• Stuart Adams

Worcestershire Council still to make decision.

Worcestershire Minerals Local Plan Update – March 2022

Even though things appear to have gone quiet this past 12 months, members of the No Vale Quarries committee have been working hard, wading though hefty legal and technical documents regarding the County Council's plans for sand and gravel extraction across the whole of Worcestershire. We have recently clarified the present position regarding the Worcestershire Minerals Local Plan (WMLP) with Worcestershire County Council.

It is all very technical – but, in summary we are still awaiting the Inspectors report and until that is received there will be no further work on the Minerals Local Plan or the Preferred Options Plan. It is the Preferred Options Plan that we are currently watching closely as this is the document that identifies sites which Worcestershire County Council will consider favorably for future mineral extraction. If the current timetable is followed, we expect to go into a second round of public consultations in September 2022.

The Government appointed Inspectors are currently considering the responses generated following the Examination in Public (EIP) in November 2020. Receipt of the Inspectors’ report is a fundamental element of the whole process, and the Council can only consider the plan for agreement and adoption once this is received. It is hoped that the report will be received in time for it to be considered by the Worcestershire County Council Cabinet in May and adopted by the Full Council in July this year (2022). Should the Inspector’s report not be received shortly these timescales will need to be altered.

The Worcestershire County Council Minerals Team also state that they are progressing well towards the “Preferred Options” Mineral Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD). However, there are elements which cannot be finalised until they have confirmation of the modifications the Inspectors will be recommending for the Minerals Local Plan, and that the Council intends to adopt it. As long as the planned timescales for this are met, the present plan is to consult the public on this second document by the end of September this year.

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The Examination in Public (EiP) hearing sessions for the Worcester Local Minerals Plan (the plan) were held from 11 November 2020 to 13 November 2020. A further session, to consider the schedule of pr