National Planning Policy Framework
Terry Last, Chief Executive, Tarmac comments: "There is much to like in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for those in the aggregates and minerals sector and the construction supply chain as a whole.
New infrastructure will prove central to aiding economic recovery and it will be vital to have a well-managed, steady and adequate supply of minerals and aggregates. So I welcome the NPPF’s guidance that there must be a sufficient supply of material to provide the infrastructure and buildings the country needs and that, when determining planning applications, local planning authorities must “give great weight to the benefits of mineral extraction, including to the economy”.
It’s not just a question of current supply, but planning ahead. According to the Minerals Products Association, under 25% of councils have sound and up to date mineral reserve plans. I’m heartened, therefore, that the NPPF requires all minerals planning authorities to define Minerals Safeguarding Areas and to prepare an annual Local Aggregate Assessment to plan for a steady and adequate supply of aggregates.
These measures, combined with others to protect the environment and encourage collaboration between authorities on minerals provision, make for a framework which seems sound and appropriate. The test now will be how the framework is applied in practice as new infrastructure is driven forward and we focus our minds on how to meet increased demand for minerals as we emerge from the downturn."
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28 March 2012