Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Safeguarding Mineral Resources

Development close to Mineral Resources

9       Development Close to Mineral Resources

9.1    Development which is close to, but not actually within, a mineral resource may also lead to the sterilisation of part of the resource.  For example, if a house was built in this zone close to a mineral resource, a quantity of the resource may not be able to be worked (it would be sterilised) as the property would lie within the area that could be affected by the effects of mineral working to an unacceptable degree.  To take account of such risks and to also account for the inexact nature of mapped geological boundaries, particularly for more scarce resources, it may be necessary to extend the MSA beyond the actual resource boundary, using a buffer zone, as shown on the diagram below.  The use of blasting means this is more of an issue for working of hard rock than for softer resources such as sand and gravel.

9.2    It may well be the case that, with modern blasting techniques, the issue can be resolved satisfactorily and development can take place close to mineral workings with neither party affected to a significant extent, but at least this approach will ensure that the issue can be considered at an early stage in the process of determining a planning application, hopefully at pre-application stage. 


The sterilisation of near surface mineral resource by surface development (Source: BGS Good Practice Advice)

9.3    The extent of the potential buffer zones will vary between minerals, the method of extraction and specific working practices.


9.4    There may also be cases where for various reasons, development is permitted on a mineral resource (e.g. it is found to be uneconomic to extract the mineral as part of the development which is itself considered to be necessary).  In this case, measures should be put in place to ensure that the future working of any adjacent mineral operation is not compromised as a result of the new development.  An appropriate buffer zone between the development and the quarry could be designated in this case.

9.5    The resource covered by the Safeguarding Area and the additional buffer zone would be known as the Mineral Consultation Area.  This means that the District/Borough Planning Authorities would be required to consult the Mineral Planning Authority on planning applications within this area.