Quarry Products Association of Northern Ireland
Key Issues
 
  Planning Committee  
 

The Planning and Environment Committee is one of the Association hard working groups. As well as responding to the many Government consultation papers that are published every year the Committee works to protect members’ interests and ultimately their right to operate.

Planning

One area that the Association has been very active on in the past year has been representing members’ interests on speeding up planning applications. Representations were made to both the Chief Executives of Planning Service and Natural Heritage in order to have the process speeded up. This has resulted in a new Protecting, Landscape and Nature’ Team (PLaN) being set up. PLaN is an Agency within the Department of the Environment and the Association will monitor its progress towards speeding up planning applications from our sector.

One of the top priorities for the Association is the release of the Sustainability Fund in Northern Ireland. We have asked DOE and DFP that immediate steps are taken to initiate a mechanism whereby money raised through the ALSF can be allocated to projects that will result in real environmental benefits across Northern Ireland. The Associations aim is to secure long term funding for the position of our Biodiversity officer see projects funded and initiated between our industry and local communities affected by our operations.

Review of Old Minerals Permissions (ROMPS)

The Association intends to build on its working relationship with Planning Service this year and plans are being made to hold a number of awareness visits for Planning officials to members sites to inform them about the day to day challenges of operating in our industry. The Association will also be supporting Planning Service in the holding of regional road shows to inform the industry about the implementation of the new ROMPS legislation.

Mineral Planning Policy Statement

Following intense and frustratingly long lobbying by QPANI Planning Service have began work on the long awaited Mineral Planning Policy Statement, to be known as PPS 19 in the current suite of policy statements. The Association will be invited to nominate a representative to the PPS Stakeholder Working Group. Involvement in this group will provide the appropriate forum for the QPANI to outline our thinking on the approach that we consider should be taken. We expect a formal invitation in February.

Minerals Safeguarding Areas

QPANI have called for the implementation of Mineral Safeguarding Areas as part of an overall Mineral Planning Policy Statement. Minerals Policy Statement 1 (MPS1) published in November 2006 in England has introduced a new obligation to define Mineral Safeguarding Areas. MSAs are required to be shown in all development plan documents to alert prospective applicants for planning permission to the existence of valuable mineral resources. The clear directive to Planning Authorities at all levels in England and Wales is to ensure that the new safeguarding process is put into practice as soon as possible and used effectively following the strong lead given to them in MPS1. As Northern Ireland continues to see significant economic growth and development over the next few years and beyond, the time has long since past when we require a similar Mineral Safeguarding Areas to that now established in England and Wales.

As well as MSAs the Association will want to see significant changes to the Permitted Development Policy in relation to quarries and an agreement on recognised buffer zones around sites as part of an agreed MPPS.

Energy Conservation

Following a recent meeting between the Association, the Carbon Trust and Invest NI a number of events will be taking place over the next number of months. The QPANI has entered into a partnership with the Carbon Trust (www.carbontrust.co.uk) to provide a range of services designed to better understand and reduce the energy consumption (& hence carbon emissions) in the Northern Ireland minerals and quarrying sectors.

Part of this activity relates to the updating of energy performance and benchmarking figures across the main industry sectors e.g. to produce typical and best practice indicators such as kWh of energy used per tonne of produce.

Committee members

Planning  
Connor Jordan (Chair) Norman Emerson Group
Irwin Armstrong CES Quarry Products Ltd
Ivan Hargie Six West
Naill Collen Collen Brothers
Noel Mitten RJ Mitten
Stephen Robinson Robinson Quarry Masters
Stephen Linden Quinn Group
Patrick Sherry Acheson & Glover
William Doherty Creagh Concrete
Brian Thompson Northstone Materials
Clifford Lutton Cemex (NI)
Russell Drew Whitemountain Quarries Ltd

 

 

 
 

Work with relevant organisations and individuals in order to inform and advise members on impending legislation that may impact on their operations

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