Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Restoration Strategy for Carboniferous Limestone Quarries

Progress so far

7          Progress so far – What you have said and how we have responded

7.1       Stakeholder Workshop 2009

We held a stakeholder workshop in 2009, which scoped the issues to be addressed in the Plan.   Stakeholders recognised the need for mineral extraction, provided that its impact on communities and the environment is minimised.

7.2       Issues and Options Consultations 2010

The Issues & Options Consultation 2010 set out an initial vision and objectives for the Plan area and included the critical issues and options that needed to be addressed. In terms of restoration the main objective was to ensure that after extraction, land is reclaimed at the earliest opportunity, and that high quality restoration and aftercare takes place which maximises community and environmental benefits and makes optimum use of inert fill material.

7.3       It was considered that this objective could be achieved in the most part by plan wide development management policies covering restoration. For two areas, however, the Trent Valley and the A515 limestone quarries, options were put forward that included the preparation of specific strategies to address restoration issues in these areas.

7.4       The option of preparing a co-ordinated restoration strategy for the four limestone quarries lying to the west of the A515 near Buxton was suggested in view of the significant impact of these quarries on the surrounding landscape, particularly the Peak District National Park and, in view of the previous co-ordinated restoration approach taken as part of the ROMP process which resulted in revised and consistent planning conditions being issued for all four sites in 1998. The consultation put forward the option of having a comprehensive strategy for the restoration of the four quarries (Option 1). The second option (Option 2) was to apply a strategic criteria based approach to the restoration of these quarries, based on local circumstances, devising restoration schemes for quarries as they arise, guided by circumstances specific to the particular quarry only.

7.5       We received fourteen responses to the question:

  • Eleven of the fourteen thought that Option 1 was the right approach (4 environmental groups; 4 operators; 2 local authorities; 1 parish council)
  • Two thought that Option 2 was the right approach (1 individual and 1 interest group)
  • One proposed a different option i.e. a combination of both options (individual)

    The Interim Sustainability Appraisal Report concluded that overall, Option 1 is expected to perform better with regards to achieving sustainability objectives related to heritage and landscape, biodiversity (flora and fauna), land and water resources, communities and health and the local economy by providing a strategic landscape management scheme for this area. In particular significant positive effects upon the local landscape along this corridor and potentially indirect positive effects on the setting of the nearby Peak District National Park are expected under Option 1, as it will ensure a particular standard is met for all sites in terms of restoration objectives, management and aftercare and this will also provide certainty to the minerals industry. We have taken these findings into account in considering our Strategy for the A515 quarries.

    Interim Sustainability Appraisal of the Issues and Options Consultation 2010
  • 7.6       Whilst the response was fairly limited, we can conclude from those initial results that stakeholders have expressed support for the development of a comprehensive restoration strategy for the A515 corridor rather than a piecemeal approach to restoration.