Warwickshire Minerals Plan Publication Consultation 2018

Closed 12 Dec 2018

Opened 31 Oct 2018

Results Updated 24 May 2019

Minerals plan update – May 2019

There have been delays in the County Council’s programme to submit its minerals plan for independent examination. It was hoped to submit the plan in Spring this year but due to the large number of responses received and the need to input the data in a form, which will be helpful to the
Inspector it is now likely to be early Summer before the plan can be submitted. When details of a revised programme are available, there will be a further announcement.

Although the initial inputting is now complete officers need to turn their attention to carefully considering all the points that have been made by local communities and others. As the County Council is expected to confirm that the plan is ready for examination when submitting it to the Secretary of State (via The Planning Inspectorate) all the matters raised need to be looked at again.

One matter which has been brought to the attention of the County Council is that one of the policies approved by Full Council last year (Policy MCS 10 – Underground Coal Gasification) was missing from the last consultation. The County Council’s legal advisors have been carefully considering how the authority should respond to this omission. As the policy was approved at Cabinet (24.07.18) and Full Council (26.07.18) for consultation then it should be for reasons of fairness, reasonableness and proportionality the subject of a further Regulation 19 consultation. This will commence on 28 May 2019 for a period of six weeks ending at 5pm on 9th July 2019. Comments after that date cannot be accepted.

Advertisements have been placed in the local press, consultation letters and emails are being sent out to consultees which give full details of how to respond to the consultation.

Copies of the documents can be viewed from 28 May 2019 at the:

  • Policy MCS 10 Consultation Portal (including guidance on how to make representations)
  • at Shire Hall, Warwick
  • the offices of the five Borough and District councils in the county
  • and at county libraries.

Included in the list of background documents for this consultation available online, is a revised draft Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). This has been amended following the ruling of the European Court of Justice in the case of “People over Wind” (Case C323/17 in regard to the Habitats Directive).

Finally, it is apparent that there are views circulating in local communities that once the authority has considered all the points made in relation to the proposed site allocations, then there will be no future mineral working in these localities. There are several points to note:

  • Even if the Council were minded to remove any of the allocations it must be based on clear and compelling evidence and sound reasons. In the event of this happening, the authority would need to consult again before submitting the plan for examination to demonstrate how the overall plan requirements will be met following the change.
  • Whether the Council decides to make changes or not, all these matters will have to be discussed again at the Examination in Public.
  • While, a site may have proposed allocation status it still needs to be subject of an approved planning application to enable working to take place.
  • Planning applications (and subsequent planning appeals) can be made by landowners and developers even if a site is not allocated in the plan. The authority would have to determine the proposals on their merits, in accordance with the development plan and any other material considerations.

Overview

Warwickshire County Council is consulting on the latest version of the Minerals Plan. This stage is known as the Regulation 19 consultation and is the final public consultation before the Minerals Plan is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. At this stage the plan is referred to as the Minerals Plan Publication.

The Plan was presented to the County Council’s Cabinet on 24th July 2018 and Full Council on 26th July 2018. It was resolved that the Council approve the submission of the proposed Minerals Plan to the Secretary of State for independent examination following consultation.

What is the Minerals Plan?

Warwickshire County Council is the Mineral Planning Authority for Warwickshire and has a statutory duty to produce the county’s Minerals Plan. The Minerals Plan sets out the spatial strategy, allocated sites, vision, objectives and policies guiding minerals development up to 2032. It also provides the framework for minerals development management including implementation and monitoring.

Government guidance requires that Mineral Planning Authorities should plan for a steady and adequate supply of minerals including the provision of aggregates (sand and gravel and crushed rock). The Minerals Plan is the vehicle which enables this to be implemented through the allocation of minerals sites. This provides certainty to communities as to where mineral development should take place in the county. However, adopting the Plan does not grant planning permission for minerals development per se. Only an approved planning application will grant permission. Any planning application will need to cover the detailed design, layout, operation of development and mitigation measures based on detailed assessment. Local communities will be consulted on the planning application prior to determination. 

Where are we in the plan-making process?

The Minerals Plan has been developed through an iterative process, subject to previous consultations.  Background information and previous updates on the progression of the Minerals Plan can be found on the Minerals Development Framework Webpage.  

The table below outlines the previous stages subject to consultation:

Regulation Stage Consultation Dates
Regulation 18 Minerals Core Strategy - Revised Spatial Options 19.02.09 - 08.05.09
  Minerals Plan - Preferred Option and Policies. 19.10.15 - 04.01.16
  Focused Consultation  
Regulation 19 Warwickshire Minerals Plan Publication 2016 09.12.16 - 03.02.17
  Warwickshire Minerals Plan Publication 2018 (CURRENT STAGE) 31.10.18 - 12.12.18

 

Previous consultation representations were registered, reviewed and a summary of consultations compiled.  The Warwickshire County Council Minerals Plan – Summary of Consultation Report outlines these representations and can be found on the Consultation Portal link below.

Through the iterative process of these consultations the Minerals Plan has been refined, taking account of representations where they have been considered appropriate.  All consultations have been approved by Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet. 

Links to the previous consultations can be found at the Minerals Development Framework Webpage.

Why We Are Consulting

A previous Regulation 19 consultation was carried out between December 2016 and February 2017. Since then, the plan requirements have significantly changed due to a fall in the most recent 10 year sales average from the Local Aggregates Assessment (LAA) 2017. The total plan requirement of sand and gravel in the plan period has fallen from 8.48 million tonnes to 6.525 million tonnes, which would have been an over provision of 1.955 million tonnes. Consequently, a further consultation on the plan based on the lower plan requirement for sand and gravel is required.

At this consultation stage the focus is primarily on the technical aspects of the plan making process. This includes legal compliance, the Duty to Cooperate and the test of soundness. Please read the Guidance Document available on the Consultation Portal link for an overview of the process, further information and how best to respond.

What can you comment on?

The purpose of this consultation is to allow further representations to be made on the Minerals Plan 2018 before submission to the Secretary of State and subsequent consideration at an examination in public.

For this consultation, you can respond to the following broad questions:

  • Is the Minerals Plan legally compliant?
  • Is the Minerals Plan sound?
  • Does it fulfil the duty to co-operate?

Please read the Guidance Document for more information on what these mean and what you may wish to consider before making a representation.

Where can you access the consultation documents?

The Minerals Plan 2018 and supporting documents are available on the Consultation Portal.  Copies of the consultation documents are also available for public inspection at:

Warwickshire Direct, Shire Hall, Warwick, CV34 4SX 

Opening hours: Monday - Thursday 8.00am 5.30pm, Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm, Saturday 9.00am - 1.00pm. 

The planning reception desks at: 

  • North Warwickshire Borough Council, Council House, South Street, Atherstone CV9 1DE 
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Town Hall, Coton Road, Nuneaton CV11 5AA 
  • Rugby Borough Council, Town Hall, Evreux Way, Rugby CV21 2RR 
  • Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6HX 
  • Warwick District Council, Riverside House, Milverton Hill, Leamington Spa, CV32 5HZ

Opening hours at the District and Borough Council offices are listed on their websites, which can be accessed via the following link: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/partnerships

All Warwickshire Libraries during opening hours.

Opening hours and locations are listed on this website link.

How can you make a representation?

The most efficient way to make a representation is by completing the form online using the Consultation Portal website.  You can access this using the link below.

Comments can also be made by downloading and completing a form from the Consultation Portal and sending it to:

  • by email to planningstrategy@warwickshire.gov.uk or
  • by post to Planning Policy, Planning Development & Flood Risk Management, Transport and Economy, Communities, Planning Strategy, PO Box 43, Shire Hall, Warwick, CV34 4SX

A copy of the form can also be requested from Planning Policy on 01926 412391 or planningstrategy@warwickshire.gov.uk.

We must receive all responses by 5pm on Wednesday 12th December 2018 to enable us to give them proper consideration.  Comments submitted after that time are unable to be considered.

What is the process following consultation?

The Minerals Plan 2018 document is intended to be the final version of the plan before examination in public. If required, only changes (known as “main modifications”) are made between the end of Publication Consultation and submission to the Secretary of State. If there are further changes to the plan required, they will be forwarded with the submitted plan for the Inspector at the Public Examination.

Once this consultation has been completed, a delegated decision will be made by Council Officers on whether any changes are required to the Plan to make it legally compliant and sound prior to submission to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then appoint an Inspector to determine by way of independent Examination whether or not the Minerals Plan (and any submitted changes to it) is sound and legally compliant. This Examination is provisionally planned for summer 2019. 

The Examination will consider the plan, representations made during this consultation and the proposed changes. At the end of the examination process the Inspectors will present their final conclusions in their Reports into the examination of each Local Plan. If the plans are found ‘sound’, with any necessary modifications, they would be able to be adopted by the Council.

What Happens Next

This consultation has now closed. Representations wil now be considered and a delegated decision will be made by Council Officers on whether any changes are required to the Plan to make it legally compliant and sound prior to submission to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then appoint an Inspector to determine by way of independent Examination whether or not the Minerals Plan (and any submitted changes to it) is sound and legally compliant. This Examination is provisionally planned for the end of 2019. 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background
  • All Warwickshire residents
  • Professionals and professional bodies

Interests

  • Environment and sustainability
  • Policies, plans and strategies