MPA welcomes new planning reforms
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has welcomed the newly published UK National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), a key part of reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, to protect the environment and to promote sustainable growth.
NPPF which if implemented as intended could help drive development and growth in the economy whilst taking full account of the need to protect the environment.
The combination of the new presumption in favour of sustainable development and the need for local planning authorities to produce plans in the next 12 months, should overcome current planning inertia and give developers greater certainty and clarity to invest.
Nigel Jackson, chief executive MPA, said "We believe the new approach to managing the supply of essential minerals, particularly aggregates, strikes a reasonable balance between adopting a more localist perspective, whilst ensuring this takes place within a national policy framework.
"However, for this approach to function effectively the focus must now be on local delivery of much needed plans, particularly with less than 40% of core strategies currently required in place.
"It is heartening to see recognition of the need for essential minerals as a strategic issue both nationally and locally and the great weight that needs to be given to the benefits of mineral extraction, including to the economy. This has been a central message of the MPA and we are pleased that government has taken our views into account and acted.
"We are pleased that critical technical guidance has been retained, as well as the landbank policies relating to industrial minerals such as cement and silica sand. Recognition of the MPA Restoration Guarantee Fund is an added assurance to local authorities with regard to restoration."