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MI5  Development Control Criteria for Mineral Extraction  Policy

In assessing planning applications for non-energy mineral extraction, the Local Planning Authority will be guided by the following criteria:

(i) that there is a demonstrable need and market demand for the mineral in line with Government guidance;

(ii) operations will not have an unacceptable impact on existing or proposed residential or other sensitive uses in terms of visual amenity, noise, vibration, smells, dust, litter, vermin, pollution of air, land or water, or other nuisance;

(iii) adequate provision is made for screening and landscaping whilst work is in progress; for restoration, which should be phased on larger sites; and for appropriate aftercare;

(iv) operations will not have unacceptable effects on the water environment;

(v) traffic access arrangements are satisfactory and not environmentally unacceptable;

(vi) operations will not have an unacceptable effect on the viability or structure of an agricultural holding, nor lead to the permanent loss or reduction in quality of best and most versatile agricultural land;

(vii) operations will not unacceptably affect Listed Buildings or their settings, Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Areas of Special Landscape Value, Conservation Areas, sites of archaeological importance, and nationally and locally designated sites of importance for nature conservation or earth science;

(viii) operations will not lead to the sterilisation of other workable mineral deposits on or adjacent to the site;

(ix) operations will not have an unacceptable impact on the general landscape setting; and

(x) operations will not increase the extent of active workings in a particular location to an unacceptable degree.

Reasoned justification :

18.19 A criteria based approach has been adopted, and sites, with the exception of the known clay reserves in north Wirral, are not identified, as insufficient information on the occurrence of mineral deposits and their workability is available, given the extremely limited number of planning applications which may be likely to come forward.

18.20 All mineral workings must show that operations can be effectively screened and will not involve unacceptable environmental nuisance. Applicants must also demonstrate that there is a need and an identified market for the mineral, and demonstrate satisfactory restoration and aftercare proposals, to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority.

18.21 In some cases, where the mineral operations are adjoining derelict or poor quality land, the Local Planning Authority may negotiate with developers to secure legal agreements which involve the restoration of such adjoining land as part of the overall restoration scheme for the proposed development.

18.22 The Local Planning Authority will also take into account the possibility that a proposed development which would be acceptable in isolation may result in an over-concentration of extraction activity in a particular locality, causing prolonged and unacceptable environmental consequences to local residents. In such circumstances, the Local Planning Authority may consider refusing planning permission to protect local communities from such unacceptable consequences.