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QPA welcomes publication of MPS1

THE Quarry Products Association says it welcomes the improvements and clarity that the new Minerals Policy Statement (MPS1) –– the long-awaited framework setting out the Government’s key policies and principles for mineral planning in England –– has introduced over the 2004 draft version, and adds that it backs the strategy to plan, monitor and manage mineral planning.

MPS1 and its associated Practice Guide were published last week [6 November] by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), formerly known as ODPM.

The QPA says it is particularly significant that MPS1 leads with an overarching declaration that ‘it is essential that there is an adequate and steady supply of material to provide the infrastructure, buildings and goods that society, industry and the economy needs’. The Association says it echoes this very concept in all of its policies and that this is one of a number of improvements in terminology and policy that it particularly welcomes.

 

Another ‘unsurprising’ headline in the document, says the QPA, is the emphasis placed on sustainable development, with the declaration that the use of secondary and recycled materials is to be encouraged above virgin aggregates wherever practicable. The Association says both it and its members have held this view for some time and that this has clearly contributed to the UK leading the way on aggregate recycling within Europe.

The QPA adds that its own sustainable development strategy, already into its second phase of reporting, is showing the industry to be operating in the best way to meet the needs of government policy, such as MPS1, and of society more generally.

Simon van der Byl, director general of the QPA, said: ‘We welcome the publication of the long-awaited MPS1 and the clarity and improvements that it has brought to minerals policy. Above all, we are pleased to see simple recognition of the contribution that minerals make to society. We hope now that mineral planning authorities will play their role in implementing national guidance at the local level.’

Copies of MPS1 and the Practice Guide can be obtained from DCLG Publications, PO Box 236, Wetherby, W. Yorks LS23 7NB; tel: (08701) 226236; fax: (08701) 226237.

 

 

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