Residents can help shape new minerals and waste blueprint

  |  Published: Feb 11th 2015

Residents across Buckinghamshire are being invited to help kickstart thinking on the future for waste management and quarrying for minerals in the county. The first consultation to start the process of making a new Minerals and Waste Local Plan for the county begins on Thursday, February 19.

The County Council would like residents, landowners, businesses and parishes to help set the direction for the plan by, for example, helping to identify sites for smaller scale waste management, and where future sand and gravel quarrying could take place over the next 15 years.

The last Minerals and Waste Local Plan - comprehensively covering sites for mineral extraction and handling waste - was adopted in 2006.

While some sections were revised three years ago, taking account of matters such as climate change, since then further changes in government policy concerning the management of household waste and mineral extraction, means that a comprehensive revision is now needed.

The replacement plan will need to address activities such as the potential for oil and gas exploration, the recycling and reuse of waste materials, as well as where sand and gravel can be dug to help meet the aspirations for building new houses.

Lester Hannington, the County Council's Lead Officer for minerals and waste policy, said that sand and gravel was essential for construction and maintenance of the built environment, and finding new excavation sites was important for the future wellbeing of the county.

In addition, the new plan would seek out where waste could be used as a resource, instead of being sent to landfill.

'There is much more creative thinking these days about a circular economy, which very much means waste management,' said Mr Hannington. 'Sending things we no longer want to landfill is increasingly a thing of the past. But that means finding the places where waste can be turned into a resource again. For example, paper, plastics, glass, cars, washing machines, fridges and cookers; these can all be managed so that they can contribute towards making new products.’

Lesley Clarke OBE, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment, said: ‘I want people to be involved right from the start. This is a golden opportunity for our residents to influence these policies from the word “go”. We need to make strong policies so that in looking at future planning applications we can make robust decisions in the interests of Buckinghamshire.'

Residents' views will help produce the new plan, due to be published as a draft next year (2016).

This consultation uses an online document containing questions within it, where you can insert your views, and provides several background papers. All of these are available at: http://buckscc-consult.objective.co.uk/portal  The public can register, and then answer whichever of the consultation questions interest them. 

If you wish to know more, or need help, then please call either: 01296 383037, 01296 383142, or 01296 382090 or e-mail mineralswastepolicy@buckscc.gov.uk

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