ADDITIONAL POLICIES FOR INDIVIDUAL MINERALS
42. Local authority boundaries do not always provide an adequate basis for market definition and provision of supply. The Executive's view is that the city regions for the four largest cities should form the principal market areas for the provision of construction aggregates. To achieve an adequate supply, structure plan authorities and in due course authorities working together on strategic development plans should provide a landbank of permitted reserves taking into account lead-times and any evidence provided on the contribution from imports, recycled and secondary materials. The landbank should be equivalent to a minimum 10 years extraction at all times for the appropriate part of the city region market area. This requirement will also extend to some adjoining local authorities, particularly in the central belt, where their output contributes to the main market area in the city regions. Elsewhere it will be the responsibility of individual planning authorities to decide on an appropriate 10 year landbank. It is important that stakeholders, including the aggregates industry engage in consideration of landbank issues. New consents should not be permitted if they are in locations which, in planning terms, are unsuitable or which lead to landbanks significantly in excess of market requirements. The need to identify areas of search may be obviated by accurate data on landbanks but should be reviewed in line with development plan schemes. The scale of the landbank should be set out in the local plan - in due course, local development plans.
43. Small workings, sometimes called borrow pits, commonly associated with roads construction, forestry or agriculture, allow for the extraction of minerals near to or on the site of the associated development. Other than within the scope of permitted development rights, those workings will require planning permission in the normal way. The availability of construction aggregates generally, may overcome the need for such workings so applicants will need to demonstrate the particular operational, community or environmental benefits of such proposals. They should be time-limited consents, tied to the particular project and accompanied by full restoration proposals.
Recycled and Secondary aggregates
44. As part of its commitment to sustainable development, the Executive wishes to maximise the contribution from the recycled and substitute sectors. Development plans should identify suitable sites which may include existing mineral workings or industrial sites or locational criteria where the processing of secondary materials, including construction and demolition wastes can take place. Development plans should provide for the recycling of construction and demolition wastes in regeneration and new development, secondary material extracted as a consequence of winning primary minerals and the reworking of waste from other industrial processes. This may require new sites for storage and processing and, on construction sites, site waste management plans. PAN 63: Waste Management Planning also provides appropriate advice on site selection. This SPP also encourages emerging practice in the construction industry on recovery of material from demolition sites.
Coastal Exporting Quarries
45. It is for planning authorities to consider the identification of search areas for coastal exporting quarries. They should decide, in consultation with local communities, whether they intend to make provision in development plans for coastal exporting quarries subject to the following considerations. Primary industry remains a significant employer in rural areas. Where impacts on local communities are acceptable and those communities have been properly consulted, new coastal exporting quarries may be acceptable at a limited number of locations. Where provision is to be made for identified coastal exporting quarries, the development plan should in addition set out the criteria to be satisfied by quarries and their associated infrastructure. The general framework of Scottish Planning Policy and specific policies in this SPP provide the context.
Non-aggregate Construction Minerals
46. Scotland contains a number of non-aggregate construction minerals such as limestone for cement making, clays for bricks and pipes, dimension stone and slate. Where brick clay and fireclay is associated with coal-bearing strata, SPP16 applies. Planning authorities should identify and safeguard non-aggregate construction mineral resources and provide for their working, subject to the principles set out in this SPP.
47. Dimension stone and slate are particularly important in repair and maintenance of existing buildings and as a bespoke material in new buildings, contributing to the Executive's policy on the historic environment, improving housing conditions, sustainable development and 'Designing Places'. The demand for and scarcity of consented reserves of building stone requires additional reserves to be identified and safeguarded in development plans. Reopening dormant and securing active sites, supplemented by information held on workable reserves is important in providing for future supply. Reserves are often worked on small sites, in limited quantities and intermittently over a long period. Planning authorities should ensure that conditions do not impose undue restrictions on such operations. Operators should seek to conserve the resource and it may be necessary to enter into a planning agreement to ensure that materials are not used for lower grade purposes or that sites are not lost to other permanent uses. That policy does not apply to construction aggregates quarries where limited supplies of building stone may also be worked. Limestone resources at Beith which have the potential to supply the cement industry should continue to be safeguarded by the Ayrshire Joint Structure Plan.
Monitoring supply and demand
48. Given the importance of minerals to the economy, the Executive is working with the minerals industry to survey minerals production, distribution and reserves in Scotland. Surveys supply the data to assist a planned approach to minerals provision including reserves, market areas and market demand for individual minerals and construction aggregates. Recycled and secondary aggregates markets are also surveyed; most recently by WRAP12. Surveys of production, supply and demand will allow the effectiveness of policies on safeguarding, search areas and landbanks to be monitored.
49. Domestic peat cutting under permitted development rights is traditional in many areas of Scotland. Commercial peat cutting is different in nature and scale and raises particular environmental concerns. The use of peat is primarily related to horticulture, as either a growing medium or a soil improver. As a matter of policy, Scottish Ministers wish to encourage the use of peat substitutes, although there are a limited number of specialist uses ( e.g. distilling) for which alternatives do not exist. The working of peat will only be acceptable in areas of degraded peatland which has been significantly damaged by human activity and where the conservation value is low. Areas of peatland that retain a high level of natural heritage conservation interest or are important for their archaeological interest and value as CO2 sinks should be protected and conserved for the benefit of future generations.
50. Scotland contains a wide range of industrial minerals but few are currently worked. Economically the most important are industrial (silica) sands and barytes with large unworked deposits occurring in a limited number of localities. Small quantities of talc and honestone are also produced. Dependent on the quality of the deposit, there is a UK and wider market for glass-making silica sand. Taking into account other planning considerations, sites appropriate for the working of unconsented resources of silica sand should be identified by planning authorities and safeguarded in development plans from other forms of permanent use. Likewise, other industrial mineral resources should be identified and safeguarded by planning authorities in their development plans and should provide for their working, subject to the principles set out in this SPP.