Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Restoration Strategy for Carboniferous Limestone Quarries

National and Local Policy

2          National and Local Policy

2.1       Paragraph 143 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that in preparing local plans mineral planning authorities should put in place polices to ensure that worked land is reclaimed at the earliest opportunity, taking account of aviation safety, and that high quality restoration and aftercare of mineral sites takes place, including for agriculture (safeguarding the long-term potential of the best and most versatile land and conserving soil resources), geodiversity, biodiversity, native woodland, the historic environment and recreation.

2.2       Paragraph 37[1] of National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) advises that the most appropriate form of site restoration to facilitate different potential after-uses should be addressed in firstly both local minerals plans, which should include policies to ensure that worked land is reclaimed at the earliest opportunity and that high quality restoration and aftercare of mineral sites takes place, and secondly on a site-by-site basis following discussions between the minerals operator and the mineral planning authority.

2.3       Paragraph 38[2] of NPPG highlights a number of key stages involved in the restoration and aftercare of mineral sites.

  1. Stripping of soils and soil-making material and either their storage or their direct replacement (i.e. restoration) on another part of the site;
  2. Storage and replacement of overburden;
  3. Achieving landscape and landform objectives for the site, including filling operations if required, following mineral extraction;
  4. Restoration, including soil placement, relief of compaction and provision of surface features;
  5. Aftercare to ensure that following restoration the land is brought up to the required standard for its intended after-use.

2.4       Paragraph 40[3] of NPPG (Minerals) sets out the level of detail that should be submitted on restoration and aftercare at the planning application stage. To some extent it will depend on the individual circumstances at each site, including the expected duration of operations. The information must be able to demonstrate that the overall objectives of the restoration scheme are practically achievable and it would normally include:

  • an overall restoration strategy, identifying the proposed after-use of the site;
  • Information about soil resources and hydrology, and how the topsoil/subsoil/overburden/soil making materials are to be handled whilst extraction is taking place;
  • where land is agricultural land, an assessment of the agricultural land classification grade; and
  • landscape strategy.
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2.5       Paragraph 59[4] of the NPPG advised on the type of information that should be included in a landscape strategy as follows:

  • defining the key landscape opportunities and constraints;
  • considering potential directions of working, significant waste material locations, degrees of visual exposure etc.;
  • identifying the need for additional screening during operations;
  • identifying proposed after uses and options for the character of the restored landscape
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[1] NPPG Reference ID:27-037-20140306

[2] NPPG Reference ID: 27-038-20140306

[3] NPPG Reference ID: 27-040-20140306

[4] NPPG Reference ID: 27-059-20140306