan that would satisfy the duly made objections. The solution proposes a modest relinquishment of mineral resources, approximately 200,000 tonnes which equates to 1.6 years supply of industrial grade stone, and a reduction in the area and scale of the proposed housing allocation.

          Following the hearing session in January and February 2015, the Inspector will now prepare a Report for HPBC with his conclusions on compliance with the duty to co-operate, legal compliance and soundness. In accordance with legislation[2] HPBC has requested the Inspector to recommend any main modifications to the Submission Plan to make it sound and legally compliant. These include modifications in relation to the matters in the Statement of Common Ground. The Inspector’s Report is expected later in 2015.

          In terms of developing a policy approach to this type of issue in the Minerals Local Plan, the NPPF requires us to safeguard mineral resources from sterilisation by non-mineral development and we have prepared a separate Paper setting out our emerging approach on this subject. More information can be found in the following Papers.

 

Towards a Strategy for Safeguarding Mineral Resources – November 2014

 

Minerals Safeguarding Supporting Paper – November 2014

 

 

4.5     Hope Cement works, Hope Construction Materials Ltd, Peak District National Park

          A third duty to co-operate matter has arisen in relation to the supply of raw materials in the manufacture of cement at the Hope Cement works located approximately 10 km from the County boundary within the Peak District National Park (PDNP). The Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) estimate that the cement works, operated by Hope Construction Materials Ltd, and supplied with limestone from the adjacent Hope Quarry, will not have a 15 year landbank of limestone reserves (required by the NPPF) from approximately 2019. The PDNPA has informed us that the operator may seek to extend the quarry or alternatively look to import limestone to the site sourced from elsewhere. This may impact on limestone reserves from within the Plan area. We are investigating this matter further with the operator and with the PDNPA.

 

 

[1] High Peak Local Plan Examination 2015, Statement of Common Ground agreed between HPBC,DCC (and on behalf of DC) and Omya UK Ltd, December 2014

[2] Section 20(7C) of the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act