This section of the Local Plan concentrates on strategic development management matters relating to both minerals and waste related development as well as other forms of development where this is relevant. 

Addressing the impact of minerals and waste development


All development wherever it is sited, and whether it is specifically allocated in the Local Plan or comes forward through the development control process through the submission of a planning application, has some form of local impact. This has to be addressed before any development can be allowed to proceed. This will also apply to its operation. 


Minerals and waste development, whether of a permanent or temporary nature, may have potential impacts that are required to be addressed when planning permission is granted or managed as part of subsequent operations. Appropriate implementation measures that will reduce potential impacts and maximise beneficial outcomes will need to be applied. 


Development proposed within general industrial areas, either allocated through Policy 13 or coming forward through the planning application process, should have regard to potential impacts on existing and allocated landuse both within the industrial area and the local area, specifically where the industrial area neighbours more sensitive landuses such as residential development.

Policy 18 – Addressing the impact of proposed minerals and waste development

Proposals for minerals and waste development must demonstrate that the following matters have been considered and addressed: 

  • protecting Northamptonshire’s natural resources and key environmental designations (including heritage assets), 
  • avoiding and / or minimising potentially adverse impacts to an acceptable level, specifically addressing air emissions (including dust), odour, bioaerosols, noise and vibration, slope stability, vermin and pests, birdstrike, litter, land use conflict and cumulative impact, 
  • impacts on flood risk as well as the flow and quantity of surface and groundwater, 
  • ensuring built development is of a design and layout that has regard to its visual appearance in the context of the defining characteristics of the local area, 
  • ensuring access is sustainable, safe and environmentally acceptable, and 
  • ensuring that local amenity is protected.

Where applicable a site-specific management plan should be developed to ensure the implementation and maintenance of mitigation measures throughout construction, operation, decommissioning and restoration works.

Encouraging sustainable transport movements


The impact on the local environment and amenity from traffic associated with minerals and waste development is a key matter for consideration in the planning process. Transport impact can be reduced through routing agreements to control traffic movements and / or encourage uptake of alternative transport methods such as rail or water. Use of these more sustainable transport methods is encouraged.


However it is usually the case that sites are not necessarily in the right place to take advantage of alternative methods of transport, being away from navigable waterways or the rail network. Furthermore where there is an alternative mode potentially available, the use of such alternative transport methods may not be economically viable unless applied to large amount of materials or to long distances transported to or from their source. Consequently the primary transport method used within both the minerals and waste industry is therefore road based transport.


Minerals can only be worked where they are found and so it may not be possible to strategically locate these operations in relation to their intended market or alternate transport methods. Within the minerals industry transportation costs work to minimise distance and movements with the majority of quarry products (80%) used within 30 miles from source. However, it may be possible for other minerals related development such as the processing of inert waste and secondary and recycled aggregates to be more strategically located.


Waste can often end up traveling much further distances, even across the country. This may be due to market drivers (such as contracts) or the nature of the waste which may require a specific management method that may be of a more specialised nature. To encourage sustainable transport movements the Local Plan has identified catchment areas to be applied to different types / sizes of facilities.

Policy 19 – Encouraging sustainable transport

Minerals and waste related development should seek to minimise transport movements and maximise the use of sustainable or alternative transport modes. Where possible minerals and waste related development should be located, designed and operated to enable transport by rail, water, pipeline or conveyor.

Minerals and waste related development should be well placed to serve their intended markets or catchment area(s) in order to minimise transport distances and movements in order to support the development of sustainable communities that take responsibility for the waste that they produce and work towards self-sufficiency.

Proposals for new development or development that would result in a significant increase in transport movements should include a sustainable transport statement to demonstrate how the above has been taken into consideration.

 nNatural assets and resources


Northamptonshire has a range of sites recognised for their environmental quality, a number of which have international through to local level designations (Box 4). However, in terms of proportional area, Northamptonshire has below the UK average of statutorily protected sites. Within the existing policy hierarchy, individual wildlife sites designated at an international or national level receive statutory protection (under specific legislation) whilst others designated at a local level receive less protection. It is acknowledged that such sites of local importance represent a vital aspect of environmental systems. Locally designated sites form a significant and important part of the county’s natural resource, often contributing to ecological connectivity and landscape linkages. In the future these will help habitats and species adapt to the effects of climate change. The Nene Valley Nature Improvement Area (NIA) includes the River Nene, its tributaries and associated waterbodies and habitat areas. The purpose of the NIA is to improve ecological connectivity and biodiversity at a landscape scale within the Nene Valley through joined up management and identification of opportunities for habaitat enhancement.


Components of the local ecological networks (including designated sites, wildife corridors and stepping stones that connect them) are shown on the online interactive map.


Natural assets cannot be easily re-created once lost. As such, in conjunction with protecting designated natural assets and resources, the main focus of seeking locally specific development management measures is to secure enhancement of those features. The possibility of significant environmental effects associated with any particular development site must be fully understood before consideration can be given as to whether the proposed development is acceptable at that location. Without this, there is the potential of permanently losing the ability to deliver priority Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitat, green infrastructure network linkages or buffers to protect existing natural assets.


Biodiverse habitats, especially those that develop in very specific conditions, can be difficult to re-create (if at all). The presence of any important habitat type must be taken into consideration, as it may not be possible to regain the same level of biodiversity post-development through restoration measures. Therefore, where habitat creation is undertaken, the area created should be significantly larger than that lost in order to compensate for such difficulties.


Proposals for minerals and waste development will be subject to an ecological evaluation where considered appropriate by the planning authority, and where necessary a programme of mitigation and / or compensation will be agreed in advance. Consideration should be given to how the site can contribute to the county’s identified green infrastructure networks, BAP targets and the Environmental Characterisation Assessments (ECA). Proposals must also demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the county’s geological and natural assets, in particular the importance of underlying geological conditions on the local ecology in relation to the ability of the site to support specific vegetative communities and associated habitat. For example calcareous grassland (a BAP priority habitat) is mainly associated with the old ironstone quarries of the county where thin nutrient poor calcareous soils have been exposed by quarrying operations. In addition, proposals that may have an adverse impact on a European (Natura 2000) site must satisfy the requirements of the Habitats Regulations.


Requirements regarding natural assets and resources to be addressed by proposals for minerals and waste development are detailed in Policy 20.


The Development and Implementation Principles SPD provides additional guidance on the consideration of natural assets and resources in the design and restoration of minerals and waste development.

Policy 20 – Natural assets and resources

Minerals and waste development should seek to achieve a net gain in natural assets and resources, through:

  • protecting and enhancing international and national designated sites,
  • delivery of wider environmental benefits in the vicinity where development would adversely affect locally designated sites or other features of local interest, 
  • protecting and enhancing green infrastructure and strategic biodiversity networks, in particular the River Nene and other sub-regional corridors, and 
  • contributing towards Northamptonshire Biodiversity Action Plan targets for habitats and species.

Proposals for minerals and waste development will be required to undertake an assessment (where appropriate) in order to:

  • identify and determine the nature, extent and level of importance of the natural assets and resources, as well as any potential impacts, and 
  • identify mitigation measures and / or requirement for compensation (where necessary) to avoid, reduce and manage potentially adverse impacts.



Northamptonshire’s landscape has been largely altered by the actions of man; this has in turn led to locally-distinctive landscapes and features that are part of our cultural heritage. It is important to protect the county’s landscapes for the sake of their intrinsic character and beauty, the diversity of wildlife, as well as the wealth of their natural resources. Once lost such features can be difficult to re-create.


Northamptonshire has no landscape designations, such as National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Special Landscape Areas (SLAs), which have local status, only remain over parts of Daventry and South Northamptonshire local authority areas (as of 1 January 2016). National guidance states that such designations should only be maintained or, exceptionally, extended where it can be clearly shown that the necessary protection cannot be provided by policy alone. Where designated in a revised adopted district Local Plan they will form a material planning consideration.


Instead of SLAs a more rounded approach to landscape safeguarding and enhancement is being pursued, which acknowledges the intrinsic character inherent in all of Northamptonshire’s landscapes. ECAs have been undertaken throughout the county, including for landscape character. This approach may help to promote a joined-up approach to green infrastructure.


Particular features that create a specific aspect of local distinctiveness or character should be protected from future loss; this includes such features as topography (e.g. hills and dales), habitats that are unique to an area (e.g. ironstone gullets or quarries, acid grassland and ancient woodland), geology (e.g. unique formations and historic quarries) and historic landscapes (which may contain features such as ancient hedgerows, stone walls and survivals of former field systems such as ridge and furrow).


Proposals for minerals and waste development with the potential to significantly affect landscape values will be subject to a landscape impact assessment addressing both the potential impact and any mitigation measures considered necessary.


Requirements regarding landscape character to be addressed by proposals for minerals and waste development are detailed in Policy 21.


The Development and Implementation Principles SPD provides additional guidance on the consideration of landscape in the design and restoration of minerals and waste development.

Policy 21 – Landscape character

Minerals and waste development should seek to reflect Northamptonshire’s landscape character. Development should mitigate potentially adverse impacts on the local character and distinctiveness of Northamptonshire’s landscape where necessary during the development, operational life, restoration, aftercare and after-use. Opportunities for enhancement should be maximised through restoration, aftercare and after-use.

Proposals for minerals and waste development will be required to undertake a landscape impact assessment (where appropriate) based on the landscape character assessment in order to identify: 

  • the presence of landscape values (including their nature, extent and level of importance) and determine any potential impacts, 
  • any necessary measures to mitigate potentially adverse impacts, and
  • opportunities to protect and enhance particular features that create a specific aspect of local distinctiveness or character.

Historic environment


The historic environment contributes towards creating local distinctiveness and a sense of place by understanding our past. This is particularly relevant for land use planning as it creates a direct link between previous settlement and land use patterns and our current or future land uses and activities.


Nationally designated heritage assets within Northamptonshire include Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas, Registered Parks and Gardens and Registered Battlefields. The designation of heritage assets has largely focused on more tangible or visible interest, and as such there are many areas of archaeological interest which are of national importance that are not scheduled. Designated sites receive statutory protection under heritage protection legislation. However, others that are considered locally significant (such as ridge and furrow) or, that may not yet be identified (such as in the case of archaeological interests), do not. Such assets may present an important resource in terms of place-making and developing an understanding of our history, which if not addressed early may be lost.


Minerals development, more so than waste, is generally quite an intensive activity in relation to potential impacts on the historic environment due to its extractive nature. However, it is acknowledged that both minerals and waste development have the potential to affect different types of heritage assets and their setting.


For this reason, it is important that adequate information and evidence is available to inform the decision making process, ensuring that the potential impact of the proposal on the historic environment and the significance of heritage assets (including undesignated assets) and their setting is understood. In the case of archaeology, such interests are often not identified until the process of assessment or evaluation has begun. Where there is thought to be a risk of such interests being present a phased approach for assessing the significance of heritage assets involving desk-based assessments and / or field evaluations may be required.


It may not be necessary to manage all aspects of an asset; this will need to be determined through consideration of the relative significance of the asset, its specific interest and setting. In addition, the presence of heritage assets does not preclude development from occurring; rather it should be seen as an opportunity to build on our knowledge and seek to utilise heritage assets for an appropriate and viable use that is consistent with their conservation, and which makes a positive contribution to local character and place-making. Opportunities may exist to incorporate specific features into restoration of sites thereby strengthening our linkage to the historic environment and contribution towards creating a sense of place.


The historic environment can also include natural heritage; in this sense natural heritage should be incorporated into ecological surveys where appropriate, as habitats which have developed over many years (often hundreds or thousands) cannot be re-created. Furthermore the potential impacts of development on the setting of heritage assets should also be taken into consideration as this may bear wider impacts regarding landscape linkages and connectivity. Further information on Northamptonshire’s historic landscape character is set out in the ECAs (Box 5).


Proposals for minerals and waste development involving a site which includes heritage assets (including development within the setting of an asset), particularly those with an archaeological interest, will be required to carry out appropriate desk based and / or field evaluations in order to identify and determine the nature, extent, level of significance of the asset and any potential impacts (having regard to the ECA). Proposals should also detail the requirement for a programme of post-permission works including any mitigation measures considered necessary to manage or enhance the asset and its setting, such as preservation in situ of archaeological remains, use of buffer zones, ‘post excavation’ assessment (including analysis, archiving and dissemination of information), ‘preservation by design’ (e.g. where dewatering is required measures to prevent waterlogged archaeological remains from drying out and being destroyed) and long-term monitoring.


Requirements regarding the historic environment to be addressed by proposals for minerals and waste development are detailed in Policy 22.


The Development and Implementation Principles SPD provides additional guidance on the consideration of the historic environment in the design and restoration of minerals and waste development.

Policy 22 – Historic environment

Where heritage assets are identified, proposals should seek to conserve and enhance Northamptonshire’s historic environment through: 

  • careful management of heritage assets, their significance and setting, including the avoidance and / or mitigation of potentially adverse impacts, and 
  • enhancement of specific features of the historic environment, including individual heritage assets or historic landscapes, as part of the restoration scheme.

Proposals for minerals and waste development involving a site which includes heritage assets (including development within the setting of an asset), particularly those with an archaeological interest, will be required to undertake appropriate desk based and / or field evaluations in order to: 

  • identify and determine the nature, extent and level of the significance of each heritage asset, the contribution of its setting to that significance, as well as any potential impacts on the asset or its setting, and 
  • identify the requirement for a programme of post-permission works including any mitigation measures and long-term monitoring.

Layout and design quality 


The design and form of development is as important as its scale and location, this is as relevant to minerals and waste development as it is to other types of development. The layout and design of minerals and waste development can help to reduce potential impacts, increase public perception of such activities, improve safety and security, as well as increasing operational efficiency.


Strategic site layout can significantly reduce potential impacts on the immediate surrounding area and broader landscape. It can also allow for greater opportunities to incorporate elements of visual interest, reflect local identity in the design or provide for effective buffers. The provision of landscaping schemes and boundary treatments can contribute positively towards amenity and biodiversity, particularly where they incorporate native species.


Visual design elements of such developments can either seek to facilitate integration into the surrounding landscape or townscape, or create visual interest and highlight innovation (dependant on the developer’s intention, acceptability of design and the nature of the receiving environment). However, functional aspects and impacts of visual design should also be considered.


Waste management facilities involving advanced treatment often include some form of emission stack (chimney) and increasingly feature the use of lighting for the joint purpose of security and visual interest, and may include the use of reflective surfaces as a design feature. This is particularly important in Northamptonshire given the presence of military flight paths and large numbers of migratory birds. The presence of tall structures (particularly where involving atmospheric emissions) or reflective surfaces under flight paths may present air safety risks. Proposals for development surrounding areas known to be of importance for migratory bird species (e.g. the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits SPA and associated habitats) should also consider the potential for building bird strike resulting from tall structures and reflective surfaces. It is therefore important to highlight the need for consideration of such matters during the formative stages of proposal research and design.


Many solid waste materials are combustible and therefore fires at waste sites may result in substantial property damage and cause harm to people and the environment, including through the release of pollutants via air (from smoke) and water (firewater run-off). The number of waste sites will continue to increase in line with recycling and landfill diversion targets. In addition waste-related development is increasingly compatible with industrial development resulting in more facilities located in urban areas near infrastructure, transport routes and communities. As such it is important that due consideration is given to such matters. Proposals for waste-related development should incorporate measures to reduce fire risk and in doing so have regard to relevant guidance16 (in addition to legislative requirements).

16 Such as the Environment Agency guidance on Fire Prevention Pans and “Reducing Fire Risk on Waste Management Sites” issued by the Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum in October 2014 (or relevant documents superseding this reference), which provides advice and standards on good and acceptable practice to reduce the risk of fire on waste sites.


Requirements regarding layout and design quality to be addressed by proposals for minerals and waste development are detailed in Policy 23.


Proposals for minerals and waste development will need to demonstrate that the development is set in the context of the area in which it is to be sited, including the landscape, streetscape and the character of existing buildings as appropriate.


The integration of sustainable design and use of resources is required to be addressed through the Local Plan (Policy 26). Proposals should therefore also address the need to incorporate sustainable design including the prudent use of natural resources, waste minimisation (i.e. re-use and recycling of materials) and energy efficiency. The utilisation of local building materials wherever practicable, and the building-in of safety and security features as appropriate should also be addressed.


The Development and Implementation Principles SPD provides additional guidance on the consideration of design and layout of minerals and waste development.

Policy 23 – Layout and design quality

The layout and overall appearance of waste management facilities, and where appropriate minerals development, will be required to demonstrate that the development: 

  • supports local identity and relates well to neighbouring sites and buildings,
  • is set in the context of the area in which it is to be sited in a manner that enhances the overall townscape, landscape or streetscape (as appropriate), 
  • utilises local building materials as appropriate,  incorporates specific elements of visual interest, 
  • builds-in safety and security, and 
  • reduces fire risk on waste management and disposal sites, having regard to relevant guidance.

Restoration and after-use


Most mineral development is of a temporary nature, as is some waste development, notably that related to landfill. Development that is temporary in nature should always have an approved scheme for restoration and an end date by which this will have been implemented. Restoration of minerals and waste sites must be done progressively, with sections of the site worked and then restored at the earliest opportunity.


Responsible stewardship and restoration of minerals and (temporary) waste development sites can provide for a wide range of opportunities for enhancement and beneficial after-uses. However, opportunities for enhancement should not take precedence over the need to protect and maintain existing environmental assets.


There are often competing interests in terms of achieving different restoration and after-use objectives. It is important to balance these competing interests to ensure that outcomes reflect the needs and desires of the local community.


Restoration should maximise public and environmental benefit, but its after-use should be determined in relation to its land use context and surrounding environmental character. Public benefit could include uses that benefit the local community, whilst environmental benefit could include habitat creation that meets Northamptonshire BAP priorities. A wider scope of restoration, rather than a simple re-instatement to the previous use, allows for consideration of both local circumstance and broader linkages and can support the integration of investment priorities in line with spatial planning principles.


In river valleys restoration of extracted sites to (predominantly) lakes or large areas of open water would not be appropriate, due to the landscape change it would bring about, but wetland biodiversity restoration would be encouraged. For certain mineral extraction, particularly in the more upland areas of the county (in effect the glacial deposits), in order to minimise transport of fill back to extracted sites for restoration works, restoration of land to a lower level than previously (particularly if the site is on a slope) may be appropriate where it would have no significant adverse impact on the landscape character of the vicinity. Such restoration should still seek to provide related benefits such as increasing nature conservation.


After-use with the primary objective of restoration to agriculture, forestry, economic development and amenity purposes should seek to integrate secondary after-use objectives in order to maximise opportunities. Secondary after-use objectives may include: landscape enhancement, habitat enhancement or creation for the purpose of achieving a coherent ecological network (contributing towards BAP targets and green infrastructure linkages), water catchment conservation, flood attenuation, enhancement of the historic environment, geodiversity, recreation and environmental education. Such objectives (primary and secondary) are often inter-related, with one being a product of the other. Indeed a mix of after-uses may be the most valuable way of restoring a piece of land and maximising opportunities. Restoration schemes should also secure after-care and ongoing management of sites to ensure long-term success.


Minerals and waste developments have the potential to make a significant contribution to a number of BAP species and habitat targets. For some specific habitats, the entire creation target for the county could be achieved through appropriate restoration of minerals development.


Environmental conditions are important particularly when considering the creation or restoration of BAP habitats. These are often limited by the distribution of suitable underlying geological conditions. For example mineral extraction offers some of the best habitat creation opportunities in the county for calcareous grassland, due to the exposed underlying geology and poor soils. Therefore, the need to create BAP habitats should take precedence over other restoration aims in situations where suitable conditions exist. The same applies to strategic biodiversity networks as these occur where there are already networks of existing habitat, and where the right conditions exist to connect these with suitable new habitats.


Similarly, opportunities to promote geodiversity and enhance specific heritage assets are restricted to where such assets occur as they have a direct association specific to the location. Hence where geodiversity or important heritage assets occur precedence should be given to incorporating these objectives into the after-use. Consideration should also be given to the impact of ecological projects on the historic environment. The proposed schemes should balance the needs of both the historic and natural environment.


Restoration can provide the opportunity to disseminate and promote heritage assets both lost through extraction and those surviving. This can lead to an improved local understanding of the historic environment within an identified specific localised area and provide for the future management of the surviving assets.


Restoration of mineral sites may present opportunities for improvement to flood risk management, for example making space for water by improving flood flow routes and / or providing flood storage. Surface water run-off rates following restoration should be limited to the pre-extraction or pre-development rates, and where possible seek to improve rates (thereby reducing flood risk). Such measures will help to ensure that flood risk off-site is not increased.


Detailed Northamptonshire-specific criteria based on the Local Plan principles and requirements regarding restoration and after-use to be addressed by proposals for minerals and waste development are detailed in Policy 24. Further guidance is set out in the Development and Implementation Principles SPD, including the Habitat Opportunity Assessment and Map which identifies potential habitat creation opportunities as options for the restoration of allocated minerals sites in Northamptonshire.

Policy 24 – Restoration and after-use

All minerals and waste related development of a temporary nature must ensure that the site is progressively restored to an acceptable condition and stable landform.

The after-use of a site will be determined in relation to its land use context, the surrounding environmental character and any specific local requirements, but on the basis that it: 

  • enhances biodiversity, the local environment and amenity, and 
  • benefits the local community and / or economy.

The restoration of minerals and waste sites should meet the following requirements (where appropriate): 

  • sites previously comprising high-grade agricultural land or good-quality forestry use should be restored to the original land use and coupled with a secondary after-use objective, 
  • precedence should be given to the establishment of Biodiversity Action Plan habitat, strategic biodiversity networks, promotion of geodiversity and enhancement of the historic environment and heritage assets where the specific conditions occur that favour such after-use objectives, 
  • sites connecting or adjacent to identified habitat areas and green infrastructure networks should be restored in a manner which promotes habitat enhancement (in line with Biodiversity Action Plan targets) and green infrastructure plans, 
  • sites located near to areas identified as lacking recreational facilities should be restored in a manner that promotes such opportunities,
  •  sites located within river corridors should be restored to support water catchment conservation and incorporate flood attenuation measures, and
  • in specific instances, and where fully in accordance with policies in other local plans in Northamptonshire, sites may be restored in a manner that promotes economic opportunities.

Sites for mineral extraction in river valleys should not be restored to a predominantly open water based form. Restoration of mineral sites elsewhere in the county to a lower level form will be acceptable if it is able to retain the integrity of the local landscape character and minimises overall traffic movements associated with extraction and restoration of the site.

Managing the implementation of minerals and waste development


In line with the NPPF and the positive provision for development set out in this Local Plan, the County Council as the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority (MWPA) will seek to always work proactively with applicants to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible (in line with the Local Plan and its policies) and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area. The ability to successfully manage the implemention of development will help in the planning authority being able to grant permission with the necessary confidence.

Planning conditions and obligations


Minerals and waste developments have the potential, dependant on the nature of the development and the receiving environment, to not only affect the immediate surrounds but also the wider area. These impacts need to be addressed and, where ongoing, managed. The use of planning conditions (attached to the grant of planning permission) and obligations (legal agreements relating to the planning approval) can do this, and may therefore allow the development to go ahead where it would otherwise be refused. The preference of the MWPA is always to try to address matters by condition first and only go down the route of applying planning obligations where conditions alone would not prove adequate.


Areas where conditions and obligations would be utilised in relation to the granting of planning permission would be:


Planning obligations can be used not only to mitigate the effects of development, they can also bring tangible and more subtle benefits to the local community, including the:


The benefits derived from planning obligations should relate to the proposed development.


Measures for controlling and managing the implementation of minerals and waste development, including planning conditions and obligations, are detailed in Policy 25.



Monitoring is an important part of the planning process to ensure that development is undertaken in accordance with the conditions attached to a planning permission. Effective monitoring can also identify and avert potential problems before they arise and help minimise the need for enforcement action. It ensures the promotion of best practice within the industry, and helps to foster a good working relationship between the planning authority, industry and local communities.


Baseline monitoring and data are usually required as part of the information submitted with an application for planning permission and in some cases this will form part of an Environmental Impact Assessment.


In order to properly monitor sites and maintain an accurate and up-to date database on which to judge how policies are performing, the planning authority will seek to obtain relevant information from operators post-approval. This will be held on a confidential basis. If information is required under other means, e.g. AWP data, then this will not need to be re-produced. The monitoring information will be used by the planning authority, and ideally should also be used by the operator themselves, to monitor performance and identify trends.


Measures for controlling and managing the implementation of minerals and waste development, including monitoring, are detailed in Policy 25.

Local Liaison Groups


In some cases it will be appropriate to establish a Local Liaison Group for the purpose of enabling representatives of the local community, whom are affected by a minerals or waste development, to have direct regular contact with the operator and council officers. Local Liaison Groups will be required to be established for all mineral extraction sites and certain types of waste management facilities (as appropriate dependant on nature of the development and potential impacts).


Measures for controlling and managing the implementation of minerals and waste development, including the establishment of Local Liaison Groups, are detailed in Policy 25.

Prohibition orders


MPAs are permitted to make orders prohibiting the resumption of minerals development in, on or under land where no such development has been carried out to any substantial extent for a period of at least two years and where, on the evidence available to the authority at the time when they make the order, it appears that development is unlikely to resume to any substantial extent.


The intention of prohibition orders is to establish without doubt that minerals development has ceased, to ensure that development cannot resume without a fresh grant of planning permission, and to secure the restoration of the land. A prohibition order can encompass any number of permissions for mineral development which apply to the land or site to which it relates, including plant and machinery


There are a number of sites in the county with valid planning permissions, where the winning and working of minerals has not taken place for a considerable period of time. Most of the dormant sites identified by the Review of Minerals Permissions (ROMPs) process fall into this type of site.


Subject to availability of council resources, it remains the MPAs intention to remove the possibility of the re-opening of these sites through the service of Prohibition Orders under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This will provide clarity and certainty for all parties but in particular for the public. In deciding whether to make a prohibition order, the planning authority will follow the procedures set out in primary and secondary legislation.


Measures for controlling and managing the implementation of minerals and waste development, including prohibition orders, are detailed in Policy 25.

Policy 25 – Implementation

The implementation of minerals and waste development will be controlled and managed through the use of the following measures: 

  • planning conditions, 
  • planning obligations and / or legal agreements to:
           o ensure that requirements are met (but only where the use of planning conditions alone is not adequate), and / or
           o provide benefits to compensate the local community affected by the development (where appropriate), 
  • requirements by the owner and / or operator to monitor minerals extracted and waste managed, including information on catchments, and to provide summaries of this information to the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority, 
  • monitoring of permitted operations by the planning authority to ensure compliance with planning conditions, 
  • establishment of a Local Liaison Group (where appropriate), and 
  • service of prohibition orders at minerals sites where winning and working has not been carried out for at least two years and where, in the planning authority’s opinion, working is unlikely to be resumed.

Sustainable development


The promotion of sustainable development is a fundamental priority of spatial planning. For the purposes of the Local Plan there are three areas where there is to be a particular focus: (a) promoting sustainable design and the use of resources, to include waste minimisation in the construction and operation of new development; (b) promoting the co-location of waste management facilities in areas of new development; and (c) encouraging sustainable transport movements associated with minerals and waste related development.

Sustainable design and use of resources


Given the increasing emphasis on sustainable development, one of the principal objectives of the minerals planning system is to minimise the production of waste and encourage efficient use of materials.


Planning and the building control regimes along with the construction industry have a major role to play in ensuring that sustainable design, construction and demolition principles are applied to all built development. The emphasis should be on maximising the reuse of materials, preferably on-site as this reduces the need for transport, and failing that, the wastes arising from construction should be managed using more sustainable methods. Additional requirements relating to energy and water efficiency should also apply to new minerals and waste development.


Minerals and waste related development should support the move towards a low carbon economy by reducing the production of greenhouse gases produced. New and existing facilities should aim to meet national standards.

Secondary and recycled aggregates


Secondary and recycled aggregates represent a potential major source of materials for construction, helping to conserve primary materials and reducing the waste produced. They make up a comparatively small contribution to meeting the need for higher quality aggregates as the majority are used for lower quality end uses. Nevertheless the substitution of secondary and recycled materials for primary aggregates has clear environmental advantages, although the processing of recycled or secondary materials can be similar to the processing of primary aggregates and therefore have environmental and amenity impacts.


Demand and production of secondary and recycled aggregates is increasing. Secondary and recycled aggregates are estimated to contribute 25% of the total aggregate consumption. Past government research indicated that of the construction and demolition waste sent to landfill, 40% is of a composition that would be appropriate for recycling. Hence there are still greater opportunities to increase recycling rates.


However, it should be noted that secondary and recycled materials already contribute towards aggregate consumption within the construction industry. Therefore, merely increasing the number of such facilities in Northamptonshire would not lead to a reduction in the amount of extracted provision that is needed to be met.


Secondary and recycled materials should be used in new development, with the use of higher value materials where secondary and recycled materials will suffice actively discouraged. The use of non-mineral construction materials should be encouraged except where considerations of conserving the existing character of an area would apply.

Waste minimisation in new development


The waste implications, both in waste generation and in what it means in respect of the facilities for its treatment and disposal, for all development should be considered at the earliest possible stage and given the necessary priority. New development, whether it is housing, commercial or other development, should contribute to the minimisation of waste. Because of the increase in the availability of kerbside schemes for the separation and collection of waste materials, it will be important to ensure that there is adequate space and facilities for the separation, storage and collection of waste within individual buildings in new developments.


For residential and commercial development, SPDs for local areas and Development Briefs for individual sites should reflect these principles. For individual development proposals the volumes and types of waste to be generated by the proposed development and the measures to deal with their minimisation and management will be expected to accompany planning applications.


Detailed Northamptonshire-specific criteria, based on the principles set out in Policy 26 below, are covered in the Local Plan through the Development and Implementation Principles SPD.

Policy 26 – Sustainable design and use of resources

New built development should seek to utilise the efficient use of resources in both its construction and its operation through: 

  • Design principles and construction methods that minimise the use of primary aggregates and encourage the use of building materials made from secondary and recycled sources, 
  • Construction and demolition methods that minimise waste production, and re-use and recycle materials (as far as practicable) on-site, 
  • The use of non-primary mineral construction materials, except where there is a need to protect and conserve the existing character of the area, which require traditional building materials (such as building and roofing stone), 
  • Design and layout that allows the sorting, recycling, biological processing and storage of waste, and 
  • Supporting the move to a low carbon economy by way of reduced greenhouse gas production through design and layout that incorporates energy and water efficiency, and where appropriate flood mitigation or attenuation measures.

Co-location of waste management facilities with other development



To create a more holistic and integrated approach to waste management within neighbourhoods and communities, there should be an increase in communities, particularly those comprising significant new development, having neighbourhood waste management facilities within them.


The provision of neighbourhood facilities within, or related to, new development should therefore be facilitated, and the Waste Planning Authority (WPA) will expect all proposals for significant residential and commercial development within the county to identify how this will be achieved. This will apply in relation to: 


Such facilities should be appropriate for their location and will need to complement any kerbside system in operation. All facilities will also need to be well designed and properly maintained and operated, with their management and funding planned and agreed beforehand.


Detailed Northamptonshire-specific criteria based on Policy 27 below is covered in the Local Plan through the Development and Implementation Principles SPD.

Policy 27 – Co-location of waste management facilities with new development

Related to areas of significant new development there should be a neighbourhood scale waste management facility that either forms part of, or serves this new development. Neighbourhood waste management facilities that would serve existing development will also be encouraged.

Managing the impact of other forms of development


Other forms of development may impact on minerals and waste development, either through surface development sterilising mineral resources or encroachment of incompatible development affecting the operational viability of the minerals or waste development. As such the existence of committed or allocated sites for minerals and waste development should be taken into consideration with regard to the determination of proposals for other forms of development.

Safeguarding mineral resources


In a county where minerals resources permitted for extraction are not in ample supply (as evidenced by a historically low landbank of permissions for sand and gravel extraction), the issue of safeguarding known minerals resources from other development that could sterilise its eventual extraction becomes a more important issue, especially as Northamptonshire is a growing county. It is a Government requirement that known resources should not be needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development, and that there should be prior extraction of the mineral if it is necessary for such development to take place.


The key resource in Northamptonshire is sand and gravel; therefore any such sand and gravel resource that can effectively be extracted economically should be safeguarded. Limestone also plays an important role in providing aggregate resources in the county (especially in recent years where production levels have been maintained), key resources of this should also be safeguarded as these have an economic importance. On the other hand, ironstone and clay are not in demand in Northamptonshire, and it is unlikely that this situation will change in the long term. These resources are not therefore considered to be of economic importance.


The resources of economic importance identified for long-term safeguarding have been designated as Minerals Safeguarding Areas, or MSAs, and are shown on the Local Plan Policies Map. This is based on mineral resources identified on British Geological Survey mapping, but has been refined to exclude areas of small resources or those generally within urban areas.


To ensure these mineral resources of economic importance are safeguarded Minerals Consultation Areas (MCAs) are also designated, whose boundaries are co-terminous with the MSAs. Within the MCAs district councils should consult the County Council, as the MPA, over any proposals for significant development that could lead to sterilisation of mineral resources (Box 6). This expectation for consultation should also be extended beyond Northamptonshire’s boundary in circumstances where development in neighbouring authorities has the potential to significantly sterilise resources that exist within the county. The County Council will object to proposals that are considered to sterilise resources of economic importance.


Within the MSAs / MCAs safeguarding should be limited to development where significant sterilisation may potentially occur, and thus where the prior extraction of minerals is likely to be viable (as small developments are unlikely to present viable opportunities for prior extraction). However a number of urban extensions and other areas of new development will be developed in the county up to and beyond 2031. Where such development encroaches into MSAs / MCAs, the prior extraction of minerals will always be sought where this is appropriate.

6.91 Plan 7 shows the combined MSAs / MCAs. The Local Plan only has a remit within Northamptonshire and so these can only be shown on the Policies Map within the county. However, because proposals just over the county boundary may have the potential to impact on Northamptonshire, the County Council as the MPA, will seek to put in place procedural arrangements with neighbouring authorities to facilitate cross-border cohesiveness of the safeguarding policies.

Plan 7:  Northamptonshire's  Minerals Safeguarding Areas


The approach for safeguarding mineral resources within Northamptonshire is set out through Policy 28 and details requirements regarding MSA / MCAs to be addressed by proposals for non-mineral related development.


Proposals for significant development within a MSA must demonstrate that the sterilisation of mineral resources of economic importance will not occur as a result of the development, and that the development would not pose a serious hindrance to future extraction. The developer should obtain site specific geological survey data17 to establish the existence or otherwise of a mineral resource of economic importance (such as type, quality and quantity of the reserve and overburden to reserve ratio).

17 In addition to the MSAs and BGS mapping data.


Geological information should be provided in a minerals resource assessment to accompany the planning application. Such information will be used to ascertain the likelihood and viability of the mineral being worked before any application for development that might sterilise the potential deposit is determined.


The MPA may advise that development on or near mineral reserves should not proceed before the mineral is extracted, or that steps are taken to avoid sterilisation of the deposit. However, the MPA will not seek to prevent development where extraction is unlikley to occur in the future.


Where it is determined that it is necessary for the development to take place the MPA will seek prior extraction of the mineral subject to the following: 


Where mineral extraction is to be allowed under Policy 28, not all of the criteria of Policy 3 will necessarily apply.


Separate planning applications will be required for the prior extraction and the non-minerals development.


The thresholds for significant development18 concerning both the MSAs and MCAs are set out in Box 6.

18 MSA and MCA thresholds for significant development are derived from the Town and County Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 definition for ‘major development’.

Policy 28 – Minerals Safeguarding Areas

Mineral resources of economic importance will be safeguarded from sterilisation by incompatible non-mineral development through the designation of Minerals Safeguarding Areas.

Development of a significant nature within Minerals Safeguarding Areas will have to demonstrate that the sterilisation of proven mineral resources of economic importance will not occur as a result of the development, and that the development would not pose a serious hindrance to future extraction in the vicinity. If this cannot be demonstrated, prior extraction will be sought where practicable.

Development of a non-mineral related nature within the Mineral Safeguarding Areas which is incompatible with the safeguarding of minerals should not proceed unless: 

  • it can be clearly demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Mineral Planning Authority that the mineral concerned is no longer of any value, or potential value, or that substantial (economically viable) deposits of a similar quality exist elsewhere in the county, or 
  • the mineral can be extracted, where practicable, prior to the development taking place, or 
  • the incompatible development is of a temporary nature and can be completed with the site restored to a condition that does not inhibit extraction within the timescale that the mineral is likely to be needed, or
  • the development is of a minor nature which would not inhibit extraction of the mineral resource, or 
  • there is an overriding need for the development.

Safeguarding minerals and waste related development from alternative uses


Existing waste management sites are part of the infrastructure network for waste development in Northamptonshire. Depending on individual circumstances, such sites may also have the potential to increase their capacity, or be able to diversify to provide additional waste services and facilities. As some waste management facilities can be of a relatively low value land use, they may be vulnerable to redevelopment for other uses.


Permanent sites and those with a long term temporary planning permission should therefore be safeguarded from development for non-waste management uses. This general principle will also apply to minerals-related uses (such as storage / processing facilities, rail head / links and wharfage facilities) and sewage treatment works. However, the opportunity to set aside the safeguarding requirement is acknowledged where: (a) an alternative site in the same catchment area was to be provided, which was at least as appropriate for the use as the safeguarded location (and there is no break in operations), or (b) it can be clearly proven that there is no longer a need for a facility of this nature in either the vicinity or, in certain circumstances, the wider catchment area.

Policy 29 – Safeguarding minerals and waste related development from alternative uses

Existing sites and sites with either permission for or allocated for waste-related development or minerals processing use should be safeguarded from non-waste and non-minerals related development use unless alternative provision in the vicinity can be made, or if it can be clearly demonstrated that there is no longer a need for a waste management, or minerals processing facility, at that location.


It should be noted that within Northamptonshire Safeguarding Directions have been made by Secretary of State for Transport relating to the HS2 safeguarding area, which runs diagonally through the South Northamptonshire district council area (north-east of Brackley to west of Upper Boddington), shown in the Policies Map.

Preventing land use conflict


The encroachment of incompatible activities around minerals and waste development may create conflict due to either the more sensitive nature of other forms of development, or their ongoing occupation or usage. This could potentially impose constaints, reducing the viability of future operations.


The use of separation areas between minerals and waste development (committed or allocated sites) and other incompatible activities can prevent encroachment and significantly reduce the potential for land use conflict and adverse impacts. The general compatibility of minerals and waste development with other forms of land use is outlined in Box 7.


The practical application of separation areas will need to be considered based on the: 


Separation areas may be able to be reduced following assessment of local circumstance and identification of effective implementation measures (to be implemented prior to occupation). It is the developer’s responsibility to determine site specific potential impacts, as well as identification and implementation of mitigation measures where necessary.


Requirements regarding the prevention of land use conflict to be addressed by proposals for development considered to be incompatible with minerals or waste development are detailed in Policy 30.


The MWPA may advise that development should not be permitted if it would constrain the effective operation of committed sites, or future use of land and / or associated infrastructure allocated through the Local Plan for a mineral or waste related use. Consultation requirements for proposals within MSA / MCAs is set out under ‘Managing the impact of other forms of development – Safeguarding mineral resources’. For all other forms of minerals and waste development, the MWPA is to be consulted by local planning authorities on proposals for major development that is considered to be incompatible with the affected minerals and / or waste development within 300 m with the exception of sewage and waste water treatment facilities for which the distance is 400 m and crushed rock extraction for which the distance is 500 m.


Specific to sewage treatment works the risks associated with the proposals will be assessed to inform decisions. There is a presumption against allowing development of a sensitive nature that would pose medium to high risks of loss of amenity to future occupants or restrict the statutory undertakers ability to operate in accordance with national legislation19 or any subsequent requirements. Where new development is proposed within 400 m of a sewage treatment works that involves buildings which would normally be occupied, the proposal should be accompanied by an odour assessment report. The assessment must consider existing odour emissions of the waste water treatment works at different times of the year and in a range of different weather conditions.

19 Including the Water Industry Act 1991


The Development and Implementation Principles SPD provides additional guidance on potential sources of land use conflict arising from typical operations associated with minerals and waste related development, separation areas and associated practical implementation measures.

Policy 30 – Preventing land use conflict

Proposals for new development adjacent or in close proximity to committed or allocated minerals or waste related development (including associated rail head / links, wharfage, minerals storage / processing facilities and sewage treatment works) should only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that it would not adversely affect the continued operation of the facility or prevent or prejudice the use of the site.

Proposals for development considered to be incompatible with committed or allocated minerals or waste development will be required to undertake an assessment of potentially adverse impacts identifying practical measures, including the use of separation areas, for preventing the occurrence (either now or in the future) of land use conflict and potential adverse environmental effects resultant from ongoing occupation and usage (of the proposed development) this may include an assessment of potential impacts including bio-aerosols, odour, noise, dust, etc. The following should be taken into consideration in proposals for incompatible development in determining adequate separation areas: 

  • nature of both the minerals and / or waste development (committed or allocated) and proposed development (including duration), 
  • compatibility of the proposed activity with the minerals and / or waste development (committed or allocated), 
  • characteristics of any potential adverse environmental effects likely to arise as a result of land use conflict, and 
  • any additional measures considered necessary to mitigate potentially adverse impacts.