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MPA welcomes National Infrastructure Planning eligibility

Nigel Jackson

Association pleased with government statement that mineral products will be included in Nationally Significant Infrastructure planning regime

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has welcomed a statement from Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP, announcing that aggregate and industrial mineral proposals should be able to use the newly extended Nationally Significant Infrastructure (NSI) planning regime.

‘Aggregates and industrial minerals, such as cement and silica sand, are essential to the economy and there is no doubt that many of the operations run by MPA members are nationally significant,’ commented Nigel Jackson (pictured), chief executive of the MPA. ‘The problem is that quarry operators are finding it difficult to justify investment in new sites and the uncertainties of the planning and permitting system continue to cause concern.’


According to the MPA, the categorization of aggregate and industrial mineral development as ‘Nationally Significant’ opens up proposals to a streamlined ‘one-stop-shop’ service to deal with all the consents needed to run an operation at one go. 

The Association is hopeful that this will overcome the current problem that operators have whereby, having made the case for planning permission to be granted, they are faced with making the same arguments again in order to obtain necessary permits from other government agencies.

Mr Jackson explained: ‘Not all proposals will be a good match for the NSI process so we strongly support the intention to make applications for the use of the new system at the discretion of the applicant who will now have a choice as to how best to secure planning for future developments.  

‘Whilst the flexibility given to the Secretary of State to determine what is in scope is also welcome, there is a need for additional clarity as to the precise criteria they will use.’


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