Residents can help shape new minerals and waste blueprint

  |  Published: Aug 2nd 2017

A blueprint for the future of mineral prospecting and waste management in Buckinghamshire is to be put to residents, stakeholders and operators from today (Wednesday August 2).

It will eventually become the go-to guide to steer the County Council when considering plans to dig for sand and gravel, and process and recycle waste to 2036.

The County Council has launched the consultation on its new 21-year draft Minerals and Waste Local Plan, to see what people think about 27 potential areas for waste management location, and seven sites for possible mineral extraction.

And Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, is urging them to have their say at www.buckscc.gov.uk/mwlocalplan

"We all recycle stuff or throw it away and this needs to be dealt with." said Bill. "And we all live in homes that have been built using minerals extracted from the ground. We need to plan carefully for the future provision of mineral sites and location of waste management facilities.

"This plan sets out the Council's strategy and is really a helicopter view. It has to balance the needs of our amenities and our natural and historic environment, with the demands for future mineral extraction, and the need to manage Buckinghamshire's waste."

For waste, the plan sets out how much extra capacity will be required, when it will be needed and where it could be provided. It also sets criteria for identifying future recycling and composting capacity.

For minerals, the plan identifies how much sand and gravel will be required and when. It safeguards areas in both the south and north of the county. Operators looking to extract sand, gravel, clay or chalk will need to satisfy strict site criteria, as would those planning waste recycling, recovery or disposal operations.

The plan's criteria protect environmental features, such as the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, nature reserves, wildlife sites, rivers and canals. They also ensure protection for scheduled monuments and listed buildings.

The consultation, which is open until September 27, is the start of the draft plan's 18-month journey towards sign-off in late 2018. Residents will be able to have their say online, at libraries, and at roadshows in Buckingham, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Amersham and Gerrards Cross.

Once residents have fed back, the draft plan will be amended and consulted on again before heading off to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and a formal examination in public in summer 2018.

Roadshows will be held in the following locations:

Beaconsfield, Reading Room, Wycombe End, HP9 1ND, Wednesday 9 August, 4-8pm.
Aylesbury, Market Square, Tuesday 15 August, 10am-4pm. 
Gerrards Cross, Memorial Centre, East Common, SL9 7AD, Thursday 17 August, 2pm-8pm.
Amersham, Barn Meadow Community Hall, Pondwicks, HP7 0ER, Wednesday 23 August, 2pm-8pm.   
Buckingham Community Centre, Cornwalls Meadow, MK18 1RP, Tuesday 29 August, 2pm-8pm.
High Wycombe market, High Street, Saturday 2 September, 10am-4pm.
Iver Village Hall, Grange Way, SL0 9NW, Tuesday 5 September, 4-8pm.

Bill Chapple, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment, on a visit to a Buckinghamshire household recycling centre. photo courtesy Bucks County Council
Bill Chapple, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment, on a visit to a Buckinghamshire household recycling centre
Buckinghamshire's potential preferred sites for minerals and waste. image courtesy Bucks County Council
Buckinghamshire's potential preferred sites for minerals and waste
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