Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Sand and Gravel

Site Selection Process

9       Site Selection Process

9.1    Spatial Distribution of Sites

As discussed above, there has been no clear public opinion expressed regarding where, in broad terms, the sites should be, which could deliver this amount of mineral i.e. whether they should continue to be only in the Trent and Derwent Valleys or that some should also be in the Lower Dove Valley.  It would seem appropriate, therefore, that all sites put forward for sand and gravel working should be assessed with no weighting applied as a result of their general location within the river valleys. 

In terms of whether sites should be extensions to existing sites or wholly new sites, people expressed support for allocating extensions over new sites at the Issues and Options stage. This preference continued in views expressed at the sand and gravel drop-ins in late 2012.  National Planning Practice Guidance published in 2014 now provides more detailed advice on this issue, setting out that each site must be considered on its individual merits, taking into account issues such as the need for the specific mineral, economic considerations (such being able to continue to extract the resource, retaining jobs, being able to utilise existing plant and other infrastructure), the positive and negative environmental impacts (including the feasibility of a strategic approach to restoration) and the cumulative impact of proposals in an area.

Having taken this latest guidance into account, together with public opinion expressed on this issue, we consider, on balance, that for this Plan period, because they would offer greater overall benefits in terms of utilising existing infrastructure, retaining jobs, preventing sterilisation of mineral resources and providing opportunities for higher overall standards of restoration, the Councils’ preferred strategy will be to secure future supplies of sand and gravel from extensions to existing operational sites.   

The following ten sites have been put forward by mineral operators and landowners as a result of a call for sites in 2010 and 2012.  These include new sites and extensions to existing sites where there are proven mineral resources, and it is from these that reserves of sand and gravel for this Plan period to 2030 are likely to come.  Operators have provided information on a range of matters regarding these sites to enable us to undertake a comprehensive assessment for each site.  In providing for the continuing and steady supply of sand and gravel, it is important to have sound evidence that sites are likely to come forward for working during the Plan period and, therefore, that they will make a realistic contribution towards future supply. 

Site name

New site/extension

Estimated Reserves

(Million tonnes)

Estimated output per annum (tonnes)


Trent/Derwent Valley – East





Planning application submitted for 4mt – under consideration











Chapel Farm





Trent Valley – West











Swarkestone North

North Extension




Swarkestone South

South Extension




Dove Valley











These sites could yield a total of around 38 million tonnes of sand and gravel.  This is more than is required to meet the shortfall in the identified sand and gravel requirements for the Plan period (9mt), so it will be necessary to allocate only some of these sites to meet the requirements. 

It will be important that sites are located and worked so that they will not have unacceptable impacts on local communities or the environment and in such a way that harmful emissions are minimised, thus helping to reduce the effects of climate change. 

Derbyshire’s sand and gravel resources are located close to the markets of Derby and Nottingham, within an area that is served by the M1 and high quality trunk roads (A50 and A38).  This reduces transport distances and time travelled, thus reducing emissions.  In addition, mineral processing plants have to meet strict environmental standards. It will also be important to ensure that the communities which are affected by the minerals extraction benefit to some extent from the working.

All sites will be assessed against the criteria set out in the Site Assessment Methodology that has emerged from discussions with the communities and other stakeholders. As part of this latest consultation, we will be asking for people’s final comments on, and agreement to, this methodology before the detailed site assessments are undertaken.  This paper will be published later in the process.   Once this has been agreed, the site assessments will be undertaken. The results of the site assessments will be published for public comment later in 2015.




Emerging Approach for Sand and Gravel Site Selection

In order to maintain an adequate and steady supply of minerals during the Plan period, land will be allocated to meet the identified shortfall of 9 million tonnes in the requirement for sand and gravel, where acceptable in economic, social and environmental terms.


Taking into account all of the above considerations, the suggested sites will all be assessed against the same set of social, economic and environmental criteria, which will determine their potential for mineral working in overall sustainability terms. These criteria are being developed through engagement with local communities and other stakeholders. Taking account of the responses at the recent drop-in sessions, there will be no weighting applied to the sites as a result of their general location, either in the Trent and Derwent Valleys or the Lower Dove Valley.   Preference will be given to extensions of existing sites over new sites.


Development will be considered on non-allocated sites where a need can be demonstrated and it accords with overall sustainability principles.

We will ensure that the provision of minerals in the Plan remains in-line with wider economic trends through regular monitoring.