Abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies: a planning vacuum? - Communities and Local Government Committee Contents


Written evidence from CBI Minerals Group (ARSS 23)

SUMMARY

The CBI Minerals Group represents the minerals extraction industry within the United Kingdom including all major non-energy minerals and coal.

The Group supports the revocation of RSSs, but it is essential that the primacy of maintaining an adequate and steady supply of all minerals is reaffirmed by Government.

The Group welcomes the recognition that mineral planning authorities will have responsibility for continuing to plan for a steady and adequate supply of aggregate minerals to support economic growth and that they should do this within the longstanding arrangements for minerals planning.

It is essential that future arrangements for minerals planning also take account of indigenous supplies of non-aggregate minerals ensuring a steady and adequate supply of these nationally important natural resources.

It is essential that the Government urgently prepares robust arrangements to replace RSS framework.

BACKGROUND

The CBI Minerals Group represents the minerals extraction industry within the United Kingdom including all major non-energy minerals and coal. The Group represents some 400 mineral extraction companies either directly through being members of the Group or indirectly through member trade associations. The membership of the Group is contained in Annex 1.

The UK Minerals Industry produces about 350 million tonnes of minerals per annum, directly contributes £5 billion a year to the economy, and is essential to provide the raw materials on which many important industries depend.

Minerals are essential for development, and sustainable development is only achievable by ensuring an adequate and steady supply of minerals. Adequate supplies are crucial for the success of key development projects such as the 2012 Olympics and Crossrail and for meeting the Government's aims for investment in new infrastructure such as the new generation of nuclear power stations and high speed rail.

The CBI Minerals Group welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Inquiry by the Communities and Local Government Committee.

MAINTAINING A STEADY AND ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF MINERALS

The CBI Minerals Group supports the revocation of RSSs, but it is essential that the primacy of maintaining an adequate and steady supply of all minerals is reaffirmed by Government. The CBIMG therefore welcomes the recognition in the Chief Planner's letter of 6 July announcing the revocation of Regional Strategies, that mineral planning authorities will have responsibility for continuing to plan for a steady and adequate supply of aggregate minerals to support economic growth and that they should do this within the longstanding arrangements for minerals planning with the assistance of the technical advice provided by the Aggregate Working Parties. We also welcome the undertaking given that the Government will work with the minerals industry and local government to agree how minerals planning arrangements should operate in the longer term. We will fully cooperate with this work.

It is essential that future arrangements for minerals planning also take account of indigenous supplies of non-aggregate minerals ensuring a steady and adequate supply of these nationally important natural resources.[12] They are essential raw materials for sustaining the country's industrial base and the economy as a whole.

The safeguarding of mineral resources and the mineral distribution infrastructure such as railheads, wharfage and other handling facilities is essential to ensure the continued sustainable supply of these raw materials to where they are needed.

Unlike other forms of development, minerals can only be worked where they occur in economically viable quantities. It is essential that future arrangements provide for the inter-community movements of minerals. For example; the continued development in the south east of the country is wholly dependent on imported rock from the midlands and the south west and the glass industry is dependent on high quality silica sand that occurs only in a very few locations in the country.

RSS's were intended to provide a focused strategic spatial framework with statutory status within which mineral planning authorities were required to prepare the Local Minerals Development Frameworks. There is already evidence on the ground that the abolition of RSS's has given a "green light" to some mineral planning authorities to go it alone and some have used the uncertainties to further delay, and in some instances halt, the preparation of their Mineral Framework Documents adding yet further inertia to the system. It is essential that the Government urgently prepares robust arrangements for maintaining a steady and adequate supply of all minerals to replace this strategic spatial framework. The Minerals Group will cooperate fully in this work.

Annex 1

MEMBERS OF THE CBI MINERALS GROUP

Aggregate Industries Ltd (Holcim Group)
Alliance Environment and Planning Ltd
HJ Banks Mining
British Aggregates Association
British Ceramic Confederation
British Geological Survey (observer status only)
British Gypsum Ltd (BPB United Kingdom Limited)
Cemex UK Ltd
Confederation of UK Coal Producers
The Crown Estate
Entec UK Limited
Gerald Eve
GVA Grimley LLP
Hanson UK (HeidelbergCement Group)
Imerys
Knights Solicitors
Lafarge
Mills & Reeve Solicitors
Mining Association of UK
Mineral Industry Research Organisation (MIRO)
MJCA Consultants
Nabarro Solicitors
Mineral Products Association
Silbelco UK Ltd
SLR Consulting Ltd
Stephens Scown Solicitors
Tarmac Ltd (Anglo American)
UK Coal Ltd
Wardell Armstrong

September 2010



12   Non-aggregate minerals extracted in England on which industry depends include gypsum, fluorspar, industrial grade silica sands, limestone, salt, potash ball clay, Etruria marl, fire clay, china clay and coal. Back


 
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Prepared 31 March 2011