Consultation launched on Devon Minerals Plan

Drakelands MineDrakelands Mine

Posted on: 24 August 2015

A public consultation on the latest draft of the Devon Minerals Plan has been launched by Devon County Council today (Monday 24 August).

The 12 week consultation is inviting comments from the public on the pre-submission draft of the plan. Several rounds of consultation and informal engagement have already been held to develop the plan to this stage.

The emerging Devon Minerals Plan will eventually replace the existing Minerals Local Plan of 2004, and will cover the period to 2033.

The Devon Minerals Plan aims to maintain the supply of the wide range of mineral resources produced in Devon, while minimising adverse effects on Devon’s communities and environment. While some of these resources have adequate reserves to last beyond the next 18 years, it is necessary for the Plan to propose some new areas for working to ensure supply.

Following detailed appraisal of over 20 options, two new sites are proposed for sand and gravel aggregates – one at Straitgate Farm near Ottery St Mary, and the other at Penslade Cross, near Uffculme.

To enable the continued supply of tungsten from the new Drakelands Mine near Plymouth, the Minerals Plan proposes an extension to the pit to extend its life by two years. A public consultation on the proposed extension of Drakelands Mine was held earlier this year as part of the development of the Minerals Plan.

A key issue for the Plan is the protection of potential mineral resources from sterilisation by other development, and the Minerals Plan proposes a number of new Mineral Safeguarding Areas covering the strategic resources such as ball clay, china clay, tungsten, limestone and sand and gravel.

Councillor Jerry Brook, Chairman of Devon County Council’s Development Management Committee, said: “This latest consultation is another opportunity for people across the county to have their say and help inform the development of the emerging Devon Minerals Plan. The Plan has to balance the supply of the county’s natural mineral resources, while minimising the impact on Devon’s environment and local residents. We feel we have struck the right balance, but look forward to hearing peoples’ views.”

Following the consultation, the document will be submitted to the Secretary of State in early 2016, together with all responses. The Secretary of State will then appoint an inspector to hold an inquiry. It is anticipated that the Minerals Plan will be adopted by the end of 2016.

The consultation, which will continue until Monday 16 November, is available online here. It will also be available at council offices. Alternatively call 01392 383510 or email minerals@devon.gov.uk.

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