Planning Inspectorate publish report on Devon Minerals Plan

Minerals Plan

Posted on: 15 November 2016

Devon County Council’s new Minerals Plan is set to be adopted following support from the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.

The report, published following a public inquiry in May, concludes that the Plan meets legal requirements and provides an appropriate basis for the future quarrying plans in the county for the next 17 years.

The inquiry heard from a wide range of objectors and included discussions on the new mineral extraction areas at Drakelands Mine and near Ottery St Mary and Uffculme, together with wider protection for mineral resources.

The Council proposed a number of modifications necessary to enable to Plan to be adopted, and after considering representations from other parties on the issues, the Inspector has recommended their inclusion.

These include adjusting the buffer zones relating to the extraction of ball clay and china clay; safeguarding mineral processing facilities and recognising the latest circumstances and need for improved mitigation at Straitgate Farm and West of Penslade Cross.

There are also measures to strengthen protection of the amenity of communities living close to proposed sites at Drakelands Mine, achieve a more focused vision and spatial strategy for the Plan, and maximise the use of secondary and recycled materials.

Cllr Jerry Brook (Chudleigh Rural)Councillor Jerry Brook, Chairman of Devon County Council’s Development Management Committee, said:

“We have a responsibility to balance the supply of the county’s natural mineral resources, while minimising the impact on Devon’s environment and local residents.

“I am pleased that the Inspector has endorsed our new Minerals Plan, which will underpin our decisions on minerals proposals for the next 17 years.

“We have carefully considered all feedback throughout this process and now, with the results of the Inspectorate’s enquiry and the recommended modifications, have strengthened the Plan’s commitment to protecting peoples’ quality of life, which must be weighed against the need for mineral resources.

“We have worked hard with local residents, parish councils and the minerals industry to develop our Minerals Plan over the past few years, and thank everyone for their input in helping strike the right balance and secure a plan fit for our future.”

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.

County Councillors will be recommended to adopt the new Minerals Plan in the coming months.

More information about the development of the plan is available online here.

The Inspector’s report is available on the Devon County Council website here.

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