17 Minerals

Policy M 1

Protection of Mineral Resources

Known mineral resources that are, or could realistically in the future be, capable of being worked in accordance with Policy M2 'Mineral Development' will be protected from sterilisation by other forms of development.

Where a development could sterilise such resources, planning permission will only be granted if the extraction of the mineral resource is secured prior to development.

Reasoned justification

17.2 Minerals are required to support economic development, and it is important that known mineral deposits are protected from sterilisation. Sterilisation occurs when building, engineering or other forms of development prevent deposits being worked. Careful planning can ensure that mineral extraction takes place prior to other forms of development being undertaken. If it is currently uneconomic to extract the mineral, and is likely to remain so in the foreseeable future, then development that physically prevents extraction will not be considered to constitute sterilisation for the purposes of this policy.

Policy M 2

Mineral Development

Planning permission will not be granted for development involving mineral extraction, mineral exploration, the disposal of mineral waste, or the provision of aggregate depots where it:

  1. would have an unacceptable impact on residential amenity or the amenity of other environmentally sensitive uses (such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes and similar institutions, or open space used frequently for recreational purposes), in terms of visual impact, noise, dust, vibration, traffic, access arrangements, air pollution, hours of operation, or other nuisance;
  2. would have an unacceptable impact or would cause unacceptable harm to, the water environment, water resources, surface or groundwater levels or flows;
  3. would result in an unacceptable risk of flooding;
  4. would have an unacceptable impact on the stability of surrounding land (including drift mining and deep mining where this does not incorporate a satisfactory scheme of working to minimise subsidence and the risk of damage to buildings, structures and land);
  5. would have an unacceptable impact on the highway network, in terms of access, traffic generation, safety, or the free flow of traffic;
  6. would have an unacceptable impact on public rights of way;
  7. Would have an unacceptable impact on the best and most versatile agricultural land or the viability of agricultural holdings;
  8. would have an unacceptable impact on any listed building or its setting, ancient monument, or conservation area;
  9. would have an unacceptable impact on sites or features of archaeological, ecological, geological, landscape or recreation value, or on protected species or their habitats;
  10. fails to demonstrate a need for the mineral in circumstances where an Environmental Statement is required, or the benefits of the proposal do not outweigh the planning objections;
  11. in the case of coal mining, open casting and colliery spoil disposal, does not meet the tests set out in paragraph 8 of MPG3 (1999) or any subsequent guidance;
  12. fails to demonstrate the presence of adequate reserves of the mineral in terms of both quality and quantity;
  13. would prevent the working of other mineral deposits of significant value;
  14. does not include a satisfactory scheme for progressive working, where this is feasible;
  15. makes unsatisfactory provision for the processing of the mineral;
  16. makes unsatisfactory provision for the disposal of mineral waste;
  17. makes unsatisfactory provision for screening and landscaping whilst working is in progress; or
  18. does not include a satisfactory scheme of restoration and after-care, including progressive restoration where feasible.

Reasoned justification

17.3 It is important to ensure that where mineral extraction, mineral exploration, mineral disposal, and the provision of aggregate depots occur, they do so without causing undue detriment to the environmental, amenity, or economic interests.

17.4 In implementing this policy, the council will have particular regard to the need to protect sites of ecological value in accordance with the policies in Chapter 12, as well as the potential for habitat creation, recreation development, tree planting, and landscape restoration and enhancement, for example within the mosslands (Policy EN11 'Mosslands'), in accordance with other policies and proposals of the UDP.

17.5 Applications for mineral development must be accompanied by sufficient information to enable a comprehensive assessment to be made of the impacts of the proposal. In determining applications, regard will be had to advice from external regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. The level of acceptability of any impact on amenity may be influenced by the potential environmental benefits that may arise from the reclamation of existing derelict land.

17.6 Very high standards of site restoration will be required from all mineral developments, especially within the Mossland Heartland and the rest of the Mosslands, in accordance with Policy EN11 'Mosslands'. The resulting habitats should, wherever possible, contribute to the delivery of the targets of the UK and Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plans.

17.7 Schemes that comply with the above policy and result in the reclamation of derelict land, the recovery of secondary and recycled materials, and the movement of minerals and mineral waste by alternatives to road transport will be particularly encouraged.