Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton

Minerals and Waste Local Plan:
Adopted December 1998

Preferred Areas for Sand and Gravel Extraction

Main Contents Page

Alternative Aggregates

Secondary Aggregates

5. Meeting the Need for Minerals

Marine-Dredged Sand And Gravel

Chalk

Geology

Crushed Rock

Clay

Sand And Gravel

Secondary Or Substitute Aggregate Materials

Borrow Pits

Chalk

Aggregates Supply

Oil And Gas

Clay

Preferred Areas For Sand And Gravel Extraction

Minerals Processing And Manufacturing Plant

Borrow Pits

Alternative Aggregates

Mineral Exploration

Oil And Gas

Aggregates Wharves And Depots

 

5.31 One of the main purposes of this Plan is to identify those areas: firstly where it is likely that planning permission will be granted for sand and gravel extraction, in order to meet the supply requirements and maintain the landbanks; and secondly where permission is unlikely to be granted. In this way the minerals industry will be guided as to the areas where it should seek permission and the places where it should not, and the residents of the County will be provided with a large degree of certainty as to where sand and gravel extraction will take place over the next ten years (from December 1998).

5.32 In order to maximise certainty and minimise public concern, the minimum practical provision of preferred areas for sand and gravel extraction should be made. However, it is not possible to be completely certain of the quantity of workable sand and gravel within an identified area of mineral deposits, or that the deposits are economically workable and will become available for release during the Plan period. Therefore, the Mineral Planning Authorities consider that, if the Plan is to be realistic, workable and effective, it is necessary to make an over-provision of resources within preferred areas. It is considered that an over-provision of 20 per cent is sufficient.

5.33 Table 3 sets out in column A the total land-won sand and gravel production requirement over the period 1992-2008, split by aggregate type, derived from Table 2. Column B shows the actual production over the period 1992 to 1996 and this has been subtracted from Column A to give the production requirement over the period 1997-2008 in Column C. Column D shows the permitted reserves of sand and gravel remaining in sites at the end of 1996, plus the additional reserves which have been permitted since then. The figures of permitted reserves include any stockpiles of sand and gravel at pits, since material produced is not counted as production until it has left the site. Column E is a refinement of the reserves figure to exclude material which is not expected to be worked until after 2008. Column F shows the difference between the figures in Columns C and E, which is the remaining production requirement that will need to be met by new planning permissions being granted by the end of 2001 and for which preferred areas need to be identified. Column G is the actual resource provision that the Mineral Planning Authorities consider needs to be made in preferred areas in the Plan, (the figures in Column F plus a 20 per cent over-provision allowance).

Table 3: Land-Won Sand and Gravel Preferred Area Requirement 1992 - 2008

(All figures in million tonnes)

 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

 

Supply Requirement 1992-2008 (from Table 2)

Actual Production 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996

Production Requirement 1997-2008 (A-B)

Permitted Reserves at 31.12.96

plus Permissions Granted to 17.12.98 (Reserves)

Reserves Expected to be Worked Within Period 1997-2008

Remaining Production Requirement to be met from Preferred Areas (C-E)

Preferred Area Provision Required

(F + 20%)

Soft Sand

10.01

2.53

7.48

9.78

7.48

-

-

Sharp Sand and Gravel

35.89

9.96

25.93

18.12

18.12

7.81

9.37

All Sand and Gravel

45.90

12.49

33.41

27.90

25.60

7.81

9.37



5.34 Preferred areas for sand and gravel extraction containing a total of around 9.4 million tonnes need to be identified. The whole of this requirement is for preferred areas for sharp sand and gravel, since there are theoretically already sufficient permitted reserves of soft sand to meet the production requirement.

5.35 In seeking potentially suitable areas for sand and gravel extraction to meet this requirement for preferred areas, a large number of possible sites were considered and assessed. These were derived from the following sources:

5.36 Each site was examined to assess the likely impact of mineral working on the environment. In a county like Hampshire no site is completely unconstrained. The aim has been to identify those sites which are least constrained and the measures which would be required to make working of those sites acceptable and to minimise the impact of working on the local environment. The following constraints and factors were examined:

5.37 Table 4 shows the estimated yields of sand and gravel of the preferred areas, divided between soft sand and sharp sand and gravel. These figures are based on available geological information and take into account deposits likely to be left unworked by the need for margins and the retention or protection of features within sites. This table also shows the quantity of sand and gravel that it is estimated is likely to be available for extraction within the period to 2008. Whilst the seven preferred areas are estimated to contain a total yield of 13.45 million tonnes, only 7.75 million tonnes of this is expected to be available for extraction within the period to the end of 2008. This is because of the way in which it is expected that the release of new sites for working would be phased, such that the commencement of new extraction sites dovetails with the cessation of production from existing workings within the different sand and gravel production areas of the County. In this way the Mineral Planning Authorities will aim to ensure that the sand and gravel supply levels set out in Table 2 are not generally exceeded.

5.38 Of the 7.75 million tonnes of sand and gravel deposits expected to be available for extraction in the period to 2008, 0.4 million tonnes comprises soft sand contained within one site. Whilst according to the figures in Table 3 there is no requirement for preferred areas for soft sand, this site (Preferred Area 7) would be worked as an extension to an existing active soft sand extraction site and its release for working would not lead to any increase in soft sand production capacity in the County. The six sharp sand and gravel preferred areas together contain a yield of 7.35 million tonnes that is expected to be available for extraction within the period to the end of 2008, which is 2.02 million tonnes less than the requirement of 9.37 million tonnes shown in Table 3.

Table 4: Estimated Yields of Preferred Areas

(All figures in million tonnes)

    Preferred Area

Estimated Total Yield

Yield expected to be available

in period to 2008

 

Soft Sand

Sharp Sand

and Gravel

Soft Sand

Sharp Sand

and Gravel

    1. Welshman's Road, Mortimer West End

 

1.6

 

1.0

    2 Bramshill Plateau

 

3.2

 

2.6

    3 Roke Manor, Shootash

 

0.75

 

0.75

    4 Gardeners Lane, Ridge

 

1.5

 

1.5

    5 Bleak Hill, Harbridge

 

0.5

 

0.5

    6 Plumley Wood and Farm, Ringwood Forest

 

5.5

 

1.0

    7 Blue Haze (North), Ringwood Forest

0.4

 

0.4

 

    Total

0.4

13.05

0.4

7.35

    Total - All Sand and Gravel

13.45

7.75

5.39 Maps showing each of the preferred areas in Policy 19, together with the main issues that need to be addressed and criteria that need to be met by any applications for mineral working, are set out in Appendix 1. In any event, if a preferred area is put forward in a planning application for mineral working, a detailed assessment will be required which may identify other issues and constraints. The identification of a site as a preferred area does not mean that permission will automatically be granted for sand and gravel extraction. Permission will only be granted if all the other relevant policies of the Plan are met, including general environmental policies 6 to 9 and policies 16 to 18 relating to the need for sites to be released. The boundaries of the preferred areas do not necessarily indicate the extent of mineral extraction that may be permitted. Each site will require more detailed assessment when an application for working is submitted to establish precisely the acceptable boundaries of the working area. In addition, conditions will be imposed on any planning permission granted to protect any features of importance and restrict operations in order to safeguard the local environment. Detailed matters relating to the operation of sites will be determined at the time a planning application is made.

5.40 The phasing of working and restoration of a site will be dependent on the need for the aggregate within the particular part of the County and the need to minimise the impact of operations on the local community and environment and on the highway network. The aim will be to have sufficient permitted sites operational to meet the need for land-won sand and gravel, but to have the minimum amount of land out of beneficial use at any one time and to cause the minimum impact. The Mineral Planning Authorities will aim to ensure that the impact on local communities and highways from mineral extraction is no greater than at present and, where possible, is reduced.

5.41 Within the Ringwood Forest and Bramshill Plateau preferred areas, development briefs will be required before any further permissions are granted for new sand and gravel extraction operations, to ensure that the consideration of mineral working proposals is fully integrated with the various other objectives for these areas, including forestry, nature conservation, landscape, water resource and recreational objectives. The main purpose of these development briefs will be to ensure that mineral working can take place in an acceptable manner without prejudice to the other significant interests within the area concerned. This will affect the release of Preferred Areas 2 - Bramshill Plateau, 6 - Plumley Wood and Farm and 7 - Blue Haze (North). The development brief for Ringwood Forest should also cover Preferred Area 10 - Blue Haze/Chatsworth Sandpits for waste disposal by landfilling (see Policy 38).

5.42 In the case of Ringwood Forest, although the development brief will need to relate specifically to Preferred Areas 6, 7 and 10, it should have regard to the wider forest area at Ringwood Forest and Somerley, which is seen as an important sand and gravel resource for the future. Proposals for mineral working within this area should have regard to any development proposals within the Dorset part of the Ringwood Forest/Somerley area. In the case of Preferred Area 2 - Bramshill Plateau, the preferred area is adjacent to Blackbushe Airport. The development brief should address the layout, phasing, timing and method of working of the site (for both mineral extraction and any backfilling) in relation to the aviation use of the airport to ensure that this use will not be prejudiced. In the case of Preferred Areas 1 - North of Welshman's Road and 2 -Bramshill Plateau, the Mineral Planning Authority will have regard to the need to phase the release of these areas for mineral extraction in relation to other nearby existing and planned minerals and waste sites within both Hampshire and Berkshire. In the case of Preferred Area 4 - Gardeners Lane, the Mineral Planning Authority will have regard to the need to phase the release of this area for mineral extraction in relation to the life of operations at the existing mineral working site at Ridge. These development briefs will supplement the Plan and will be consistent with it; but they will not form part of the Plan and will be issued separately from it. They will not constitute informal or 'bottom drawer' plans or policy documents. However, they will provide further guidance on mineral working development within the preferred areas concerned, within the context set by the policies and proposals of the Plan. They will be subject to consultation and will be made publicly available.

5.43 Land will be required to be restored as quickly as is reasonably practicable in phase with extraction, either at the reduced level or by backfilling with waste materials. The geology of a site will usually determine the type of fill, if any, which may be acceptable. This is essentially a matter to be determined through the waste management licensing process, under the Environmental Protection Act. However, the Mineral Planning Authority may impose conditions on permissions for working of these preferred areas to restrict infilling to inert materials only, particularly where it is considered that this is necessary to protect the amenities of nearby residents, to ensure satisfactory restoration or to safeguard groundwater resources, features of nature conservation interest or other nearby land uses. For these reasons only inert waste materials will be permitted to be used for infilling at Preferred Areas 1 - North of Welshman's Road, Mortimer West End; 2 - Bramshill Plateau, Hartley Wintney/Eversley; and 3 - Roke Manor, Shootash. Such a restriction may also be imposed on parts or the whole of Preferred Areas 4 - Gardeners Lane (The Triangle), Ridge; 5 - Bleak Hill, Harbridge; and 6 - Plumley Wood and Farm, Ringwood Forest if detailed consideration of all relevant factors at the time that a planning application is submitted shows this to be necessary. The final landform of sites will be dependent on the type of restoration and the intended after-use and requirements for drainage. In any event the landform will be required to be appropriate to the local landscape and should not normally be above former or adjoining levels unless this is necessary to achieve satisfactory reinstatement.

5.44 The Councils consider that in view of the way in which the preferred areas have been selected, particularly the involvement of the minerals industry in putting forward sites for consideration, and the 20 per cent over-provision allowance that has been made, it should be possible for all the need for new planning permissions over the Plan period to be met from the preferred areas listed in Policy 19. Therefore it is appropriate to include Policy 20 stating a general presumption against sand and gravel extraction from other land, in order to provide certainty for the minerals industry and local residents. However, it is recognised that unforeseen circumstances may arise which prevent production needs being met from the preferred areas. Therefore, permission may be granted for the working of other land in exceptional cases. Any applications for extraction that do not fall within a preferred area will be considered on their merits against Policy 20. To demonstrate whether or not working of any proposed site would be as acceptable as working within a preferred area, the proposed site should undergo the same survey and analysis as was carried out in the study which led to the identification of the preferred areas. In addition, the proposal should satisfy the other relevant policies in the Plan, in particular Policies 6 to 15.

5.45 Extensions to and deepening of existing mineral working sites, making use of existing processing plant and access arrangements, are often preferable to the establishment of new extraction sites. Therefore, permission may be granted for extensions and deepening provided the other relevant policies of the Plan are met. However, important factors in considering applications for extensions and deepening will be the length of time by which the operations would be extended and the degree of environmental impact of the existing operations.

5.46 The Plan does not identify any preferred areas for sand and gravel working in south east Hampshire; and the only significant sand and gravel extraction site remaining in operation in this part of the County, at Cherque Farm, Lee-on-the-Solent, is expected to cease operation within the life of the Plan. If no replacement site comes forward, it is likely that there will be a shortfall in local sand and gravel supply which will have to be made up by importation of mineral by lorry from elsewhere in Hampshire or from West Sussex. Whilst such a situation would be undesirable, the Councils are not aware of any large deposits of sand and gravel in south east Hampshire that are currently considered acceptable for extraction. Nevertheless, the Councils will seek to ensure that significant deposits of sand and gravel in south east Hampshire are safeguarded in accordance with Policy 4 of the Plan; and will seek the co-operation of the District Councils in achieving this.

5.47 The former HMS Daedalus Airfield at Stubbington/Lee-on-the-Solent contains a large deposit of sand and gravel. The potentially workable reserve of mineral has been assessed as totalling up to 3.4 million tonnes. Daedalus Airfield was considered by the Inspector who held the public local inquiry into objections to the Plan. He considered that it is, in principle, a site where sand and gravel working could be carried out in an environmentally acceptable manner; but that the current uncertainty as to the future of aviation at the site and its role in assisting economic regeneration needs to be resolved before any part of the area is identified for mineral working. He concluded that this constitutes an overriding objection and therefore recommended that Daedalus Airfield should not be included as a preferred area in the Plan. However, he also said that the mineral deposit will remain and should the demand for aviation not be realised then it would be appropriate to reassess the situation when the Plan is reviewed. The Daedalus Development Strategy, which was agreed by the County Council, Fareham and Gosport Borough Councils and the Ministry of Defence in Autumn 1997, includes as a key objective for the Daedalus Site: 'to safeguard the mineral deposit under the airfield (and to allow for reconsideration of the site in the Review of the Hampshire [Portsmouth and Southampton] Minerals and Waste Local Plan)'.

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