MPA calls for reform of mineral planning system

MPA calls for reform of mineral planning system
15 June 2020

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has published a policy paper calling for reform of the mineral planning system to ensure future supply to support housing and infrastructure construction, manufacturing and other key strategic sectors of the UK economy.

Coming ahead of the UK Government's anticipated Planning White Paper, the MPA paper highlights the essential role of mineral products and the fundamental importance of the planning system for ensuring supply as the economy recovers. Surveys by the Mineral Products Association show that over a 10-year period, land-won aggregates consumption outstrips the new reserves that are permitted  with 75 per cent of crushed rock reserves and just 63 per cent of sand and gravel reserves replaced between 2009 and 2018.

"Our analysis estimates over 3bnt of construction aggregates alone will be required by 2030, of which 70 per cent will be primary materials that will need to be dug from the ground or dredged from the seabed," said Nigel Jackson, CEO of MPA.

The MPA paper proposes a number of key reforms specific to mineral planning, including:
• National statements of need for minerals and mineral products, including new National and sub-national guidelines for aggregates provision should provide a more consistent ‘forecast of future demand’ to support the development of local plans
• Continued monitoring at both national and local scales to support function and delivery of the managed aggregate supply system
• Major construction projects should be required to produce 'resource assessments and material supply audits' as part of their development processes to provide greater visibility around future needs, and ensure the right materials are available in the right place and at the right time
• Establishing regional 'centres of excellence' for mineral planning delivery, pooling resources to deliver mineral planning services across authorities to address the lack of specialist minerals planning skills and experience within planning departments
• Establishing the primacy of the planning permission as the main 'licence to operate' to reduce the duplication with other regulatory regimes.

Published under Cement News