Gloucestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Quarrying and Mining

Friday, 19 August 2011 16:11

Daglingworth Quarry Daglingworth Quarry Photo: © Rob Colley

Gloucestershire is important as a source of crushed rock, sand and gravel, dimension stone and roofing flags. With the prospect of major growth, demand for aggregates is likely to increase but a high proportion of the aggregate resources lies within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty such as the Jurassic limestone of the Cotswolds and the Carboniferous limestone and various sandstones of the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.  This led to the current Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire being adopted with a potential “shortfall” of 7 million tonnes of crushed rock due to environmental constraints; and to the adoption of a crushed rock “landbank” requirement of 7 years as against the 10 – 15 years adopted in most plans.

Sand and gravel production is concentrated in the Upper Thames valley where special settlement protection policies apply in the Cotswold Water Park which is the county’s only current Mineral Consultation Area (MCA), within which district planning authorities should consult the County Council on proposed development which could “sterilise” mineral deposits.

The National Planning Policy Framework notes the special case of small scale quarries to provide building and roofing stone, and also states that permission should not be given for the extraction of coal unless…environmentally acceptable … or if…national, local or community benefits…clearly outweigh the likely [environmental] impacts”. This should be helpful in challenging any future opencast coal proposals in the Forest of Dean.

Other environmental constraints which are locally significant to mineral working include effects on hydrology, archaeology, biodiversity and loss of high quality agricultural land. Generation of HGV traffic on unsuitable country roads can severely affect tranquillity as well as pose new safety hazards.

Gloucestershire County Council is preparing a new Minerals Local Plan for the period 2018 - 2032.   A link to the consultation draft and to CPRE Gloucestershire's response to the consultation is below, together with a link to the branch policy on stone quarrying and extraction of other minerals.

CPRE Gloucestershire policy on stone quarrying and extraction of other minerals

Draft Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire 2018-2032 (Gloucestershire County Council)

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