Agenda item

Minerals and Waste Planning Policies and Proposals

Presented By:Mark Chant - Service Manager (Minerals and Waste Planning)

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(i)        To note the report.

 

(ii)       To progress matters as set out under paragraph 5.1 of the report.

 

(iii)      To note the recommendation of officers that the plan should be progressed on a county-wide basis rather than as two separate plans.

Minutes:

The Head of Service (Minerals and Waste) provided a briefing on matters and issues relating to the updating/review of minerals and waste planning policies and proposals that are currently contained within the adopted Northamptonshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan.  There was a statutory requirement on minerals and waste planning authorities, of which NNC was one, to review their adopted planning policies. 

 

There were a number of issues which both North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) would need to consider in advance of agreeing a timetable for the review of minerals and waste planning policies.  The key issue to consider was whether the local plan should be reviewed/replaced on a county-wide basis or be split into two separate minerals and waste local plans.

 

Through local government reorganisation, minerals and waste planning had been established as a service hosted by NNC, that covered both NNC and WNC, but this did not dictate that minerals and waste planning policies should be county-wide.

 

During discussion on the briefing, the following key points were made:

 

i.              Splitting policies would enable different strategies and policies to reflect that both halves of the county were not necessarily the same.  Policies could be progressed at the pace wanted by the respective authorities.

 

ii.            A countywide plan would include economies of scale as there would be no requirement to double up on everything, including not having separate consultations or examinations, which would also bring a cost benefit.

 

iii.           It was noted that there was not yet a budget for the costs of developing a new plan, whether individually or jointly.  The Assistant Director clarified that the greater costs of developing the plan would largely fall at the latter part of the work when we would start to introduce costs into the MTFP, which would require going through the budget setting processes.

 

iv.           There were lots of plans for house building in the area, was there the capacity to manage this going forward?   In response, officers advised that there was not a direct correlation between house building and minerals extraction.  It was also noted that some of the large companies no longer saw Northamptonshire as a key location in which to develop quarries.

 

v.            There was a lack of information about waste and the new authorities had not yet discussed waste treatment and disposal.  There were some concerns about a countywide approach for waste.  Officers confirmed that a Waste Needs Assessment was needed to factor in the growth of housing and commercial development.  The market was changing, and the industry was now focussing on larger, regional sites.

 

vi.           Had development of regional plans been considered?  Officers advised that regional working was a potential way forward.  There were already statutory regional working parties for aggregates, which we were involved in but it would be possible to set up sub-regional arrangements.  The Interim Executive Director advised that the Council was about to procure a waste disposal contract for the end of 2025, which would run for 10 to 20 years.  If the authority wanted to look at its own treatment facilities, it would be able to do so during the term of the contract.

 

vii.          In response to a question as to whether there was any indication as to which direction WNC wanted to go in, officers confirmed that regular meetings were held with colleague and informal discussions had started.  Through these informal discussions, it was believed that they would be open to a joint plan, however there was a need to move to more formal discussions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)        To note the report.

 

(ii)       To progress matters as set out under paragraph 5.1 of the report.

 

(iii)      To note the recommendation of officers that the plan should be progressed on a county-wide basis rather than as two separate plans.

Supporting documents: