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12 MINERALS, DESPOILED LAND AND WASTE DISPOSAL

MINERALS

Introduction

12.1 The Borough has a history of mineral exploitation which has centred largely on the extraction of iron stone in the north and sand and gravel along the valley of the River Wreake. The iron stone workings ceased in the 1950’s and sand and gravel were last extracted in 1984. After use restoration works have successfully returned the worked out areas to agriculture or areas of nature conservation and recreation.

12.2 Coal mining at Asfordby ceased in 1997. Reserves of oil were exploited in small quantities in the Vale of Belvoir between 1953-1980. Exploitation licences have been granted over recent years and in 1990 planning permission was granted for oil extraction south of Long Clawson.

Policy Background

12.3 The County Council as the Minerals Planning Authority determines all planning applications for mineral extraction and also prepares policies and proposals to control mineral extraction and the restoration of derelict land. Policies and proposals to control mineral extraction are contained in the adopted Leicestershire Structure Plan (LSP) and the Draft Leicestershire Minerals Local Plan Review 1992.

12.4 Government policy on mineral extraction is contained in a series of Minerals Planning Guidance Notes. The principal statement in Minerals Planning Guidance Note No 1"General Conditions and the Development Plan System” requires that each minerals planning authority should make a contribution to local, regional and national demand which reflects the nature and extent of minerals in its area. The LSP therefore contains policies for the release of sufficient land to maintain an adequate supply of mineral while minimising effects on the environment and agriculture.

Aims and Objectives

12.5 The Borough Council is consulted by the County Council on all applications in the Borough connected with mineral extraction. The Council will respond to proposals by seeking to ensure that any development satisfies the following:-

  1. nearby land uses, particularly residential are not adversely affected by reason of noise, dust, fumes, mud, vehicular traffic or other forms of pollution;
  2. the best and most versatile agricultural land is not unnecessarily lost and disruptive effects on agriculture are avoided;
  3. important areas of ecological and archaeological importance and woodlands are not adversely affected;
  4. sites are screened by landscaping and other measures during their operational life;
  5. sites are restored, landscaped and returned to agriculture or other appropriate uses;
  6. public rights of way affected are satisfactorily diverted or alternative routes provided ;
  7. associated buildings and structures are designed and sited to minimise visual intrusion.

Policies and Proposals

Coal

12.6 Coal production at Asfordby Mine ceased in 1997 due to unusual geological conditions resulting in a difficult and dangerous mining environment. The owners have begun restoring the land surrounding the main colliery plant and the re-use of the buildings at the mine site will be an important issue when the Melton Local Plan is reviewed.

12.7 When considering proposals for a mine site at Hose in 1979 the Secretary of State expressed firm views about the unacceptable impact of development in the Vale of Belvoir. The Council supports this view.

12.8 The Council will oppose any proposal for the siting of a coal mine or related coal mining activities in this area and in the ‘Area of Particularly Attractive Countryside’ shown on the Proposals Map.

Sand and Gravel

12.9 The Draft Leicestershire Minerals Local Plan Review 1992 states that there are insufficient reserves of sand and gravel with planning permission to meet anticipated needs to 2005. A number of new sites have therefore been identified in the Plan and one is at Brooksby. The Council has objected to the proposal and will continue to resist the extraction of sand and gravel in the Borough unless there is a proven need and proposals would not have an adverse effect on the environment and local communities.

Oil

12.10 The small scale operations of oil extraction in the Borough have caused little disturbance and it is unlikely that further small scale exploitation will have major environmental implications. The Council will nevertheless seek to ensure that any future development do not cause adverse effects on the environment, particularly where ground pollution could occur.

DERELICT LAND

Introduction

12.11 According to the National Survey of Derelict Land (1988) there are some 112 hectares in the Borough comprised mainly of former airfields and military land (48%) with the remainder being abandoned railway lines, worked out pits and former industrial land. Approximately 95% of derelict land lies beyond the Town and Village Envelopes and some 76% is in private ownership. Much of this land has re-vegetated and is or is likely to be of ecological importance.

Policy Background

12.12 The County Council Draft Derelict Land Local Plan 1989 includes policies for the reclamation of sites and suggests potential after uses. The County Council intends to investigate the feasibility of developing those areas which have potential for formal and informal recreation facilities and/or nature conservation. The County Council’s programme for site restoration includes land to the rear of Long Field School, Melton Mowbray. Derelict land in the Borough is shown on the Proposals Map.

Aims and Objectives

12.13 The Local Plan has the following aims and objectives:-

  1. to encourage reclamation to a use appropriate to its location in accordance with the policies of the Local Plan;
  2. to assist in securing sources of finance to achieve restoration;
  3. to prevent land becoming derelict by requiring appropriate restoration works after use.

Policies and Proposals

12.14 In accordance with the Council's aim to encourage reclamation of derelict land to a beneficial and appropriate use according to its location, the following policy will be applied:-

M1

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR THE RESTORATION OF DERELICT LAND TO AGRICULTURE, NATURE CONSERVATION OR OTHER USES IN ACCORDANCE WITH POLICIES OS1 AND OS2 OF THE PLAN.

12.15 The Council is to prepare a development brief for industrial development land at Holwell Works. Further details are set out in Chapter 4 “Industry and Employment” (See Policy EM4).

UNSTABLE AND CONTAMINATED LAND

Introduction

12.16 Ground instability can cause damage to buildings and structures and threaten public safety as a result of building collapse or the fracture of gas mains and other public services. There is little evidence of these problems in the Borough. Should potential problems arise they are likely to be confined largely to sites which have been the subject of waste disposal operations.

12.17 Land which is contaminated in other ways through a previous use, for example an old sewerage works or land used for industrial purposes where hazardous substances have been used or stored, may also give rise to the risk of public safety or pollution of the environment.

Policy Background

12.18 Planning Policy Guidance Note No.14 “Development on Unstable Land” advises local planning authorities about the way ground instability might be treated in development plans. The latest Government advice on contaminated land is contained in the Planning Guidance Note No 23 “Planning and Pollution Controls”.

12.19 Whilst wishing to encourage the full and effective use of affected land, the advice given recognises the many problems of developing such land and public concern regarding health risks and structural damage to buildings.

12.20 The Guidance Notes emphasise that it is the responsibility of potential developers and not local planning authorities to make investigations into the suitability of such land for development.

Aims and Objectives

12.21 The Local Plan has the following aims and objectives:-

  1. to minimise the possibility of property and infrastructure damage, danger to public health and safety and pollution of the environment as a consequence of development on unstable and contaminated land;
  2. to promote the safeguarding of public and private investment by securing a comprehensive appreciation of site conditions applicable to unstable and contaminated land prior to any planning decision;
  3. to encourage the return of unstable and contaminated land whenever possible back to productive use;
  4. to minimise the effect on the water environment.

Policies and Proposals

12.22 The Council is concerned to ensure that development on contaminated or unstable land will be technically and environmentally acceptable. Therefore a report describing and analysing issues relevant to ground stability and possible emission of gases or other contamination will be required with any application to develop the land.

M2

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEVELOPMENT ON OR IN THE VICINITY OF OPERATIONAL OR FORMER LANDFILL SITES INCLUDING SITES SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP UNLESS IT IS DEMONSTRATED TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COUNCIL THAT THE SITE IS SAFE AND THAT SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS ARE UNLIKELY TO ARISE FROM:-

A) THE GENERATION OF METHANE OR OTHER GASES;

B) GROUND INSTABILITY;

C) OTHER CONTAMINATION OR POLLUTION.


WASTE DISPOSAL

Introduction

12.23 The generation of waste material is generally governed by levels of population, economic activity and social and technological changes. Three basic types of waste require disposal and they can be classified as household / civic waste, commercial waste and mining/ quarrying waste.

12.24 In 1990 some 12,200 tonnes of waste were collected from households in the Borough according to County Council estimates and a further 8,450 tonnes from civic amenity sites during the year 1990-91. Commercial waste recovered for the year 1991-92 is estimated at about 1,440 tonnes.

12.25 As a consequence of population growth, household waste in Melton is expected to increase by 14% to the year 2001, whilst commercial waste is expected to grow by 3.4% per annum up to 1998.

Policy Background

12.26 In response to the continuing growth in waste material, the Government in the White Paper “This Common Inheritance” has set a target to achieve the recycling of 25% of all household waste by the year 2000, and has introduced measures to prevent and reduce the quantity of waste being generated.

12.27 The County Council as Waste Disposal Authority has a duty to produce a waste disposal local plan and a plan is presently under preparation. The current strategy of the County Council is contained in the County Waste Disposal Plan 1990. The main aim of the Plan is to dispose of the County’s household and civic waste through controlled landfill without pre-treatment. The Plan however has been overtaken by the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the provisions of which remove from Waste Disposal Authorities the power to operate landfill sites, and has placed upon them a duty to tender for waste disposal from private waste disposal companies.

Aims and Objectives

12.28 The County Council has a duty to consult the Borough Council on all planning applications for the disposal of waste. The Council will respond to any proposal by seeking to ensure that any development satisfies the following:-

  1. no danger to public health would arise through the generation of methane or other gases, ground contamination or instability or other pollution;
  2. nearby land uses, particularly residential, are not adversely affected by reason of smell, noise, dust, fumes, mud or vehicular traffic;
  3. areas of ecological and archaeological importance are not adversely affected;
  4. sites are fenced and screened by landscaping and other measures during their operational life;
  5. landfill sites are restored, landscaped and returned to agriculture or other appropriate uses;
  6. any buildings and structures are designed to minimise visual intrusion;
  7. there would be no adverse effects as a result of vehicular traffic generated by the activity.

Landfill Sites

12.29 Household waste from Melton is disposed of at the landfill site at Bescaby. The site has only short-term capacity and will continue to be used for waste from the Melton area until 30 June 2000. It is likely that future landfill material will be exported to neighbouring counties.

12.30The County Council is required under the General Development Order 1988 to notify the Borough Council of known refuse and waste sites in the area which are in use or have been over the past 30 years. The Council must notify the County Council of any planning application to develop land within 250 metres of these sites. Known landfill sites are shown on the Proposals Map and Policy M2 is designed to ensure that any development on or in the vicinity of landfill sites would be technically and environmentally acceptable.

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