Policy MIN4 Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development
Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development are identified on the District Proposals Maps.
In Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development there will be a general presumption against the extraction and processing of minerals, other than those considered to be ‘valuable’.
Subject to meeting Policy MIN1, a proposal for mineral development within a designated Area of Constraint on Mineral Development may be granted planning permission when one or more of the following exceptional circumstances apply:
for minor expansion of an existing mineral working.
where the environmental/amenity impacts are not significant.
where the mineral is of limited occurrence in Northern Ireland and there is no reasonable alternative source outside the Area of Constraint on Mineral Development.
In all such cases on-site processing of excavated material is unlikely to be permitted.
Justification and Amplification
Areas of Constraint on Mineral Development (ACMD) have been defined in line with the SPPS to protect areas of intrinsic landscape, amenity, scientific or heritage value.
In line with the policy approach set out in the Introduction, the draft Plan Strategy has carried forward , with relatively minor modifications, the three existing ACMD designated through the Larne Area Plan 2010. All of these areas fall within the AONB. Aside from their exceptional landscape quality, they are all designated for their nature conservation importance, particularly for birds such as hen harrier and merlin. The largest ACMD also includes the Borough’s only Area of Significant Archaeological Interest at Knockdhu. It should be noted that there are also other LDP policies to protect these areas from development in general (refer to Natural Environment, Historic Environment and AONB Landscape policies).
The limestone quarry at Munie Road, Glenarm is the only working quarry within this area of constraint. The original ACMD boundary is amended here so as to allow for the extension of the working that currently benefits from planning permission.
In line with Policies MIN2 and MIN3, there will not be a presumption against the exploitation of valuable minerals within ACMD. However, Council will apply a cautious approach in assessing such proposals and permission, where it is necessary, will be dependent upon full compliance with Policy MIN1. Where a potential site for valuable mineral or hydrocarbon exploitation falls within a Special Countryside Area and an ACMD, the Special Countryside Area Policy takes precedence.