Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Towards a Strategy for Transporting Minerals

Next Steps

  1. Next Steps

6.1       Since the publication of the Issues and Options Report the NPPF and NPPG have been introduced; it is important to revisit the issues and options surrounding the transport of minerals in the light of this new policy and guidance. In particular, we will need to consider the extent to which the Issues and Options Report and the responses to it remain helpful in the development of a new strategy for minerals transportation and take on board additional evidence that we have collected since 2010.


6.2       The next stage in preparing the Plan, therefore, is the ‘Towards a Minerals Local Plan’ consultation which commenced in 2015 and remains ongoing; this consultation consists of a series of individual Papers, including this one. In the light of the new national policy and guidance the MPAs are seeking to define the vision and objectives and develop strategies to achieve those objectives and deliver the vision.


6.3       In developing the Plan’s strategies the MPAs have set out draft ‘sustainability principles’ and an emerging ‘spatial strategy’[1] to which proposals for mineral development will need to adhere. Emerging policy SMP4 of the ‘spatial strategy’ includes two principles specifically aimed at delivering sustainable minerals transport.

6.4       Proposals for mineral development in Derbyshire and Derby which embrace the following spatial principles will be supported:

  • Where the site is in a location where the use of sustainable modes of transport can be maximised thus helping to ensure that the development minimises its impact on the cause of climate change, and
  • Where development will be located which minimises adverse impacts on the local environment and the amenity of local communities, including where maximum use will be made of the primary road network to reduce the need for transport through villages.

6.5       Further information can be found in the following Paper:



Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan, Towards Strategic Sustainability Principles, November 2014




6.6       The key aim of the NPPF is for the planning system to deliver sustainable development; the NPPF recognises that transport policies not only have an important role to play in facilitating this, but also in contributing to wider sustainability and health objectives. The NPPF requires that, where reasonable, the Plan supports a pattern of development that facilitates the use of sustainable transport options, to reduce the environmental and amenity impacts of transporting minerals particularly in relation to greenhouse gas emissions and congestion.

6.7       A key constraint to developing this approach for mineral development is that due to geological conditions minerals can only be worked where they are found and, therefore, are not necessarily well located to take advantage of more sustainable modes of transport. Furthermore, the cost of transporting the mineral to the market is a huge consideration in the overall viability of mineral working and therefore the expensiveness of developing rail or water infrastructure tends to restrict such opportunities to those minerals where larger volumes of material, over long time periods encompassing more broader and distant markets make them economically viable.

6.8       The transportation of minerals over long distances would be more sustainable by alternative modes of transport such as rail, however, realistically the scope for this within the Plan area remains limited and is more suitable for some minerals than others. The current and potential transport movements of the principal minerals within the Plan area are set out in the Appendix to this Paper. Currently rail transport is only used at large scale, high volume, long-life, limestone quarries, where the significant capital costs can be recovered.

6.9       The Government recognises that well-connected and high performing road and rail networks with sufficient capacity are vital to meet the country’s long-term needs and support a prosperous economy[2] and in the mid to longer-term the Government is seeking to expand transport infrastructure to facilitate more sustainable modes of transport.

6.10     Within the Plan area key investment areas for roads are to increase capacity and reduce congestion on the M1 and A38 and Trans-Pennine Routes. For rail, capacity for freight will be increased through electrification and the development of HS2 and through the development of Strategic Freight Interchanges. There is very little potential for using water to transport minerals within the Plan area and often and the use of water to transport minerals is not always compatible with the ecological and recreational value of the rivers and canals.

6.11     The vast majority of movements to and from mineral sites are by road. Realistically heavy goods vehicles are likely to remain the most effective and economic means of transporting minerals and fill material over the Plan period; they provide relatively low costs and flexibility to serve a wide range of local and varied markets. Nevertheless, other more sustainable methods of transport should be encouraged and supported, wherever feasible, in order to minimise the environmental and amenity impacts of transporting minerals by road.

6.12     Pipelines and conveyors can be used, to import waste short distances on to quarries, such as colliery spoil or power station ash, or to export minerals short distances to processing plants and factories, both on and off site; these alternatives to heavy goods vehicles should be encouraged, in principle, as they minimise the use of road transport. Similarly, in some cases, rail can be used to transport the mineral to the processing plant. The use of extensive haul roads internal to the site can be used to minimise impacts on the local road network.

6.13     To support alternative modes of transporting minerals such as rail and water, existing rail head facilities and rail links to quarries will be safeguarded along with wharfage and associated storage, handling and processing facilities for the bulk transport of minerals by rail, sea or inland waterways. Safeguarding will encourage the long distance haulage of minerals by rail to continue and to protect non-operational rail heads and links for possible use in the future.


Further information can be found in the following paper:

Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan – Towards A Strategy for Safeguarding Minerals Infrastructure, April 2016



6.14     Vehicle emissions have been identified as a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions which impact greatly on climate change. The encouragement of alternatives to road transport for the movement of minerals is an important measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce congestion which exacerbates the pollution.


Further information can be found in the following supporting paper:

Minerals and Climate Change, November 2014



6.15     Transport impacts are an important factor to take into account in considering the overall acceptability of minerals development. The NPPF, therefore, requires that where new development is likely to have significant transport implications, as is usually the case for minerals development, a Transport Assessment should be submitted with a planning application.

6.16     The Assessment will need to show that the proposed method of transport is the most efficient and sustainable means of moving the material. It will need to identify anticipated transport impacts and set out what measures will be taken to deal with them and to improve accessibility and safety for all modes of travel. It should include matters such as proximity and suitability of routes to the principle highway network, the capacity of the existing highway network, highway safety for all modes of transport and access arrangements. Where new transport/highway improvements are required to mitigate impacts, developer contributions may be sought through Section 106 agreements.

6.17     Traffic associated with minerals can have a considerable impact on the environment and local communities causing problems such as public safety, noise and vibration, air pollution and visual intrusion. These problems are most severe where heavy good vehicles use roads unsuited to their weight and size, where they pass through sensitive areas and at the access to the site from the public highway. Minerals development proposals will need to ensure that any adverse impacts on the environment and local communities are acceptable or can be mitigated.


6.18     Set out below is an approach for an overarching strategy for the transport of minerals. The Plan will also need to include detailed development management policies to address the transport impacts of site specific development proposals. These will be included in a separate Paper and there will be an opportunity to comment on them at a later date.


6.19     For some minerals the preferred strategy for ensuring a steady and adequate supply may include the allocation of specific sites for working that have been promoted for working by a mineral operator/land owner. An allocation of land in a local plan is acceptance, in principle, that a site is suitable for working subject to satisfying detailed planning considerations. For a site to be allocated in the Plan, an assessment will take place to ensure that any potential site is justified in terms of its need to be worked, is deliverable and could be worked sustainably, without causing unacceptable adverse impacts on the environment and communities. Traffic impacts will be one of the impacts taken into account in the assessment. We are developing a methodology for evaluating sites on which you will have an opportunity to comment. A detailed Transport Assessment will still be required in support of any planning application for mineral working on an allocated site.


Further information can be found in the following paper:

Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan – Potential Site Allocations – Assessment Methodology, April 2016





The Emerging Policy Approach for the Sustainable Transport of Minerals

6.20     Taking account of national planning policy and the circumstances pertaining to the Plan area as described above we have developed and emerging policy based approach relating to the sustainability of transporting minerals in new development proposals. Set out below are draft statements about the issues and requirements that will be taken into consideration in determining the transport sustainability credentials of new minerals developments.

6.21     Proposals for minerals development, including restoration proposals, should seek to minimise the impact of transport movements on the environment and local communities and maximise the use of alternatives to road transport. Proposals for minerals development should demonstrate: 

  1. how transport movements relate to mineral resources and markets;
  2. how opportunities for alternative methods of transport have been evaluated;
  3. how access to the strategic highway network is suitable and how impacts on road

safety and congestion have been addressed; and

  1. what measures have been incorporated including mitigation to avoid unacceptable

harm to the environment and local communities.

6.22     Where appropriate, developer contributions will be sought for transport/highway improvements to mitigate the impacts of mineral development.


1)      Do you agree with this draft strategy approach as an appropriate means for ensuring the sustainable transport of minerals over the plan period?

Please give reasons for your answer.

2) Do you have any comments about the different components of this policy approach, including the level and type of information that an applicant should be asked to submit to inform the policy?













[1] Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan, Towards Strategic Sustainability Principles, November 2014

[2] The Eddington Transport Study: The Case for Action 2006, NN NPS 2014, Paragraph 2.1