Next steps towards an updated Hampshire Minerals and Waste PlanPUBLISHED ON: 2 NOVEMBER 2023
Hampshire’s five minerals and waste planning authorities are entering the next stage in updating the Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan – fulfilling their collective duty to ensure that the whole area can continue to provide a steady and adequate supply of minerals for building homes, schools, hospitals and roads, as well as provide sufficient waste resources and facilities.
Over the next two months, an update of the Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan (the ‘Proposed Submission Plan’) is set to be considered by each of the five authorities (Hampshire County Council, New Forest National Park Authority, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and South Downs National Park Authority) to determine whether each Authority agrees that further consultation can take place prior to the Plan being submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate for examination.
This version of the Plan has been updated to ensure that it is in line with current legislation and has also been informed by the feedback from a 12-week consultation (8 November 2022 until 31 January 2023) where residents, businesses, local councils and other organisations were asked to comment on proposed updates to policies. The consultation also sought additional local knowledge about the sites that have been identified for supplying and transporting sand and gravel, as well as for providing waste processing, recycling and disposal facilities – so that the millions of tonnes of household and commercial waste generated across the area can be dealt with as efficiently and sustainably as possible.
The Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan is evidence-based and is in line with national planning policy. The local policies contained within the Plan guide the decisions that each of the five minerals and waste planning authorities make when determining planning applications for minerals extraction or waste infrastructure and operations.
The current timetable for the five authorities to consider the Plan for consultation is:
- South Downs National Park Authority on 9 November and 12 December 2023
- Portsmouth City Council on 28 November and 12 December 2023
- Hampshire County Council on 12 December 2023
- New Forest National Park Authority 19 December 2023
- Southampton City Council on 19 December 2023
Subject to all five minerals and waste planning authorities approving the consultation of the Proposed Submission Plan, a consultation will be initiated in January 2024 for a period of eight weeks, as required by national planning regulations.
The responses gathered through the consultation will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for scrutiny, together with the Submission version of the Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan.
Having considered the consultation responses, a Planning Inspector will determine whether further changes need to be made to the Plan before it is ‘sound’ (it complies with national policy and legal requirements) and can be adopted by the five authorities.
Why a Minerals and Waste Plan is needed for Hampshire
Having an up-to-date Plan in place is the best way to ensure that minerals and waste operations fully consider the character and special qualities of Hampshire and will not adversely impact communities or the local environment. Not having an up-to-date Plan in place would make Hampshire vulnerable to having sites imposed by Government planning inspectors, losing the opportunity to ensure locally relevant matters are considered when sites come forward for minerals or waste development.
Identified sites are subject to planning permission scrutiny
Any site identified in the final Plan still requires operators to apply for permission in the usual way, taking account of all the environmental considerations and assessing the impact on the local community and area, including undertaking consultation with stakeholders. Land identified would be released only if it is needed, and the planning application fully satisfies the stringent criteria and other tests set out in the Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan.
Consultation on the Proposed Submission Plan is dependent on all five minerals and waste planning authorities’ approval.
If agreed, details about the consultation will be publicised in due course.