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New good-practice guidance for marine aggregates

Marine Aggregates

BMAPA and The Crown Estate publish new guidance for marine aggregate extraction

THE British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) and The Crown Estate have jointly published new good-practice guidance for marine aggregate extraction operations in English waters.

‘Good Practice Guidance: Extraction by Dredging of Aggregates from England’s Seabed’ (2017) replaces ‘Extraction by dredging from the English seabed: minerals planning guidance 1 (MMG1)’, originally published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now the Department for Communities & Local Government) in 2002, which was formally withdrawn by the Government on 8 September 2017.

Developed in consultation with Defra, the Marine Management Organisation, Natural England, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Historic England and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the new good-practice guidance has been produced in response to a continuing need for a key reference document to help inform not only industry, but also policymakers, regulators and advisors.

Taking the original content of MMG1, the new guidance reflects modern practice in English waters, providing an overview of the marine aggregate industry and covering the planning, licensing, environmental assessment, monitoring, mitigation and management methods that are employed to protect the environment and other seabed interests, and to ensure the sustainability of the industry.

Mark Russell, executive director of BMAPA, commented: ‘Marine sand and gravel extraction plays an increasingly important role in meeting the nation’s need for construction aggregate as well as supporting beach nourishment and land-reclamation projects.

‘Over recent years, the planning, regulation, assessment and management of marine aggregate extraction have evolved significantly, while at the same time a wide range of voluntary good-practice principles have been developed and adopted by the industry to mitigate and manage the effects of its operations on both the wider environment and other marine users.

‘By ensuring our regulators and advisors were involved throughout its preparation, our new good-practice guidance is able to provide a robust framework that will help shape the sustainable management of the marine aggregate industry for the next decade and beyond.’

Ian Selby, head of minerals and infrastructure at The Crown Estate, added: ‘As managers of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we’re delighted to help support responsible and sustainable management of marine sand and gravel resources.

‘This guidance, developed in partnership with industry, will help to share best practice and ensure the long-term future of the sector.’

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