Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Brick Clay and Fireclay

National and Local Policy

National and Local Planning Policy

2.1     National policy

          The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) recognises that minerals are essential to support sustainable economic growth and our quality of life and that it is important, therefore, that there is a sufficient supply of material to provide the infrastructure, buildings, energy and goods that the country needs.  It also recognises that minerals are a finite resource so it is important to make best use of them to secure their long term conservation. 

          There are no national demand targets for the supply of industrial minerals. Paragraph 146 of NPPF states that Mineral Planning Authorities (MPAs) should plan for their steady and adequate supply by co-operating with neighbouring and more distant authorities to coordinate the planning of industrial minerals to ensure that adequate provision is made to support their likely use in industrial and manufacturing processes.  Safeguarding or stockpiling should also be encouraged to ensure that the minerals remain available for future use. 

          Additionally, for particular uses, such as brick manufacture, the NPPF requires that MPAs should make provision for a stock (landbank) of permitted reserves of brick clay to support the level of actual and proposed investment required to maintain or improve an existing plant or to provide a new kiln. For brick clay the landbank should be at least 25 years. MPAs should also take into account the need for the provision of brick clay from a number of different sources to enable appropriate blends to be made. NPPF, paragraph 147, also adds that MPAs should provide for coal producers to extract separately, and if necessary, stockpile fireclay so that it remains available for use.

          NPPF, paragraph 163, requires that, in preparing local plans, MPAs should develop and maintain an understanding of the extent and location of mineral resources in their area and assess the projected demand for their use taking into account any opportunities to replace the need for primary minerals. NPPF paragraph 182 sets out the need for plans to be prepared positively, based on a strategy which meets objectively assessed development requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development.

2.2     National Planning Practice Guidance

          The National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) sets out guidance on how MPAs should plan for the steady and adequate supply of minerals (in order of priority):

  • designating Specific Sites – where viable resources are known to exist, landowners are supportive of minerals development and the proposal is likely to be acceptable in planning terms. Such sites may also include essential operations associated with mineral extraction
  • designating Preferred Areas, which are areas of known resources where planning permission might reasonably be anticipated. Such areas may also include essential operations associated with mineral extraction and/or
  • designating Areas of Search – areas where knowledge of mineral resources may be less certain but within which planning permission may be granted, particularly if there is a potential shortfall in supply.

          NPPG provides specific advice on how MPAs should plan for industrial minerals. It suggests that recognition should be given to any marked differences in geology, physical and chemical properties, markets and supply and demand between different industrial minerals which can have different implications for their extraction. Such differences include:

  • geology influencing the size of a resource, how it may be extracted and the amount of mineral waste generated
  • the market demand for minerals to be of consistent physical and/or chemical properties, resulting in the fact that industrial minerals are often not interchangeable in use
  • the potential for the quality of a mineral extracted from a single site varying considerably
  • the economic importance of the mineral as a raw material for a wide range of downstream manufacturing industries
  • some industries are dependent on several industrial minerals and the loss of supply of one mineral may jeopardise the whole manufacturing process.