Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Coal

Progress so Far

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

6.1    The Councils have undertaken earlier stages of community engagement and it is now an ideal opportunity to review the messages which emerged from those stages and to assess their relevance at the present time in light of subsequent changes in Government policy and guidance.

6.2   Stakeholder Workshop 2009

We held a stakeholder workshop in 2009, which scoped the issues that the MLP should address.   At this event, people recognised and identified the need for mineral extraction, provided that its social and environmental impact is minimised. 


6.3    Issues and Options

The issues identified for coal mining in this exercise were; Issue 4, ‘identifying future working areas for coal’ and Issue 5, ‘surface mining constraint areas’. The suggested approach for Issue 4 was to indicate the extent of the shallow coalfield and define within that area the main environmental constraints. Beyond that it was suggested to formulate a criterion based policy as exists in the Derby and Derbyshire Minerals Local Plan 2000 - Incorporating First Alteration: Coal November 2002 as the most appropriate route by which to assess individual proposals. For Issue 5, the suggested approach was to designate surface mining constraint areas following the approach taken in the current Derby and Derbyshire Minerals Local Plan of identifying areas with a sufficient concentration of conservation designations to justify special protection.

There was agreement from all the respondents to the Issues and Options consultation who answered the question that the suggested approach to Issue 4 was the most appropriate. For Issue 5, 80% of respondents agreed that surface mining constraint areas should be designated with 20% saying they should not.


Further more detailed information regarding the responses to the Issues and Options consultation is available in: Responses to Derby and Derbyshire Minerals Plan Issues and Options Consultation, 2011.


The interim Sustainability Appraisal found that for Issue 4 of the Issues and Options exercise, a criterion based policy should be adequate to avoid the sterilisation of reserves, particularly in light of the lack of technical information about the location, scale and viability of those reserves. It was also considered an appropriate approach in climate change terms by not pre-empting the use of coal in preference to other alternatives. For Issue 5 it was considered that the designation of constraint areas would help to protect the most sensitive areas with positive implications for biodiversity, landscape, heritage and natural resources. In contrast, the lack of detailed information about the extent of constraints could mean that non-designated areas with unknown constraints could be more vulnerable to development pressures.