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ODPM publishes new mineral extraction policy

THE Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has announced new proposals that are set to form the basis for mineral planning policy in the years ahead. Draft Minerals Policy Statement 1 (MPS1): ‘Planning and Minerals’ forms part of a review of national planning policy guidance first proposed by the Government in its Planning Green Paper of December 2001.

Minerals Planning Guidance Note 1 (MPG1), published in 1996, was identified in the Green Paper as the first of the existing MPGs to undergo review and reform in order to set out shorter, more focused policy documents that separate policy principals from advice on practical implementation.

Draft MPS1 and its accompanying good-practice guidance aims to set out new policies to help protect the environment while ensuring a sufficient supply of minerals. The statement acknowledges the importance of minerals to the national economy and encourages the use of recycled minerals wherever possible.

 

Announcing the new proposals, Planning Minister Keith Hill said: ‘Minerals are important natural assets. They make a valuable contribution to national prosperity and quality of life, and are essential to the development of sustainable communities. However, their extraction can cause damage to the environment.

‘We must make sure that the planning system continues to properly balance the need for minerals with any adverse impacts caused by obtaining them. The draft minerals policy statement and good practice guidance I am launching today [24 November] for public comment will help local planning authorities and others to do so.’

In its initial response to the publication of MPS1, the Quarry Products Association welcomed the Government’s confirmation of the industry’s contribution to the nation’s prosperity and quality of life, but was cautious in its appraisal of the statement’s contents.

‘Initial reading indicates that it will need careful comparison with previous guidance to fully appreciate any material changes in policies,’ commented QPA director general Simon van der Byl.

The consultation period for draft MPS1 and the good-practice guidance will end on 24 February 2005. Both documents are available on the ODPM web site: www.odpm.gov.uk

 

 

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