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Best practice 'essential' for aggregates planning


MINERAL planning authorities, national government and quarriers must create a best practice guide for the industry to avoid unnecessary planning bottlenecks.

At a conference held at the Institute of Civil Engineers last week Nigel Jackson, Lafarge Aggregates'executive director, called for standard requirements from all planning authorities in an effort to speed up the planning permissions process.

He said: 'We need to create a joint government/mineral authority/industry best practice guide to remove endless debates, application by application, on technical issues relating to operational management.

Let's agree a Gold Standard and just get on with it.'

Jerry McLaughlin, chief economist at the Quarry Products Association, claimed the conference had highlighted the importance of the quarrying industry to the economy and that over-regulation was stifling the sector.

He said: 'There are too many regulations in the industry and not enough work was being carried out on thinking through the implications of these regulations.We need to take a closer look at the implications rather than make a knee-jerk reaction.'

Other speakers at the Living with Minerals conference included Digby Jones, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, Government minister Jacqui Smith and shadow industry spokesman Stephen O'Brien.