MIN8 Restoration and Management of Mineral Sites

Closeddate_range16 Oct, 2019, 9:30am - 11 Dec, 2019, 5:00pm

Policy MIN8 Restoration and Management of Mineral Sites

Subject to meeting Policy MIN1, all applications for mineral development must be accompanied by restoration proposals and a management plan to ensure the appropriate and sustainable ongoing use of the site subsequent to the cessation of minerals extractions and/or processing operations.

Restoration proposals must take account of the specific characteristics of the site and its local context and restore or, where possible, enhance the landscape character of the area.

In addition, restoration proposals should secure one or more of the following benefits:

  • Enhanced biodiversity.
  • Provision for community open space or outdoor recreation.
  • A tourism asset linked to the locality or the former mining activity.

This Management Plan must include and adequately address the following elements:

  1. a programme of works linked to a timescale for completion of restoration (or setting out a phased approach for progressive restoration for larger schemes);
  2. site management arrangements during the process of restoration; and
  3. aftercare management arrangements once the restoration is complete.

The restoration process shall be implemented in accordance with the approved plans and agreed timescales. Restoration proposals shall utilise materials from within the site and avoid the importation of materials, wherever practicable. Where restoration proposals involve development they must meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP.

The restoration proposals and management plan must be agreed with Council prior to the granting of planning permission and will be secured through conditions or if necessary, a Section 76 Planning Agreement. Council may require a financial guarantee in the form of a bond where there are legitimate concerns over an operator’s financial security, or where the progressive restoration of the site is not being implemented in line with previous planning conditions and/or a planning agreement.

Justification and Amplification

Mineral development can have a detrimental visual impact on the landscape. For this reason the restoration of mineral extraction sites to an appropriate state is a vital part of the mineral development process. Restoration of minerals development sites presents the opportunity to improve the landscape, enhance biodiversity and provide recreational and tourist opportunities. Therefore planning applications must include high quality and, if appropriate, innovative restoration proposals and management plans.

The preferred types of reclamation and aftercare use depend on a number of factors, including, the characteristics of the deposits, nature of the excavation, availability of fill materials, the surrounding landscape, the needs of the local community and the suitability of the site for nature conservation purposes.

Council will normally secure restoration proposals through the requirement for a management plan, underpinned by conditions and/or a Section 76 Planning Agreement. A financial guarantee may also be sought in the circumstances set out in the policy.