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Government reveals revised minerals plans

MATERIALS

THE GOVERNMENT has published its latest plans to revise its policy on planning quarries and mineral extraction works.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister unveiled its latest plans as part of an effort to simplify the planning procedures for quarry operators.

Its new Minerals Policy Statement 1 sets out the Government's key policies on minerals planning in England and a series of mineral-specific annexes will also be published to underline the policy around each mineral.

These annexes will include policies on aggregate extraction, oil and gas, brick clay and building stone.

The draft MPS1 supports the Government's objectives for mineral planning to conserve mineral resources and minimise waste production in quarries.

It also highlights the work operators must do to ensure adequate environmental protection around future quarrying sites.

It will require mineral operators to help prevent impacts on the environment when working on the restoration of quarries.

Operators gave a cautious thumbs-up to the consultation document last week. But Simon van der Byl, director general at industry body the Quarry Products Association, warned that there would have to be further detailed comparisons between the old planning guidance and the new policy statement before its full impact could be known.

The consultation period closes on February 28.