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MPA flies the flag for dimension stone

Association launches new publication on the UK’s essential dimension stone industry

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) is launching a new publication, ‘Dimension Stone – an Essential UK Industry’, with the aim of achieving greater consistency in the decision-making by planning authorities and other regulators across the country.

Dimension stone producers are economically and culturally significant, producing around one million tonnes of high-value stone annually, which as well as being used widely in new construction is also of key importance to heritage assets and local distinctiveness.

Michael Poultney of Albion Stone, a leading member of the MPA Dimension Stone Group, said: ‘Our sites are generally quite small and unobtrusive. We work with and alongside the communities where they are situated, and in many places have been doing that for hundreds of years.’

The industry provides high-quality, high-value products which are increasingly finding favour with architects and are essential to the conservation of the UK’s historic buildings.

In addition, in terms of their economic and social significance, dimension stone producers punch well above their weight. Their operations provide employment and training opportunities in locations where few would otherwise exist, and often they play an ongoing part in the social history of communities.

Nevertheless, current operators feel that these particular values are too easily overlooked by planning authorities and other regulators.

It is specifically to get these messages across that the MPA has produced the publication ‘Dimension Stone – an Essential UK Industry’. The document outlines what dimension stone is, why the industry is so important, and what issues planners need to take on board when they are making provision for a continuing supply of these vital building materials.

Ken Hobden, director of planning at the MPA, commented: ‘Our hope is that by setting out the facts about dimension stone in this way, we will save time and achieve greater consistency in decision-making. Up and down the country our members find they need to explain the same basic points to planners time and time again.’

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