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Minerals planning system still fit for purpose

THE minerals industry has welcomed the announcement by Stephanie Hurst, Head of the Planning Resources and Environment Policy Division at the Department for Communities and Local Government, that ‘there are no current plans for significant changes to the minerals planning system’.

Addressing over 300 delegates at the Quarry Products Association’s annual Minerals Planning Conference in Wolverhampton last week, Ms Hurst’s announcement helped to allay fears of changes to the current Managed Aggregate Supply System (MASS).

MASS has played a key part in maintaining supplies of construction materials for society since it was introduced over 30 years ago, and with both the aggregates industry and mineral planning authorities sharing concern over its future, the continuance of the current system came as welcome news.


Presentations by various planning experts throughout the conference supported the position that, following thorough reviews of the system, there was little indication that anything was wrong with it. The conference also heard that the system costs very little to run and incorporates many features that other European nations are still striving to achieve.

Commenting on Ms Hurst’s announcement, the QPA’s director general, Simon van der Byl, said: ‘Stephanie’s confirmation that the current managed minerals planning system will remain in force is very good news and removes an uncertainty that has been hanging over the industry for many months. It also reflects the views reached by the various research projects and accords wholly with the advice the QPA has been giving to CLG.’

Held annually in association with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Minerals Planning Conference brings together mineral planners, surveyors, consultants and legal experts from government, environmental bodies, NGOs and the minerals industry, and provides a forum for the discussion of issues that are fundamental to the industry.


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