Minerals Resource Assessment
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Paragraph 143 requires local authorities to define mineral safeguarding areas to protect the known locations of specific minerals from sterilisation, for example by development of the land. The local authority must also define mineral consulting areas based on the safeguarding areas, safeguard existing minerals processing/ extraction facilities and to extract minerals prior to development, if development is to take place.
It is the planning authority’s responsibility to safeguard important mineral resources and waste facilities from sterilisation by other forms of development and to ensure that sensitive development does not encroach into areas where it could be adversely affected by the working of minerals or the operation of waste facilities.
The local authority achieves this by the delineation of consultation zones, opposing applications that will sterilise important resources or be adversely affected by existing facilities and seeking to secure prior extraction of resources where practicable.
Therefore, in certain areas of the country, where development is to take place, the local authority may require a minerals resource assessment, to consider the quality and quantity of minerals beneath the site as well as the effect on mineral resources beyond the confines of the site.