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Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan

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  1. Minerals Provision Policies

4.1. As explained in Chapter 3, minerals resources are very important to the County and a steady and adequate supply of minerals to meet future needs has to be planned for. Strategic policy SP4 sets the overall context for future mineral provision whilst the minerals provision policies set out within this chapter identify how and where these needs will be met for the different types of aggregate, industrial and energy minerals.

4.2. In most cases, existing sites which have not yet been worked out will meet some of this demand but the policies show where additional provision will be needed to make up any expected shortfall. Where a shortfall is identified, this will be met from a combination of new and/or extended sites although the priority is to extend existing sites wherever possible in line with strategic objective (SO1) to improve the sustainability of minerals development.

4.3. In order to identify the range of sites that could be available for mineral extraction over the plan period the council has worked with the minerals industry and local landowners to understand the location of workable mineral resources across the County. In response to a 'call for sites' exercise, mineral operators and landowners submitted a range of sites for which there were inferred minerals resources. This included both new sites and extensions to existing sites.

4.4. These sites have been carefully assessed to decide which are the most suitable and realistic options to allocate in the Plan. The sites which are allocated are shown in Policies MP2-12. The justification text following each policy includes more detail about each site and how they relate to any existing permitted site. Full details of this site assessment process can be found in the Site Selection Background Paper.

4.5. All of the sites will be subject to site allocation development briefs which will deal with site specific issues, including how the sites should be restored. These individual site development briefs are included in Appendix 3.


MP1: Aggregate provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • Feedback regarding the methodology used to identify future demand was split between those who thought the approach was in-line with the NPPF methodology and those who thought the approach significantly underplayed future demand as it is based predominately on recession/austerity sales data.
  • Some respondents thought that recycled aggregates should be encouraged to reduce the need for additional primary aggregates.
  • It was generally considered appropriate to use the same basic methodology for forecasting demand for all aggregates minerals. However local factors for each of the aggregate types should be applied as these factors could influence the level of demand.
  • It was generally agreed that the most suitable approach to site selection (extensions to existing quarries compared to new green field quarries) was to assess all proposals on their individual merits rather than prioritising one over the other.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Four options were appraised when looking at how future demand should be forecast. A: Use the Local Aggregates Assessment (LAA) average 10 year sales figure for all types of aggregates, B: Use an alternative realistic and deliverable methodology for all types of aggregates which produces a lower figure than option A, C: Use an alternative realistic and deliverable methodology for all types of aggregates which produces a higher figure than option A, D: Use different methodologies for different aggregates
  • In conclusion option A: 'Use the Local Aggregates Assessment (LAA) average 10 years sales figure for all types of aggregates' was considered the most suitable
  • Five options were appraised when considering which approach should be adopted when identifying adequate minerals provision in the plan. A: Prioritise extensions to existing permitted quarries, B:Prioritise new greenfield sites, C:Allocate sites based on their individual merits, D: Use criteria based policy approach for all mineral types, E:Consider on a mineral by mineral basis.
  • In conclusion option A: 'Prioritise extensions to existing permitted quarries' was considered to be most sustainable.

Introduction

4.6. Aggregates make a significant contribution to the construction industry, accounting for around 90% of the materials used. In England alone, nearly a quarter of a billion tonnes are consumed every year. Sustaining this level of demand is of national concern and raises major planning and environmental issues. All mineral planning authorities are required to plan for a certain proportion of the national demand for all aggregate minerals, known as the local apportionment, and to maintain a certain level of permitted reserves, known as the landbank.

4.7. Nottinghamshire has historically been a significant producer of sand and gravel the East Midlands, most of which comes from the Trent and Idle Valleys. This river or 'alluvial' mineral is mainly used in the production of concrete. Building and asphalting sand is produced from the Sherwood Sandstone resource but in much smaller quantities. Nottinghamshire's limestone production is relatively small, accounting for just 0.1% of the regional output, reflecting the County's limited resource of this mineral.

Policy MP1: Aggregate Provision

  1. To meet identified levels of demand for aggregate mineral over the plan period (2017-2036) the following provision will be made:
    • 32.30 million tonnes of Sand and Gravel
    • 7.03 million tonnes of Sherwood Sandstone
    • 0.09 million tonnes of crushed rock
  1. The County Council will make provision for the maintenance of landbanks of at least 7 years for sand and gravel, 7 years for Sherwood Sandstone and 10 years for crushed rock, whilst maintaining a steady and adequate supply over the plan period.
  1. Proposals for aggregate extraction outside those areas identified in policies MP2, MP3 and MP4 will be supported where a need can be demonstrated.

Justification

4.8. The National Planning Policy Framework requires MPAs to produce a Local Aggregates Assessment (LAA) on an annual basis. This assesses both the demand for and supply of aggregates based on the average of the last 10 and 3 year sales data. This takes into account all possible supply options including the availability or otherwise of secondary or recycled aggregates as well as land-won sources. It also takes account of any significant local infrastructure projects that are taking place, or planned, and any opportunities or constraints that might influence future aggregate production.

4.9. MPAs are also required to work with other local Mineral Planning Authorities through an Aggregate Working Party to ensure that the approaches taken remain consistent and adequate supply is maintained. Nottinghamshire is part of the East Midlands Aggregate Working Party.

4.10. Based on the findings of the Local Aggregates Assessment published in October 2017 (December 2016 data) demand over the plan period has been calculated. For this exercise the plan period covers a 19 year period from 2018-2036. Tables 1 and 2 set out the production figures and demand over the plan period.

Table 1 Annual aggregate production (million tonnes)


2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Sand and gravel

2.97

2.37

1.27

1.56

1.71

1.55

1.39

1.43

1.52

1.27

Sherwood Sandstone

0.55

0.46

0.32

0.32

0.35

0.36

0.34

0.34

0.38

0.32

Crushed rock

0.03

0.02

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Table 2 LAA Average Production Figure and Estimated Total Aggregate Demand (million tonnes)


LAA derived annual production figure

Estimated demand 2018-2036 (19 years)

Sand and gravel

1.7

32.3

Sherwood Sandstone

0.37

7.03

Crushed rock

0.005

0.095

4.11. Some of the estimated demand shown in Table 2 above, can be met from remaining permitted reserves (i.e. the mineral that is left in existing quarries that can still be worked). However, for most minerals, this will not be sufficient to cover the whole of the plan period and additional reserves will need to be permitted in order to make up the shortfall.

4.12. For each of the minerals (sand and gravel, Sherwood Sandstone and crushed rock) the shortfall has been calculated by deducting the estimated level of permitted reserves from the total amount of aggregate required over the life of the Plan. However it is important to remember that the level of permitted reserves can change over time as minerals operators re-assess the available reserves at each site. The level of remaining reserves will also be affected by any change in the annual output from each site. This highlights the importance of annual monitoring as set out in Chapter 6.

4.13. One of the most important indicators for aggregates is to assess how long the current stock of permitted reserves is likely to last. This is known as the 'landbank'. All MPAs are required to maintain a landbank of at least seven years' worth of sand and gravel reserves and ten years' worth of crushed rock reserves. The average production figures set out in the LAA will be compared against the permitted reserves of aggregates to monitor the level of the landbanks. If permitted reserves fall significantly below the required amount this could trigger a review of this section of the plan. Further information is available in the monitoring chapter.

4.14. The specific provision policies MP2 – MP4, below, show how the Plan will meet the anticipated shortfalls for each aggregate mineral and how the proposed sites have been selected.

This policy helps meet the following objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 10

What do you think of the draft policy approach towards aggregate provision?

MP2: Sand and Gravel provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • Responses were split between those who thought it was important to maintain a geographical spread of minerals. Reasoning given focuses on the need to minimise transportations distances, minimising environmental impacts, providing a steady and adequate supply of resources and ensuring that sites are located in relation to markets and demand (both within and outside the County).
  • Other respondents thought that a geographical spread is just one factor that needs to be evaluated due to impacts on local residents, the availability of capacity on the highway network and the availability of recycled minerals in the main urban areas.
  • Generally, respondents felt that prioritising specific geographic areas above others would not be appropriate, instead, each site should be judged on its own merits.
  • Other suggestions included prioritising sites closest to the market, prioritising those with good transport links/access to barging or those that have the least impact on the local area.
  • There was general agreement that the use of barges along the River Trent would provide a sustainable form of transport minimising minerals related HGV's. However there was an equal amount of concern regarding the actual financial viability of setting up the infrastructure needed for river barging particularly over a shorter distances.
  • It was highlighted that the East Inshore and East Offshore Marine Plans maybe relevant to the Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal Findings:

  • Five options were appraised when considering the plans approach to the location of future sand and gravel quarries. Option A: Geographical spread across the County, B: Prioritise specific areas, C: Prioritise locations with potential for transport sand and gravel by river barge, D: Allocate sites based on their individual merits, E: Use criteria based policy approach.
  • In summary options A: 'Geographical spread across the County' and C 'Prioritise locations with potential for transporting sand and gravel by river barge' were considered to be the most suitable.

Introduction

4.15. In geological terms the sand and gravel resource is extensive, located in the Trent and Idle River valleys. Within the Trent Valley, production has historically been concentrated around Nottingham and Newark. This pattern has developed at least in part in response to a need to be close to the main markets for the mineral (due to sand and gravel being a low cost bulk material, meaning that haulage is a significant element of its cost). Currently between a third to a half of the County's production supplies markets in Yorkshire and Humberside, which the Idle Valley is well placed to serve.

Policy MP2: Sand and Gravel Provision

  1. An adequate supply of sand and gravel will be identified to meet expected demand over the plan period from:
  1. The extraction of remaining reserves at the following permitted quarries:
  2. (Million tonnes)

    MP2a Misson West 0.03mt

    MP2b Newington South 0.39mt

    MP2c Finningley 0.45mt

    MP2d Sturton Le Steeple 7.50mt

    MP2e Bawtry Road 0.60mt

    MP2f Cromwell 2.40mt

    MP2g Besthorpe 0.50mt

    MP2h Girton 3.56mt

    MP2i Langford Lowfields 1.35mt

    MP2j East Leake 2.34mt

    MP2k Scrooby 0.62mt

  3. The following extensions to existing permitted quarries:
  4. MP2l Bawtry Road west 0.18mt

    MP2m Scrooby Thompson Land 0.40mt

    MP2n Scrooby North 0.39mt* (0.62mt)

    MP2o Langford Lowfields south and west 3.60mt

    MP2p Langford Lowfields North 4.70mt* (8.00mt)

    MP2q East Leake North 0.75mt

  5. New sand and gravel quarries:
  6. MP2r Botany Bay 2.44mt

    MP2s Mill Hill nr Barton in Fabis 3.0mt**

Note: The above sites are shown on the Policies Map

Proposals to extract specialist grey sand reserves will be supported where a need can be demonstrated.

Planning applications for site allocations should be made in accordance with the site development briefs set out in Appendix 3

* Available within the plan period (total estimated reserves in brackets).
**Excludes potential reserves within the Nottingham City administrative area.

Justification

4.16. Based on the average production figures set out in the aggregate provision policy MP1, the plan needs to provide an estimated 32.3 million tonnes of sand and gravel over the plan period (see Table 1).

4.17. As of December 2016 there were 11 permitted sand and gravel sites (MP2a-k) located around the County containing estimated reserves of 17.5 million tonnes. Whilst these sites will initially help to maintain a seven year landbank and ensure continuity of supplies, there is a need to secure additional reserves over the Plan period.

4.18. The estimated sand and gravel shortfall over the plan period will therefore be 14.8 million tonnes of sand and gravel up to 2036.

4.19. Given that sand and gravel can only be worked where it is found, a geographical spread of sites has been identified to enable the continued supply of sand and gravel to the different market areas to minimise the wider impacts of HGV transport.

4.20. As a result, Policy MP2 allocates 6 extensions to existing quarries (MP2l-q) and 2 new quarries (MP2r-s) which total 15.46 million tonnes.

4.21. Table 3 below sets out a summary of the site allocations and how each is expected to contribute towards the sand and gravel shortfall over the plan period. A delivery schedule, which looks at how each of the extensions and new sites will contribute to the shortfall, can also be found in Appendix 2.

Table 3 Contributions to the sand and gravel shortfall over the plan period

Site

Location

Reserves

(million tonnes)

Operational period (inclusive)

Extensions

MP2l

Bawtry Road west

Idle Valley

0.18

2026-2031

MP2m

Scrooby, Thompson Land

Idle Valley

0.40

2019-2029

MP2n

Scrooby North

Idle Valley

0.39*

2023- beyond plan period

MP2o

Langford Lowfields south and west

Newark

3.60

2018-2026

MP2p

Langford Lowfields north

Newark

4.70*

2026 - beyond plan period

MP2q

East Leake north

Nottingham

0.75

2026-2030

New sites

MP2r

Botany Bay

Idle Valley

2.44

2020-2032

MP2s

Mill Hill nr Barton In Fabis

Nottingham

3.0**

2018-2033

Total


15.46


*available within the plan period

** Excludes potential reserves within the Nottingham City administrative area

Misson Grey Sand

4.22. Deposits of grey building sand occur erratically in the Misson area, sometimes below the main sand and gravel resource and sometimes at the surface. Historically, this grey sand has been worked on a relatively small scale. This sand is used as grey mortar sand, which has a premium value because most local mortar sands are red and yellow being derived from the Sherwood Sandstone.

4.23. Although counted as sand and gravel in planning and landbank terms, it would be inappropriate to treat it as part of the normal sand and gravel resource when assessing 'need'. This is because the grey sand serves a particular niche market which alluvial sand and gravel cannot meet. It is therefore reasonable to allow continued production of this sand, irrespective of the prevailing Countywide sand and gravel landbank.

Site Information

Existing permitted quarries and proposed extensions – Idle Valley

Misson West (MP2a)

4.24. The existing permitted site is located 1.5km south west of Misson village and 4km north east of Bawtry. The quarry has permitted reserves which are expected to last until the end of 2018. There are no further extensions possible to this site. (See appendix 4 – inset 2)

Newington South (MP2b)

4.25. This existing permitted site is located 2km south west of Misson Village and 3.5km north east of Bawtry. The quarry has permitted reserves which are expected to last until 2019. There are no further extensions possible to the quarry and it will be restored to low lying wetland. (See appendix 4 – inset 2)

Finningley (MP2c)

4.26. The existing permitted quarry is located to the south east of Finningley village and crosses the border between Nottinghamshire and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC). The quarry has a permitted reserves until 2019. No further extensions to the quarry are considered possible. (See appendix 4 – inset 1)

Sturton Le Steeple (MP2d)

4.27. The existing permitted area is located to the east of Sturton Le Steeple village, approximately 9km south of Gainsborough. The quarry has planning permission but extraction has yet to commence. The planned output for the site is 450,000 tonnes per annum and has an expected life of 20 years. The quarry will be restored to a combination of nature conservation including wetland, agriculture and forestry. (See appendix 4 – inset 6)

Bawtry Road (MP2e)

4.28. The existing permitted quarry is located between Misson to the east and Newington to the south. The quarry is expected to have sufficient permitted reserves until 2026. The quarry will be restored to agricultural land.

4.29. The proposed western extension to the quarry (MP2k) covers 3.4 Ha and is expected to be worked towards once existing reserves have been worked in 2026. Output will remain in line with the existing permitted quarry at approximately 30,000 tonnes per annum and will continue to use existing plant site and access. Reserves are expected to last approximately 6 years. (See appendix 4 – inset 2)

Scrooby

4.30. Extraction has taken place at Scrooby since the 1930s, working both sand and gravel and Sherwood Sandstone (see policy MP3 for Sherwood Sandstone). An existing permitted Sand and gravel quarry (MP2k) has sufficient reserves until 2023. The existing processing plant remains in use.

4.31. Two extensions to this quarry are allocated. Both would utilise the existing processing plant and site access. Need to talk about both extensions

4.32. The proposed Thompson Land (MP2m) is expected to be worked from 2019. The quarry would be worked over a 10 year period at a rate of approximately 40,000 tonnes per annum.

4.33. The proposed Scrooby north quarry (MP2n) will supplement the Scrooby Thompson Land quarry in 2023 at an approximate output of 15,000 tonnes per annum. (See appendix 4 – inset 3)

Existing permitted quarries and proposed extensions - Newark area

Cromwell Quarry (MP2f)

4.34. The existing quarry is located to the north-east of Cromwell village alongside the A1, nine kilometres north of Newark. The quarry is currently being worked and has reserves sufficient for a further 4 years production. Due to the quarry's location close to the A1, mineral can be transported to northern or southern markets.

Besthorpe Quarry (MP2g)

4.35. The existing quarry is located to the north west of Besthorpe village near Newark. The quarry has sufficient permitted reserves until the end of 2020. Output at the quarry is approximately 150-200,000 tonnes per annum. Historically a proportion of the sand and gravel produced at the quarry was barged up the river to the Europort at Wakefield. However this has not taken place for a number of years. The site is predominantly being restored to wetland habitats and is being managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. (see appendix 4 - Inset 10)

Girton Quarry (MP2h)

4.36. The existing quarry is located 8km north of North Collingham and 16km from Newark. The quarry is currently 'mothballed' but has permission until 2036. Sand and gravel is being worked from existing stockpiles at around 50,000 tonnes per annum but this is expected to increase to 100,000 in approximately 2020 when the quarry is expected to re-open. The quarry will be restored back to agriculture and wetland conservation. (See appendix 4 – inset 9)

Langford Lowfields Quarry (MP2i)

4.37. The existing quarry is located between Langford and Collingham, north of Newark. A small southern extension to the site was permitted in 2014 extending the life of the site to 2018. Planned output at the quarry is approximately 450,000 tonnes per annum. The quarry is being reclaimed to a major wildfowl/wetland reserve which is being managed by the RSPB. A number of extensions were put forward and after assessing the sites, both have been allocated (set out below). All the proposed extensions would continue to utilise the existing plant site and access on to the A1133. (See appendix 4 – inset 10)

Langford South and West (MP2o)

4.38. The southern and western allocation covers an area of approx. 127.2 Ha and would follow on from the permitted quarry, maintaining output at its current level until 2026. A planning application for this area was submitted to the County Council, and at July’s Planning and Licencing Committee it was resolved to grant planning permission subject to the agreement of a legal agreement.

Langford North (MP2p)

4.39. The Northern allocation covers an area of approx. 124 ha and has an expected life beyond this plan period. This area would be worked after the southern and western extension and would maintain output at its current level. (See appendix 4 – inset 10)

Existing permitted quarries and proposed extensions –Nottingham area

East Leake Quarry (MP2j)

4.40. The existing permitted quarry is located 1km to the south of East Leake. The quarry has sufficient permitted reserves until the end of 2026 at an output of 180,000 tonnes per annum. The quarry is being restored to agriculture and nature conservation. One extension to the site is allocated which would utilise the existing processing plant and site access.

4.41. The northern extension (MP2q) covers approx. ha and has an expected life of 3-4 years. It is expected the extension would be started once the existing site has been worked out. Output is expected to be between 180,000-250,000 tonnes per annum and would continue to utilise the existing processing plant and site access. (See appendix 4 – inset 19)

New greenfield quarries - Idle Valley area

Botany Bay (MP2r)

4.42. This is an allocation for a new greenfield allocation located 3km northwest of Retford. The site is being promoted as a replacement for the recent production loss in the Idle Valley particularly through the closure of Finningley expected in 2019/2020. The allocation covers 100ha and has an estimated life of 12 years, with an output of 200,000 tonnes per annum. (See appendix 4 – inset 5)

New greenfield quarries - Nottingham area

Mill Hill near Barton In Fabis (MP2s)

4.43. This is a draft allocation for a new greenfield site that is located 6km west of Nottingham. Output from the site would be approximately 280,000 tonnes per annum. The site is expected to be operational in 2019 and would be worked over a 15 year period. The quarry would be restored using a range of habitats including floodplain grazing marsh, reed bed, low land grassland and agricultural land. The draft allocation area contains approximately 3 million tonnes of reserves, however a planning application for a larger site that also covers an area within the Nottingham City administrative area has been received by both the County and City Councils. (appendix 4 – inset 18)


This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 11

What do you think of the draft site specific sand and gravel allocations?

MP3: Sherwood Sandstone provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • The industry stated that there is a need, where resources exists to maintain production of Sherwood Sandstone through extensions to existing quarries or new quarries to meet the specific market needs.
  • It was highlighted that it was important to protect the sandstone aquifer and that the broad area is in close proximity to areas important for nightjars and woodlarks and that have been identified for inclusion in the Sherwood Forest ppSPA.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Four options were assessed when considering the plans approach to the location of future Sherwood Sandstone quarries. Option A: Prioritise extensions to existing permitted quarries, Option B: Prioritise new greenfield sites, Option C: Allocate sites based on their individual merits, Option D: use criteria based policy approach.
  • In summary option A: 'Prioritise extensions to existing permitted quarries' was considered to be the most sustainable.

Introduction

4.44. Sherwood Sandstone is a specialist form of sand and gravel that is used primarily as asphalt and mortar sand. It accounts for around a sixth of the County's sand and gravel production. The Sherwood Sandstone resource covers nearly a quarter of the County, occurring as a broad belt between Nottingham and South Yorkshire. This is also a major aquifer and serves as an important water source for a wide area. Different grades and colours of sands (which have varying end uses) are found in the resource, however there is no comprehensive geological information about how these are distributed.

Policy MP3: Sherwood Sandstone Provision

An adequate supply of Sherwood Sandstone will be identified to meet expected demand over the plan period from:

  1. The extraction of remaining reserves at the following permitted quarries:
  2. (Million tonnes)

    MP3a Burntstump 1.88mt

    MP3b Bestwood 2 1.30mt

    MP3c Carlton Forest 0.07mt

    MP3d Scrooby Top 0.60mt

  3. The following extensions to existing quarries.
  4. MP3e Bestwood 2 East 1.44mt

    MP3f Bestwood 2 North 0.75mt

    MP3g Scrooby Top North 1.68mt* (4.83mt)

Note: The above sites are shown on the Policies Map

Planning applications for site allocations should be made in accordance with the site development briefs set out in Appendix 3

* Available within the plan period (total estimated reserves in brackets).

Justification

4.45. Based on the Sherwood Sandstone requirement set out in the aggregate provision policy (MP1), the plan needs to provide 7.03 million tonnes of Sherwood Sandstone over the plan period.

4.46. As of December 2016 there were 4 permitted Sherwood Sandstone sites which contained estimated reserves of 3.85 million tonnes. Whilst these sites will help to maintain a seven year landbank and ensure continuity of supplies, there is a need to secure additional reserves over the plan period.

4.47. Using the annual production figure included in Table 1 and the estimated Sherwood Sandstone reserves from 2016, the plan would need to provide an additional 3.3 million tonnes of Sherwood Sandstone up to 2036.

4.48. The plan will therefore have to allocate further reserves to make up the expected shortfall in provision. Policy MP3 therefore identifies proposed extensions at three existing sites as discussed below. The delivery schedule, in Appendix 2 shows how these extensions are expected to contribute towards the shortfall.

Table 4 Contributions to the Sherwood Sandstone shortfall over the plan period

Site

Reserves

(million tonnes)

Operational period (inclusive)

MP3g

Scrooby Top North

1.68*

2022 - beyond plan period

MP3e

Bestwood II East

1.44

2018-2029

MP3f

Bestwood II North

0.75

2029-2035

Total

3.87


*available within the plan period

Site information

Burnt stump (MP3a)

4.49. This existing quarry is located 3.5km west of Calverton. The quarry has planning permission until the end of 2021, although given the high level of permitted reserves the operator may apply for an extension of time in the future. Restoration will be to agriculture and woodland. (See appendix 4 – inset 15)

Bestwood 2 (MP3b)

4.50. This existing permitted quarry is located 1 mile south of Ravenshead and 6 miles south of Mansfield. The existing quarry has a planned output of 140,000 tonnes per annum and is due to be worked out by 2020. The site restoration will include heathland, marshland and sandstone cliff habitats.

4.51. An eastern extension is allocated (MP3e). The allocation will be commenced once the existing permitted reserves have been worked out at the current extraction rate of 140,000 tonnes per annum. The quarry is expected to have a life of 11 years and will utilise the existing processing plant and access. (See appendix 4 – inset 14)

4.52. A northern extension is also allocated (MP3f). The allocation will be commenced once the eastern extension has been worked out in 2029. Output will remain at 140,000 tonnes per annum for approximately 6 years. The existing processing plant and access will be used. (see appendix 4 – inset 14)

Carlton Forest (MP3c)

4.53. This existing quarry is located 2 miles to the north east of Worksop. The quarry is currently dormant but still has 54,000 tonnes of permitted reserves remaining. The quarry will be restored to agriculture.

Scrooby Top (MP3d)

4.54. Extraction has taken place at Scrooby since the 1930s working both sand and gravel and Sherwood Sandstone (see policy MP2 for sand and gravel). Extraction at this site is expected to be adequate until 2022.

4.55. A northern extension is allocated (MP3g) The allocation covers 25 ha and will be commenced once the existing permitted reserves are worked out. Output is planned at 120,000 tonnes per annum for 40 years and will utilise the existing processing plant and access. (See appendix 4 – inset 3)

This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 12

What do you think of the draft site specific Sherwood Sandstone allocations?


MP4: Crushed rock (limestone) provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • It was stated that demand for crushed rock is increasing both at a national and regional level and has returned to pre-recession levels. This trend may increase the need for crushed rock in Nottinghamshire.
  • No other issues were forward that may impact on future demand for crushed rock.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Three options were assessed when considering how additional further reserves would be identified if additional demand is required over the plan period. Option A: Allocate site (s), option B: Criteria based policy subject to need for additional provision, option C: Combination of site allocations and criteria based policy (subject to need)
  • In summary option C: 'combination of site allocations and criteria based policy (subject to need)' was considered to be the most sustainable.

Introduction

4.56. Around 60 million tonnes of limestone are extracted in Great Britain every year making it the largest mineral extractive industry in the Country[1]. The majority of this is used as an aggregate, the remainder being used in the cement, chemical, glass, iron and steel industries and agriculture. Limestone is also an important source of building and ornamental stone.

4.57. Although the East Midlands is one of the most important limestone producing areas, Nottinghamshire's resources are relatively limited and the only permitted reserves are at Nether Langwith Quarry (currently dormant). Limestone is the only 'hard rock' of any economic interest to be found in the County and by regional standards output is very low.

Policy MP4: Crushed Rock (limestone) Provision

An adequate supply of limestone will be identified to meet expected demand over the plan period from the extraction of remaining reserves at the following permitted site:

(Million tonnes)

MP4a Nether Langwith 3.34mt

Note: The above site is shown on the Policies Map

Justification

4.58. Based on the limestone requirements set out in the aggregate provision policy (MP1), the plan does not need to provide any further limestone as current permitted reserves at Nether Langwith quarry (see appendix 4 – inset 7) are adequate to cover the plan period. The quarry has planning permission until 2035 at a planned output of 250,000 tonnes per annum, however actual output has been much lower and it has not been worked for a number of years. At this point it would provide the opportunity to review the restoration scheme to ensure it is in-line with policy SP2 Biodiversity-Led Restoration.

This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 13

What do you think of the draft policy to meet expected crushed rock demand over the plan period?

MP5: Secondary and recycled aggregates

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • Responses were split between those who thought that alternative aggregates had reached a peak, and that recycling levels will rise and fall in line with the level of construction activity and economic conditions.
  • And those that thought that a much greater emphasis and commitment to alternative aggregates (and their recycling) should be demonstrated in order to significantly increase levels recycled.
  • It was stated that the fall in the availability of certain alternative aggregates such as power station ash and desulphogypsum was likely in the mid-term due to the closer of the coal fired power stations.
  • Overall a policy on Alternative Aggregates was welcomed by many respondents.
  • The potential to use material from colliery spoil heaps as aggregate was stated as an opportunity that should be investigated.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Two options were appraised when considering how the plan will deal with alternative aggregates. Option A: Include a policy to promote the use of alternative aggregates, option B: Do not include a policy on alternative aggregates.
  • In summary option A: 'Include a policy to promote the use of alternative aggregates' was considered to be most sustainable.

Introduction

4.59. The terms 'recycled' and 'secondary' aggregate are often used interchangeably. The term 'recycled aggregates' refers to aggregates that have been used previously in construction. Recycled aggregates can comprise construction and demolition wastes, asphalt road planings and used railway ballast.

4.60. 'Secondary aggregates' are by-products of other processes, and will not have been used previously as aggregates. They include colliery spoil, china clay waste, slate waste, power station ashes, blast furnace and steel slags, incinerator ashes and foundry sands.

Policy MP5: Secondary and Recycled Aggregates

Development proposals which will increase the supply of secondary and/or recycled aggregates will be supported where it can be demonstrated that there are no significant environmental, transport or other unacceptable impacts.

Justification

4.61. Government policy continues to encourage the use of secondary and recycled materials in construction in order to reduce the need for material from traditional sources. There are substantial amounts of these materials that could contribute further to aggregate supply. In order to conserve natural resources, aggregates (and products manufactured from aggregates) should be recycled wherever possible.

4.62. Although, there is considerable potential for using certain waste materials as secondary aggregates, large quantities either remain on site or end up in landfill. Making greater use of by-products and other waste materials will therefore also help to meet the Government's aim of reducing waste disposal to landfill. The Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Replacement Waste Local Plan sets out strategic policies to promote both temporary and permanent facilities for recycling aggregates centres.

4.63. Where recycled materials are technically, economically and environmentally acceptable as substitutes for primary materials, then they should be used. It is accepted, however, that there may be problems associated with the ability of these materials to meet required British Standard specifications and that their availability or location might make their use disadvantageous in economic terms.

4.64. It is recognised that many of the adverse environmental effects resulting from the extraction of primary aggregates apply to the use of secondary materials. This is because the processes are similar involving the generation of noise, dust and visual intrusion, and road transport using heavy goods vehicles. Incorporating recycling and secondary aggregate operations into an existing mineral development could also increase the overall harmful effect that the site has on the amenity of the surrounding area, or could increase the life of the development beyond that which is considered acceptable.

This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 14

What do you think to the draft policy regarding secondary and recycled aggregates?

MP6: Brick Clay provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • There was general agreement that site specific allocations would provide the most certainty for the industry and local community and assist in forward planning. If this was not possible it was considered adequate to rely on a criteria based policy.
  • There was general agreement that a criteria based policy to consider potential new brick works was the most appropriate method for the Minerals Local Plan.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Three options were appraised when considering how brick clay reserves and brick works should be identified to ensure a steady and adequate supply over the plan period. Option A: Allocate sites/extensions, Option B: Criteria based policy, Option C: Combination of allocations and a criteria based policy.
  • In summary Options A: 'Allocate sites/extensions' and C: 'combination of allocations and criteria based policy' were considered to be the most sustainable.

Introduction

4.65. Brick clay refers to the clay and shale used in the manufacture of building and construction materials. In Nottinghamshire the clay extracted is used for facing bricks, pavers, roofing tiles and clay pipes, although nationally other important uses include cement production.

4.66. Extraction currently only takes place from the Mercia Mudstone resource to the east and south of the County. Resources do exist within the smaller Edlington Formation and Coal measures to the west of the County, however these have not been worked since the 1970s. No detailed assessment has been completed regarding the areas of the Mercia Mudstone which are best suited to brick manufacture; however the 'Gunthorpe Formation' location close to both of Nottinghamshire's existing brick works has been identified by the current operators as particularly suitable.

Policy MP6: Brick Clay Provision

  1. An adequate supply of brick clay will be identified to meet expected demand over the plan period and enable a 25 year landbank per brick works to be maintained from:
    1. The extraction of remaining reserves at the following permitted sites:
    2. MP6a Kirton

      MP6b Dorket Head

    3. The following extensions to existing sites:
    4. MP6c Woodborough Lane 2.7 million cubic metres

Note: The above sites are shown on the Policies Map

  1. Proposals for clay extraction outside the sites identified above will be supported where it can be demonstrated that there are insufficient reserves available to meet the 25 year landbank requirement per site and that the identified sites are not deliverable.

Planning applications for site allocations should be made in accordance with the site development briefs set out in Appendix 3

Justification

4.67. There is no national demand forecast or local apportionment for brick clay although the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) does require a 25 year landbank of permitted brick clay reserves to be identified for each brick works. In Nottinghamshire there are two brick works with associated clay pits operated by two national producers – Dorket Head near Arnold and Kirton near Ollerton. Each site is discussed below:

Kirton (MP6a)

4.68. The existing brick pit is located to the east of Kirton village, 3km from New Ollerton and provides both red-firing and cream-firing clays directly to the brick works adjacent. The red-firing clay accounts for about 90% of demand. Reserves of red-firing clay is expected to be adequate until 2044. Reserves of cream- firing clay are located to the east of the brick works within a separate working area and are expected to be sufficient until at least 2030. The existing pits are being restored to agricultural land at a lower ground level. A small proportion of clay is imported from Waingroves quarry in Derbyshire for use as a blending material. (Appendix 4 – inset 8)

Dorket Head (MP6b)

4.69. The existing brick pit is located to the north of Arnold, ten kilometres from Nottingham. Clay from the pit is supplied directly to the brick works adjacent with permitted reserves expected to be sufficient until 2030. A planning application for a small southern extension has been submitted to the County Council which would provide an additional 3 years worth clay supply. Part of the site is being restored to agricultural land through a landfill scheme whilst the remainder of the site will be restored to agricultural land and woodland at a lower ground level. (see appendix 4 – inset 16)

4.70. An area on Woodborough Lane was put forward by the operator of Dorket Head clay pit as a remote extension and has been allocated. The clay pit would provide additional reserves from the early 2030s for approximately 20 -25 years. This would maintain supplies to the existing brick works. No additional processing plant would be required as the clay would be transported from the extension across the B684 to the existing stockpile within the currently permitted quarry. Restoration would either be to a lower ground level reflecting the existing surroundings or filled with inert materials. This would be considered in further detail at the appropriate time.

New brick works and clay pits

4.71. Any applications for new brick works and clay pits would need to have regard to the Strategic and Development Management policies of the plan, but more particularly be considered in light of the need for the development and any potential environmental, social or economic impacts

This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 15

What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for brick clay?


MP7: Gypsum provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • Having both site specific allocations and a criteria based policy was generally considered preferable. This would enable suitable future reserves to be identified over the plan period.
  • The closure of coal fired power stations across the country is likely to increase the demand for natural gypsum to replace the loss of Desulphogypsum.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Two options were appraised to consider how adequate gypsum reserves should be identified to meet demand over the plan period. Option A: Allocate sites/extensions, Option B: Use a criteria based policy approach.
  • In summary Option A: 'Allocate sites/extensions' was considered to be the most sustainable.

Introduction

4.72. In Nottinghamshire two distinct gypsum resources are worked. The Marblaegis Mine at East Leake exploits the 'Tutbury Gypsum' and supplies an associated plasterboard plant and plaster works. Bantycock Quarry near Balderton, Newark exploits the 'Newark Gypsum'. The lowest seams at this site are very high quality and are the only mineral of this grade to be found in the UK. It is used in specialist plasters and a wide range of other products ranging from dentistry to food additives.

4.73. Since the mid-1990s national and local gypsum production has declined due to increased supplies of desulphogypsum (DSG), a by-product of flue gas desulphurisation plants that have been retrofitted at most coal fired power stations, including all three power stations in Nottinghamshire. The long term future of desulphogypsum is uncertain as new emission controls due in the 2020s could see more coal fired power stations close or switch to other fuels. This is likely to increase the demand for natural gypsum.

Policy MP7: Gypsum Provision

  1. An adequate supply of Gypsum will be identified to meet demand over the plan period from:
    1. The extraction of remaining reserves at the following permitted sites:
    2. MP7a Marblaegis Mine

      MP7b Bantycock Quarry

    3. The following extension to the existing bantycock quarry:
    4. (Million tonnes)

      MP7c Bantycock Quarry South 8.5 million tonnes

Note: The above sites are shown on the Policies Map

  1. Proposals for gypsum extraction outside the permitted sites identified above will be supported where a need can be demonstrated.

Planning applications for site allocations should be made in accordance with the site development briefs set out in Appendix 3

Justification

4.74. There is no national demand forecast or requirement to identify a local apportionment figure for Gypsum production and it is up to the industry to identify adequate reserves to maintain production.

4.75. Permitted reserves at the Marblaegis Mine (MP7a) are sufficient until at least 2026 and represent the full extent of the mine within Nottinghamshire. (See appendix 4 – inset 22). When these reserves are utilised, mining will move eastwards towards Wymeswold in Leicestershire.

4.76. Permitted reserves at Bantycock Quarry are currently expected to be adequate until around 2023 at current rates of extraction. (See appendix 4 – inset 17)

Bantycock Quarry South (MP7c)

4.77. A southern extension to the existing quarry is being proposed for allocation which would be worked once the existing permitted quarry has been exhausted. Output is expected to be between 350,000 – 500,000 tonnes per annum giving the quarry an additional 15-24 years. The restoration of the quarry is proposed to be largely back to agriculture in line with the existing quarry restoration.


This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 16

What do you think of the draft site specific allocation for gypsum?


MP8: Silica sand provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • A criteria based policy was considered the most appropriate approach for this important industrial mineral given that there is a requirement to maintain an adequate landbank over the plan period.
  • It was suggested that additional text could be included to state that any additional future working at Two Oaks quarry should consider the impact on the Sherwood ppSPA and the nightjar and woodlark populations

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Three options were assessed when considering how additional further reserves would be identified if additional demand is required over the plan period. Option A: Criteria based policy subject to need for additional provision, Option B: Identify broad locations, Option C: Rely on development management (DM) policies.
  • In summary options A: 'Criteria based policy subject to need for additional provision' and option B: 'Identify broad locations' were considered to be the most suitable.

Introduction

4.78. Silica sand is a non-aggregate form of Sherwood Sandstone that is also known as 'industrial sand'. Unlike aggregate sands, which are used for their physical properties alone, silica sands are valued for a combination of chemical and physical properties. It is used in the making of glass and creating molds and castings in industrial processing. This sand is also used in sand blasting, adding texture to slick roads and as a raw material in production of ceramics and sports surfaces. Compared to aggregate sand, silica sand resources are much less widespread. In Nottinghamshire silica sand is found within the 'Nottingham Castle Formation'.

4.79. The specialist nature of silica sand products means that the market area is very large and serves local, regional and national requirements. Due to the relatively small volumes of material and the varied destinations all silica sand extracted in Nottinghamshire is currently transported by road.

Policy MP8: Silica Sand Provision

  1. The extraction of remaining reserves at the following permitted sites will be utilised to contribute towards the provision of an adequate and steady supply of silica sand sufficient for at least ten years:
  2. MP8a Two Oaks Farm

Note: The above sites are shown on the Policies Map

  1. Proposals for silica sand extraction outside the sites identified above will be supported where a need can be demonstrated.

Justification

4.80. There is no national demand forecast or local apportionment for silica sand although the NPPF does require a 10 year landbank of permitted reserves to be identified.

4.81. A silica sand quarry at Two Oaks Farm (see appendix 4 – inset 11), south of Mansfield has permitted reserves of approximately 12 million tonnes which is expected to be adequate for around 40 years. This satisfies the recommended 10 year landbank per quarry (or 15 years when significant new capital is needed) set out in national policy.

This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 17

What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for silica sand over the plan period?

MP9: Industrial Dolomite provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • Respondents stressed the importance of protecting heritage assets including Creswell Crags SAM, SSSI and Registered Park and Garden if a quarry proposal was put forward.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Two options were appraised when considering how additional reserves should be identified in the plan if a demand is identified. Option A: Allocate sites, B: Use a criteria based policy approach.
  • In summary option A: 'Allocate sites' was considered to be the most sustainable

Introduction

4.82. Industrial dolomite is an industrial grade limestone that is mainly used in the iron and steel industry. The resource in the UK is rare and locally is only found in parts of the Magnesian Limestone which is mainly worked for aggregate grade mineral. The end market for industrial dolomite products is international due to the scarcity of this high quality mineral.

4.83. No industrial dolomite is currently worked in Nottinghamshire although there are known reserves in a small area near Holbeck village. Just across the County boundary at Whitwell in Derbyshire industrial dolomite is quarried alongside aggregate stone on a large scale. Typically around 1 million tonnes are extracted every year at this quarry with the tonnage being split evenly between the industrial grade and aggregate limestone. The industrial dolomite is processed into a range of refractory and other products in the on-site kilns and then exported to 28 countries spanning 4 continents.

Policy MP9: Industrial Dolomite Provision

Proposals for industrial dolomite extraction will be supported where a need can be demonstrated.

Justification

4.84. There is no national demand forecast or local apportionment for industrial dolomite. However, the NPPF states that Minerals Planning Authorities should plan for a steady and adequate supply of industrial minerals. Given the scarcity of the resource and the international market it supplies it will be important to work with Derbyshire County Council in relation to the existing site at Whitwell Quarry, to ensure that this can be achieved.

4.85. Existing permitted reserves at Whitwell quarry in Derbyshire are expected to be adequate until 2033 for industrial dolomite and 2040 for aggregate grade limestone, however due to operational requirements further reserves are likely to be needed before this date to maintain future production.

4.86. No site specific proposals for Industrial Dolomite were put forward for consideration as part of the evidence gathering process. As a result a criteria based policy is being proposed.

4.87. The known industrial dolomite reserve in Nottinghamshire is located closeto Creswell Crags which is categorised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and forms part of the Registered Park and Garden of Welbeck Abbey. The Crags are also identified on a short list for a potential future World Heritage Site. Therefore any proposal would require careful consideration of the potential impacts on the historic environment offset against the international need for the mineral.

This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 18

What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for Industrial dolomite over the plan period?

MP10: Building Stone provision

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • No evidence was put forward to suggest additional reserves would be required over the plan period or that there were any other issues that needed to be considered.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Three options were appraised when considering how the plan should identify future building stone reserves to meet local demand. Option A: Allocate sites/extensions, Option B: use a criteria based policy approach, Option C: combination of the allocations and criteria based policy.
  • In summary Options A: 'Allocate sites / extensions' and C:'Combination of site allocations and criteria-based policy' were considered to be the most sustainable.

Introduction

4.88. The continued quarrying of local building stones play an important role in helping to preserve the historic environment and enhancing the local distinctiveness of an area. Local stone is needed to allow existing historic buildings to be properly repaired and it also means new buildings in historic areas can blend in more effectively. The only permitted building stone quarry in Nottinghamshire quarries Bulwell Stone, a buff coloured limestone used as a building stone and more widely as a walling stone used to front many older properties in Nottingham and its suburbs.

Policy MP10: Building Stone Provision

  1. The extraction of building stone at the following permitted site will be utilised to maintain future supply:
  2. MP10a Yellowstone Quarry

  1. Proposals for the extraction of building stone outside the permitted site identified above will be supported where it can be demonstrated that extraction will be primarily for non-aggregate use.

Note: The above site is shown on the Policies Map

Justification

4.89. National policy is reflected through Strategic Objective 7 (page 15), in that the identification of building stone quarries should be supported to ensure that adequate provision can be made to help conserve the historic built environment and local distinctiveness. Yellowstone quarry at Linby has planning permission to extract building stone but it is currently inactive. If reopened this could provide building stone to serve the local market and is the only such quarry in Nottinghamshire. (see appendix 4 – inset 16)

4.90. To date no other sites have been put forward, however demand for a specific building stone could drive the need to develop a new quarry. In this instance criterion 2 in policy MP10 will be used to assess future applications at other sites to ensure that the specialised resource is not used for aggregate purposes. This is in line with national requirements to make the best use of the limited resources to secure long term conservation.

4.91. In demonstrating a need, regard should be had to the Strategic Stone Study for Nottinghamshire, which sets out the significant building stones used in historical buildings and the potential quarries which could supply it.

This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

SO7: Protecting and enhancing historic assets

No Comments Question 19

What do you think to the draft policy to meet demand for building stone over the plan period?

MP11: Coal

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • Some respondents suggested that consideration is given to 'softening' planning requirements for coal extraction for power plants that use carbon capture storage.
  • Other respondents thought that fossil fuels should be withdrawn and all energies should be put into sustainable and renewable sources of energy.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Two options were appraised to consider how the plan should consider the future requirements for coal provision or the reworking of spoil tips/lagoons. Option A: Use a criteria based policy approach, Option B: Rely on development management (DM) policies.
  • In summary Option A: 'use a criteria based policy approach' was considered to be the most sustainable.

Introduction

4.92. Most of Nottinghamshire's coal resources are deeply buried and have to be exploited by deep coal mining. It is only in the far west of the County along the Erewash Valley where the coal measures are exposed, that surface (opencast) extraction is possible. The last deep mine in Nottinghamshire located at Thoresby Colliery closed in July 2015. A proposal to work surface mined coal at Shortwood Farm near Cossall has planning permission but has yet to be worked. (see Plan 4).

Colliery tipping

4.93. When coal is mined, a considerable amount of waste spoil is removed, which has to be disposed of. Due to the closures of the remaining collieries in Nottinghamshire, it is unlikely that any additional land will be required for spoil disposal over the plan period. If in the future new coal reserves are exploited this may be a significant consideration for any new proposal.

Coal recovery

4.94. Historical coal processing was often inefficient and substantial quantities of coal were left in the spoil. At some sites it may now be economic to recover this coal, which can amount to several hundred thousand tonnes in a single large tip. Coal recovery involves the re-excavation of spoil for processing, the remainder of which is then re-deposited within the original tipping area. The last tip to be worked in this way was Langton Colliery tip near Kirkby in Ashfield, between 2011 and 2013 (see Plan 4).

Policy MP11: Coal

  1. Permission for the extraction of coal will only be granted where:
    1. the proposal is environmentally acceptable, or can be made so by mitigation; or
    2. the proposal provides national, local or community benefits which clearly outweigh the likely adverse impacts.

Along with the above the following will be taken into account:

Surface mined coal: Incidental mineral extraction

  1. Where proposals for surface mined coal are acceptable, proposals for the recovery and stockpiling of fireclays and other incidental minerals will be supported where this does not result in any unacceptable environmental or amenity impact.

Colliery Tipping

  1. Proposals for colliery tipping will be supported where:
    1. a need can be demonstrated; and
    2. the proposal is environmentally acceptable.

Reworking colliery spoil tips/lagoons

  1. Applications will be supported for the reworking of colliery spoil tips/lagoons where the environmental and economic benefits of the development, including addressing the likelihood of spontaneous combustion and substantial environmental improvement of the site, outweigh the environmental or amenity impacts of the development or the loss of established landscape and wildlife features.

Justification

4.95. National guidance sets out that permission should not be granted for the extraction of coal unless it can be made environmentally acceptable through planning conditions or if not where local or national benefits outweigh the likely impacts. There are no production targets as the Government believes this is a matter for the markets reinforced by long term policy measures.

4.96. Although it is unlikely that additional colliery tipping will be required during the plan period, this activity can have significant impacts in terms of land take and visual prominence. Should proposals for future coal extraction come forward, these will need to be accompanied by details of how the spoil would be managed.

4.97. The reworking of colliery spoil tips and lagoons is in principle a sustainable activity as it recovers coal that has been discarded as waste and it can provide an opportunity to properly reclaim old tips/lagoons that may have been left in a poor state. However, it can also have a significant impact on the environment in terms of visual intrusion, traffic movements, noise and dust. These impacts have to be weighed against the benefits, which could include opportunities for landscape or habitat enhancement.

This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO1: Improving the sustainability of minerals development

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 20

What do you think of the draft policy relating to meet demand for coal over the plan period?


MP12: Hydrocarbon Minerals

What you told us at the Issues and Options stage…

  • Generally a single criteria-based policy which covers exploration, appraisal and production stages was considered in line with national policy.
  • However the main focus of the responses related to shale gas and 'fracking'. Concerns regarding this type extraction related to impacts on local communities, climate emission reduction, well casing reliability, groundwater protection and gas leakage.

Issues and Options Sustainability Appraisal findings:

  • Three options were appraised when considering what approach the plan should take towards hydrocarbons. Option A: Use single criteria based policy approach for all hydrocarbons, Option B: Have separate criteria based policies for each type of hydrocarbon, Option C: Allocate sites.
  • In summary Option C: 'Allocate sites' was considered to be the most sustainable.

Introduction

4.98. Hydrocarbon minerals comprising oil and gas are the most important energy minerals produced and consumed in the UK. In 2010, 125 million tonnes were produced in the UK, whilst 165 million tonnes were consumed[2].

4.99. Historically, two main forms of hydrocarbons have been worked in Nottinghamshire; oil and mine gas, however other unconventional hydrocarbons such as coal bed methane and shale gas extraction are being developed and could be worked over the plan period. Plan 4 identifies the hydrocarbon resources and sites in Nottinghamshire. Further information regarding the existing permitted sites can be found in the Hydrocarbons background paper on the County Council website.

Oil

4.100. Oil has been extracted on a small scale since the Second World War when oil reserves in deeply buried sandstones were identified at Eakring. Since then further oil fields have been identified, mostly in north Nottinghamshire, but also as far south as Rempstone near the boundary with Leicestershire. The oil recovered in Nottinghamshire is of high quality and mainly used in the plastics and chemical industries rather than as a fuel. The majority of oil is taken by rail from the central collecting station at Gainsborough to refineries at Immingham, Humberside.

Mine gas

4.101. Mine gas refers to the methane that is released from coal seams during deep mining. When mining ceases and ventilation shafts are closed, this gas can fill the mineshafts and other voids and can escape to the surface where it can pose a threat to health and safety in the locality. The situation has become much more prevalent recently because of the number of Nottinghamshire collieries that have closed over the last 30 years. Mine gas can be recovered and burnt to generate electricity.

Coal bed methane

4.102. Coal bed methane extraction involves removing methane directly from the coal seam without actually mining the coal. The industry is most developed in the USA, whilst in the UK and Europe it remains in its infancy. Interest is however developing and it could become a significant energy source for the future. In Nottinghamshire a number of proposals for coal bed methane exploration have been granted planning permission. Nearly all of Nottinghamshire overlies a potential coal bed methane resource but the most promising prospects are believed to exist in the eastern half of the County due to the geological formation.

Underground coal gasification

4.103. Energy can also be recovered from coal in the ground by a process known as 'underground coal gasification'. This burns the coal underground using steam/water and oxygen to generate hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane. It generates far more energy than coal bed methane which does not extract any energy from the solid coal itself. This technology has not been applied to any significant extent and the prospect of this technology being developed remains uncertain.

Shale gas

4.104. Vast quantities of methane exist in many shale deposits worldwide and recent technological advances have now made it economically possible to exploit them. The technology and exploitation of shale gas is most advanced in the USA where it has gone through a period of very rapid development and is now exploited on a very large scale. The UK also has a significant, but as yet largely untested potential shale gas resource. In Nottinghamshire, potential shale gas resources are thought to exist in deeply buried shale deposits found in the far south and north of the County.

4.105. Shale gas extraction is a very intensive activity that involves vertical and horizontal drilling to reach the shale rock formation. A mixture of water, sand and additives is then pumped under high pressure into the bore hole to fracture the rock (a process known as 'fracking'). The gas trapped in the rock is then released and can be collected.

Policy MP12: Hydrocarbon Minerals

Exploration

  1. Proposals for hydrocarbon exploration will be supported provided they do not give rise to any unacceptable impacts on the environment or residential amenity.

Appraisal

  1. Where hydrocarbons are discovered, proposals to appraise, drill and test the resource will be permitted provided that they are consistent with an overall scheme for identifying the extent of the resource and do not give rise to any unacceptable impacts on the environment or residential amenity.

Extraction

  1. Proposals for the extraction of hydrocarbons will be supported provided they are consistent with an overall scheme enabling the full development of the resource and do not give rise to unacceptable impacts on the environment or residential amenity.

Restoration

  1. All applications for hydrocarbon development will be accompanied with details of how the site will be restored once the development is no longer required.

Justification

4.106. The majority of national production is offshore and one of the biggest energy issues facing the UK is the expected rapid decline in our domestic oil and gas production due to the depletion of these resources. By 2020, the UK could be importing around three quarters of its primary energy needs. This factor, combined with high energy prices and recent technological advances has created a very strong impetus to explore and develop new domestic sources of oil and gas. This includes previously untapped 'unconventional' resources such as coal bed methane and shale gas, both of which are known to exist below Nottinghamshire.

4.107. The NPPF states that for oil and gas including unconventional hydrocarbons, minerals planning authorities should develop criteria based policies that clearly distinguish between the three phases of development (exploration, appraisal and production) and to address constraints that apply within licensed areas. It also encourages the capture and use of mine gas from abandoned mines. National energy policy suggests a broadly positive stance subject to the necessary environmental safeguards would be appropriate.

4.108. The Planning Practice Guidance states that existing hydrocarbon developments, along with Petroleum Licence Areas should be identified in local plans (see plan 5). Site specific allocations can be included in the local plan if put forward by the industry, however no such sites were put forward as part of the 'call for sites' exercise undertaken as part of the evidence gathering process.

4.109. It is considered that there is no justifiable reason in planning policy terms to separate shale gas from other hydrocarbon development. All hydrocarbon development has the potential to deliver national energy requirements, but should be subject to environmental safeguards. Applied to the local circumstances of the Minerals Local Plan, the assessment of environmental and amenity impact (i.e. the constraints on hydrocarbon development) is covered by and can be delivered through the application of the development management policies.

4.110. Petroleum Exploration and Development Licenses (PEDL) are issued by The Oil and Gas Authority under powers granted by the Petroleum Act 1998. The current licensed areas are shown on the policies map.

4.111. A UK Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) allows a company to pursue a range of oil and gas exploration activities, subject to necessary drilling/development consents and planning permission.

4.112. Planning permission is one of the main regulatory requirements that operators must meet before drilling a well for both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons. The County Council is responsible for granting permission for the location of any wells and well pads, and will impose conditions to ensure that the impact on the land is acceptable. However it is not the only regulatory body that permission for extraction is required from. They include:

  • The Oil and Gas Authority issues PEDL, gives consent to drill under the Licence once other permissions and approvals are in place, and have responsibility for assessing risk of and monitoring seismic activity, as well as granting consent for flaring or venting;
  • Environment Agency (EA) – protect water resources (including groundwater aquifers), ensure appropriate treatment and disposal of mining waste, emissions to air, and suitable treatment and manage any naturally occurring radioactive materials;
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – regulates the safety aspects of all phases of extraction, in particular responsibility for ensuring the appropriate design and construction of a well casing for any borehole.

4.113. A hydrological assessment will be required in support of any planning application and water availability may be a limiting factor in any proposal.

4.114. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on unconventional hydrocarbons has been produced by the County Council and can be found on the Council's website.


This policy helps meet the following strategic objectives:

SO2: Providing an adequate supply of minerals

No Comments Question 21

What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for hydrocarbon minerals over the plan period?

Plan 5: Coal and hydrocarbons

[1] UK Minerals Statistics Yearbook 2011 British Geological Survey 2012, page 12

[2] UK Minerals Statistics Yearbook 2011 British Geological Survey 2012, page 68-69

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