Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for the Restoration and After Care of Former Mineral Workings

Progress so far

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

 

6.1       At the Stakeholder Workshop in 2009, which marked the start of the preparation of the Minerals Local Plan, restoration was highlighted as a key issue which the Plan should seek to address. The idea of a specific restoration strategy for the Trent Valley was also suggested.

6.2       At the Issues and Options stage in 2010, two issues were presented relating to the restoration of mineral workings. These were for a proposed long-term strategy for the restoration of sand and gravel sites in the Trent Valley and a similar proposal for the series of limestone quarries along the A515 corridor in Buxton. There was overall support for the preparation of these two strategies. 65% of responses at this stage supported the development of these strategies. Support continued to be expressed for the Trent Valley Strategy at the Sand and Gravel Drop-in Sessions in late 2012.

6.3       In late 2012, through a series of sand and gravel drop-in sessions, which were held with communities in the river valleys, the local communities continued to express their support for the development of a restoration strategy and to offer comments on how this should be developed. At these sessions, communities were also presented with the Environmental Sensitivity Mapping project. This work assesses the relative sensitivity of the river valleys in overall environmental terms. The most sensitive areas are considered to be those which are most susceptible to change and which should be protected from mineral working. Those areas defined as the least sensitive have the potential to be worked for minerals and therefore to absorb more change, in particular, change that can help to deliver a range of economic, environmental and community benefits that will help to make the local environment more attractive and accessible.

6.4       Consideration is also being given to extending the strategy for the A515 quarries to cover all such quarries in the carboniferous limestone part of the Plan area. Details of this can be found in the consultation paper referred to above. The intention is that these additional strategies would build upon the overarching restoration strategy whilst also ensuring a co-ordinated approach is taken to the restoration of quarries in these areas.

6.5       Since these two key stages in the preparation of the Plan, there has been a period of ongoing engagement regarding the development of the Plan. People have told us throughout the process of ongoing engagement on the MLP that we should continue to strive to promote high standards of working, restoration and aftercare of mineral workings, which bring real and positive benefits to the local communities and which help to offset any adverse impacts that may result from mineral working. This is included, therefore, as a key issue that will be addressed by the Plan, and is embedded in the draft Strategic Sustainability Principles for the emerging Plan (emerging policies SMP3 and SMP4).

6.6       The section below includes a summary of the issues and ideas that have emerged during the process of the preparation of the Plan with regard to the restoration of mineral workings in the Plan area, and which will be used to develop the emerging restoration strategy.

The interim Sustainability Appraisal reported that, for the Trent Valley Strategy, significant positive effects were likely in the medium to long-term upon the Trent Valley local landscape under Option 1 (the strategy) as it would provide a joined up approach to landscape management in the area and the potential to ensure a particular standard is met for all sites in terms of management and after care, providing certainty to the minerals industry. Compared to Option 2 (the current approach), it concluded that Option 1 is therefore expected to perform better with regards to achieving objectives related to heritage and landscape, biodiversity flora and fauna, land and water resources, communities and health and the local economy.

 

 

 

 

The interim Sustainability Appraisal reported that, for the A515 Corridor Strategy, overall, Option 1 (the strategy) is expected to perform better with regards to achieving 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 management and after care and this will also provide certainty to the minerals industry. These effects are somewhat uncertain as it will depend on the types of restoration proposed and when sites are expected to be restored which is unknown.