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MPA urges planners to start planning

Plan-led system still failing to deliver and 60% of mineral plans more than five years late

ACCORDING to the Mineral Products Association (MPA), less than 40% (37) of the mineral planning authorities in England had adopted a Core Strategy by the end of January 2012, and the Association is warning that this is a particularly dangerous time for authorities not to be providing an incentive for investment in new operations.

‘With the full effects of the Localism Act still to be evaluated and the arrival of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) awaited with some concern, we know that this is an uncertain time for planners, but it is an uncertain time for the industry as well,’ said Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the Mineral Products Association.

Mr Jackson pointed out that regardless of these changes, there will still be a plan-led system and a plan-led system needs up-to-date plans. ‘Whatever the final form of the NPPF, it will rely on sound plans and full plan coverage,’ he said.

‘Clear development plans are an essential building block in providing the certainty our members need to invest in these difficult economic times. With landbanks in decline in many areas, there is a growing risk that supply strains will emerge particularly once real growth gathers pace. Even some of the most strategically important authorities have hardly got off the mark.’

The MPA is also concerned that only 15 of the 93 other minerals development plan documents, including the all-important site allocations, have been adopted.

Faced with difficult budget decisions, mineral planning authorities are being urged by the MPA to consider this situation carefully before cutting back on resourcing of their planning policy functions.


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