Minerals and waste - planning enforcement and site monitoring

Minerals and waste site monitoring

Fees became chargeable for mineral extraction and landfill permissions in April 2006 and have been revised several times since then although the 2006 guidance (link opens in new window) is still extant.

Mineral extraction and landfill permissions often have complex technical conditions attached to mitigate the physical impact of the working of the sites over many years and the fees were introduced to ensure that these permissions can be monitored in accordance with good practice. Current fees.

The regulations provide for up to 8 monitoring visits in any period of 12 months – referred to as the charging year can be made to active sites.

Additional visits can be made but cannot be charged for. For inactive sites a reduced fee is payable for one monitoring visit a year.

Planners and operators are expected to work together constructively to review compliance with permissions in the light of the stage of development reached and possible changing operational circumstances and needs. The number of visits are agreed with operators at the start of each charging year and are expected to take into account the current level of operator compliance with the relevant planning permissions.

Non chargeable sites

The duty on Waste Planning Authorities to monitor sites that fall outside the 2006 fee-charging regime for mining and waste landfill permissions has recently been strengthened.

Firstly, when discharging their planning responsibilities, Article 34 (Inspections and Records) of the Waste Framework Directive (2008 / 98 / EC) and Regulation 19(2) of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011 No. 988 (link opens in new window)) require waste planning authorities to carry out appropriate inspections of establishments or undertakings which carry out waste treatment operations or collect or transport waste.

There is no prescription on the frequency and requirements of such inspections, which is left to the discretion of waste planning authorities to determine

Secondly, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) places a general requirement on Local Planning Authorities in the preparation of Local Plans to safeguard existing, planned and future potential sites for concrete batching plants and railheads in order to facilitate the sustainable use of minerals.

Types of non fee-charging sites include:

  • materials recovery facilities
  • aggregates recycling
  • composting facilities
  • thermal treatment plants
  • sewage treatment works (STWs)
  • Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)
  • asphalt plants
  • concrete batching plants
  • railhead facilities

In view of the regulatory and policy changes outlined above, a total of 127 non-chargeable mineral and waste sites have been identified, which are believed to be operational, with 65 of these located within the Bedford Borough authority area.

A three year programme was introduced from 1 June 2013 during which all of the 127 sites will be monitored at least once. This is equivalent to 42 / 43 visits per year. Sites have been categorised as low, medium or high priority according to the type and scale of the facility and known planning history.

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