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CPRE publish mock MPG6

THE Council for the Protection of Rural England has published a 'mock' revised version of MPG6 'Aggregates Planning' which it hopes will set the agenda for the Government's forthcoming issues paper on minerals planning.

Claiming that government planning policies have 'overestimated market demand', the CPRE is calling for a radically different approach to mineral planning.

Speaking at the launch of the mock MPG6, senior natural resources campaigner Henry Oliver said: 'We urgently need a new approach based on the principles of environmental capacity, demand management and more efficient use of materials.'

The strategy proposed in the CPRE's version of MPG6 includes seven key elements:

  • greater local discretion to set quarrying levels consistent with environmental capacity
  • replacing the predict and provide approach with a plan, monitor and manage approach
  • abolishing the system of earmarking landbanks years in advance
  • requiring new development to use less primary and more recycled material as a condition of planning permission
  • making the release of sites dependant on quarrying companies environmental performance
  • a target of reusing or recycling all useable C&D waste by 2006
  • protecting important mineral reserves from being lost to surface development.

In response to the document, Simon van der Byl, director general of the Quarry Products Association, accused the CPRE of 'misrepresenting' the operation of the minerals planning system and said the existing system was 'capable of any adaptation required to meet sustainability objectives'.

He also countered the CPRE's continued assertion that the planning system creates 'unnecessary quarrying', saying that demand for quarry products is a consequence of the need for higher standards of transport, education, health, social housing and inner-city regeneration, all of which require the use of quarry products.

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