Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Sand and Gravel

Progress so Far

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



5.1    Stakeholder Workshop 2009

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

5.2    Issues and Options 2010

         In 2010, in responses to the Issues and Options Paper, there was overall support (80%) for a strategy that allocated extensions to existing sites in the eastern part of the valley up to 2020 and then beyond this time, to identify broader areas of search, possibly dispersing to new areas in the Lower Dove Valley.  This was reported in “The Analysis of Responses to the Issues and Options Consultation” in 2011 and, as a result of the support shown, we indicated that this was the approach which we would seek to develop further. At this time, the provision of aggregates was determined at a national, rather than a local, level.  These figures only covered to 2020.  This meant that the identification of broader areas of search for the period beyond 2020, for which levels of provision were not available, would have been a reasonable option. 

The Interim Sustainability Appraisal concluded that allocating extensions to existing sites rather than finding new extraction sites could put additional pressure on the environments within which current facilities are located. However, it found that it would help to negate environmental impacts in other parts of Derbyshire. It would also prevent the need to identify alternative sources of supply; helping to reduce barriers/costs to extraction. It also concluded that expanding existing sites helps to retain employment over a longer period of time for communities that currently rely upon these opportunities.









5.3    Introduction

Government policy changed since the Issues and Options report was published with the publication of the NPPF in 2012, so that mineral planning authorities are now able to undertake individual assessments of sand and gravel provision in the LAA (see separate paper), which is reviewed annually.  This shows levels of aggregate provision to 2030 rather than to 2020 under the previous system referred to previously.  It, therefore, provides a greater degree of certainty in terms of provision for the whole Plan period, whilst having the flexibility to trigger the need for a review of aggregate provision should landbanks fall.  In addition to this, the economic downturn means that some sand and gravel sites have not been worked to full capacity, whilst others have been mothballed during this period.  This means that some existing sites now have greater remaining reserves than envisaged at the start of the Plan making process so will be in production for a longer time.  This means that some sites that have been put forward for allocation are unlikely to come forward until later in the Plan period and that fewer sites may be required to be allocated in the Plan than envisaged originally. 

Also, Government policy in the NPPF no longer indicates a preference for extensions to existing sites over new sites.  Given these considerations, the issues altered, as set out below. 

5.4    Drop-in Sessions - Autumn 2012

Given these changes to government policy and other considerations as set out above, it was appropriate to present the revised issues to communities in the area covered by the sand and gravel resource, and to ask for their views, as set out below.


5.5    Calculating the Provision of Sand and Gravel

At Autumn 2012, we were at the initial stages in preparing the first LAA.  We asked communities whether they thought future provision should be based purely on the average production of the previous 10 years, or whether an additional 10% should be applied to this figure in order to provide a degree of flexibility to make provision for future economic recovery.  There was no clear opinion, however, regarding the approach that people thought should be taken in this respect.

As a result of this response, and taking account of guidance available at the time, we suggested, on balance, that a 10% allowance should be applied to the apportionment figures in the draft LAA.   

5.6    Distribution of Sand and Gravel Provision

The following two options were presented at these drop-in sessions regarding the future location of sites:

  1. whether for the period to 2030, all sites continue to be located in the Trent and Derwent Valleys in the more eastern parts of the river valley resource where sand and gravel extraction currently takes place, or
  2. whether to 2030, some sites continue to be located in the Trent and Derwent Valleys but also that some new sites are identified in the Lower Dove Valley in the more western part of the resource to relieve some of the impact of mineral working on areas in the Trent and Derwent Valleys.

Responses provided at these drop-in sessions gave no clear steer regarding the general location for future sand and gravel sites i.e. whether all new sites should be allocated in the Trent/Derwent Valleys over the Plan period or whether some sites should also be worked in the Lower Dove Valley, where there are currently no active sites.  As a result, we concluded that the site assessments should give no specific weighting to sites depending on whether they are located in either the Trent or Lower Dove valleys.