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Annual Monitoring Report

The Headlines


Introduction

Welcome to our new look Annual Monitoring Report for 2019 - 2020. 

Legislation requires local planning authorities to publish information at least annually that shows progress with local plan preparation; and reports any information collected which relates to monitoring of Local Plans and the effect of their policies and proposals, including any policies which are not being implemented. It also suggests that the report can help inform whether there is a need to undertake a partial or full update of the local plan.

This document has been prepared to meet that obligation. It is designed to provide a quick assessment of how effectively our Minerals and Waste Local Plans, known formally as the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Waste Local Plan (2010-2030) and the Minerals Local Plan for Staffordshire (2015-2030), are achieving their aims, and how we are doing as we work to implement them. It is structured around a series of headline statements, but if you want to find out more about the evidence we have used, then please consult the accompanying "Behind the Headlines” report.

Based on the findings of this report, there is no current indication to suggest that we need to update either our Waste Local Plan or the Minerals Local Plan and consequently, there is also no need to confirm a programme (or Minerals and Waste Development Scheme) for further plan preparation.


Minerals

M1.  Does the Plan make steady and adequate provision for Sand and Gravel? - Yes

Discussion:

The 10-year average sales of sand and gravel from Staffordshire sites is 4.26 million tonnes.  This is less than the level of provision used as part of Policy 1 of the Minerals Local Plan (MLP) i.e. 5 million tonnes of sand and gravel per annum, used to assess the allocation of additional sand and gravel resources to meet needs up to the end of 2030.Using the MLP level of provision of 5 million tonnes per annum would mean the landbank of permitted reserves as of 1 January 2019 would last for 12.8 years.  This comfortably exceeds the target of maintaining a 7-year landbank.

Trend:

2017: Yes

2018: Yes

2019: Yes

Background:

For data refer to our Local Aggregate Assessment which is based on annual surveys carried out on behalf of the West Midlands Aggregate Working Party, as well as the periodic national Aggregate Minerals Survey which provided provisional data for 2019. 

M2. Does the Plan make steady and adequate provision for cement minerals? - Yes

Discussion:

Permitted reserves of limestone at Cauldon, and of gypsum and anhydrite at Fauld exceed 15 years supply as required by Policy 2 of the MLP. Permitted reserves of shale at Cauldon do not, but an extension to the shale quarry at Cauldon has been allocated in the MLP which would support maintaining an adequate level of supply.

During the monitoring period, no new planning permissions have been granted for new cement mineral sites, or within the allocated extensions. It is, therefore, not relevant to assess whether they were in line with Policy 2 or conditioned to only be worked once working has ceased within the currently permitted sites.

Note that clay extracted from Keele and Kingsley Quarries in Staffordshire continues to be used to supply Tunstead cement works in Derbyshire.

Trend:

2017: Yes

2018: Yes

2019: Yes

Background:

Results for 2018/19 based on a survey undertaken confidentially by SCC.  This survey was not repeated in 2019-20, but we have no reason to anticipate any significant changes. 

M3. Does the plan make steady and adequate provision for brick clay? - Mixed response

Discussion:

National planning policy requires that there is a steady and adequate supply of brick clay to support the continued operation of brick and tile works and this means ensuring that the quarries have sufficient permitted reserves for 25 years of supply for each works in Staffordshire.  For the purposes of the Minerals Local Plan, data are collected in a periodic, confidential survey, but the data cannot be made public as they are commercially sensitive.

A survey carried out last year found that the Lodge Lane Works in Cannock did have at least 25 years’ supply of clay.  Wilnecote in Tamworth does not have 25 years’ supply but a permission granted on 30 April 2019 (ref: T.16/02/905 MW) allowed for the extraction of an additional 10 years supply of clay.  The Works also receives clays not locally derived (refer to permission T.18/01/905 MW granted March 2019).  Supply of clay to the three works in the north of the county i.e. Parkhouse, Chesterton and Keele is based on supply from Knutton Quarry in Newcastle under Lyme.  The stock of reserves is less than 25 years to maintain supply to all three works.

Note that clay extracted in Staffordshire is also used to support brick and tile manufacturing at works outside the county, some of which do not have associated clay quarries to provide their main supply.  Whilst maintaining such supplies to works outside the county is important, it is not a current requirement of the MLP for Staffordshire to monitor the landbanks for clay product works outside the county and is not considered in this assessment.. 

Trend:

2017: No data collected

2018: Mixed response

2019: Mixed response

Background:

Results for 2018/19 based on a Periodic Confidential Survey of Industrial Minerals undertaken confidentially by SCC.  The survey was not repeated in 2019/20, but relevant figures have been updated in the light of planning permissions granted. 

M4. Are the location policies for sand and gravel sites working? Yes

Discussion:

Both permissions which were expected to maintain productive capacity for sand and gravel during 2019-20 were considered to be consistent with the criteria set out in Policy 1.6 (b) of the MLP as the proposals would: “secure significant material planning benefits that [would] outweigh any material planning objections”.

The primary objective of the development at Trentbridge Farm was the creation of a pond, and the application was first submitted to East Staffordshire Borough Council.  However, the construction would have resulted in the excavation of 30,000 tonnes of sand and gravel, so permission for mineral extraction would allow this material to be transported to a nearby quarry and processed for beneficial use.

The development at Saredon Quarry involved the extraction of sand and gravel from an area within the quarry boundary that was excluded from the original working plans.  This permitted the recovery of approximately 800,000 tonnes of mineral which would otherwise have been sterilised by the restoration of the quarry.

Trend:

2017: Yes

2018: Yes

2019: Yes

Background:

Refer to list of mineral planning applications determined 1/4/119 – 31/3/20.

M5.  Are we doing all we can to reduce the impacts of mineral developments on the environment? Yes

Discussion:

Overall, we are taking available steps to reduce the impact of mineral workings on the environment in accordance with Policies 4 and 6 of the MLP.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

Refer to list of mineral planning applications determined 1/4/19 – 31/3/20.

M6. Are we doing all we can to safeguard minerals sites and infrastructure? Yes

Discussion:

During 2019/20, we were consulted by District/ Borough Councils on 18 planning applications for non-mineral development which fell within Mineral Safeguarding Areas and were not exempt from consideration or subject to Standing Advice.  In all but 1 case, we were able to conclude that the proposals would be unlikely to lead to the sterilisation of significant mineral resources and therefore did not conflict with the requirements of Policy 3 of the MLP.

In the one remaining case (ref. ES.2019/00782 MSA), the proposal fell within the safeguarding area for Fauld Mine.  As the mine operator avoids working beneath buildings, we registered a holding objection, requesting that the LPA did not determine the application until the operator had confirmed that the development would not constrain future development of the mine.  The planning application was subsequently withdrawn, so we can be confident that mineral workings were not adversely affected.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

Refer to objections made in response to consultations received from District Planning Authorities as recorded in SCC records.

M7. Are we co-ordinating our work with other minerals planning authorities across the region? Yes

Discussion:

The West Midlands Aggregates Working Party exists to provide a forum to bring Minerals Planning Authorities together to produce “fit-for-purpose” and comprehensive data on aggregates, to support local planning on the provision of aggregates, and to ensure compliance with the Duty to Cooperate.  We have been represented at all the meetings, though only one fell within the reporting period for this document.

Note also the findings for headline statement 7 under the waste section below regarding attendance of the RTAB.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

The West Midlands Aggregate Working Party has been established as a technical advisory group of mineral planning authorities and other relevant organisations covering the West Midlands region.

M8. Are all aggregate mineral sites subject to a restoration strategy/ plan that has been considered in the last 10 years? Almost

Discussion:

Restoration plans are important to ensure that quarries are reinstated at the earliest opportunity and that works are carried out to high environmental standards.

The pattern remains unchanged from the last year, with 6 of the 26 permitted aggregate sites within the Plan area having no approved restoration strategy or detailed plan.  This is mainly because the quarries are non-operational and have not been subject to a recent review.

During the reporting period, 3 new mineral permissions were granted allowing the extraction of additional mineral.  Of these, 2 related to sand and gravel working, and one to clay.

One of the new sand and gravel permissions involved mineral extraction that was incidental to the creation of an ornamental pond, while the other represented an extension to an existing site.  Both included restoration / afteruse details.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Almost 

2018 - 2019: Almost

2019 - 2020: Almost

Background:

SCC Data obtained from planning permissions relating to 37 quarry sites. 

M9. Does the Minerals Local Plan need to be revised? No

Discussion:

An interim review of the Minerals Local Plan was published as an appendix to the Annual Monitoring Report in December 2018, concluding that there was no need for a revision.

Since then, there have been no significant changes to national policy as they might affect the MLP.  The Plan policies are working as intended. Plan targets are being met, and there have been no significant changes to strategic priorities, or local circumstances.

As before, we are aware of the continuing need to monitor the provision of aggregates in the light of anticipated additional demands resulting from the constructing HS2.

We also note last year’s commitment to undertake another survey of the supply of clay to clay product works in Staffordshire in 2 years.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: No

2018 - 2019: No

2019 - 2020: No

Background:

There have been no changes to NPPF policy since the last AMR was published, and the MLP remains consistent.

Demand for sand and gravel remains in line with projections, however, there is some uncertainty over likely demand as the construction of HS2 takes place.


Waste

W1. Is the rate of growth of waste production within the range that we have planned for? Yes

Discussion:

Reliable estimates of total waste arisings have been difficult to produce, though the Environment Agency’s recently modified Waste Data Interrogator has proved useful, and a new methodology is being prepared by the Regional Technical Advisory Body on Waste (RTAB).  A 5-year review of the Waste Local Plan (published in December 2018) relied on population as a proxy.  This suggested that arisings were unlikely to exceed forecasts within the plan period. This appears to be consistent with Environment Agency data for the total amount of waste treated in the Plan area, though the origin of this waste is not recorded.

More reliable figures are available for Municipal Solid Waste, which makes up less than 10% of total arisings.  The total figure is well below the original Regional Waste Forecast for both 2015/16 and 2020/21, while the landfill diversion percentages are significantly higher than forecast.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

Data collected from: 5-year Review of the Waste Local Plan (published December 2018); Environment Agency’s 2019 Waste Data Interrogator (published December 2020); Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council municipal waste management data; Appendices to the Waste local plan.

W2. Is waste treatment capacity keeping pace with production? Yes

Discussion:

Not all planning applications relating to waste treatment facilities lead to an increase in treatment capacity, or an increase in the number of operational sites, but data from planning applications does show that capacity is being added within the plan area at a steady rate.

The Waste Local Plan set a series of targets for additional capacity for Recycling, Organic Treatment, and Residual Treatment to support a movement of waste up the treatment hierarchy.  All of these had already been met on time or ahead of time, with only the 2020/21, and 2025/26 targets for recycling capacity yet to be achieved.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

Data collected from: 5-year Review of the Waste Local Plan (published December 2018); and from planning applications. 

W3. Are we maintaining net self-sufficiency for waste management? Yes

Discussion:

While not all of the waste arising within the Plan area is treated within the Plan area, the amount of waste exported for treatment elsewhere is much smaller than the amount of waste imported for treatment.  We are, therefore, treating an amount of waste which is more than equivalent to the amount generated in the Plan area.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

Based on Environment Agency’s 2019 Waste Data Interrogator (published December 2020)

W4. Are the location policies for waste sites working? Yes

Discussion:

All of the 6 planning permissions which had the potential to add new treatment capacity were on industrial sites, in line with locational criteria (Policy 3.1 of the Waste Local Plan).  One was also an extension, adjacent to an existing waste management site.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

Data from County Council’s applications register. 

W5. Are we doing all we can to safeguard existing waste treatment sites? Yes

Discussion:

The County Council was consulted on 2 District / Borough Council applications which might have impacted on waste management facilities.  In both cases, it was concluded that there would be no adverse impacts.

The number of waste consultation area (WCA) consultations continues to be much smaller than the number of mineral safeguarding area (MSA) consultations.  This may, at least in part, be due to the large geographical extent of the Mineral Safeguarding Areas, but it may also indicate that it is more difficult for local planning authorities to identify where WCA consultations would be appropriate.  To minimise this risk, all LPAs have been provided with GIS layers providing the locations of all waste sites that might require safeguarding.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

Data from County Council’s applications register. 

W6. Are we doing all we can to reduce the impacts of waste treatment facilities on the environment? Yes

Discussion:

The impacts of waste treatment facilities on the environment are being well managed. Potential impacts are being controlled through conditions.

Where applications involved extending existing facilities, there has been no need to allow additional time through a phased improvement programme in order to bring the whole site up to modern standards.

It has been noticeable that all but one of the applications adding new waste management capacity involved enclosed facilities, and that the one site which was not enclosed fell into a category which was exempt. This suggests that the Waste Local Plan policies are supporting a move towards most waste management operations being carried out within buildings.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes 

Background:

Data from County Council’s applications register. 

W7. Are we co-ordinating our work with other waste planning authorities across the region? Yes

Discussion:

Meetings of the West Midlands Resource Technical Advisory Body provide a forum to discuss regional issues relating to waste management provision, and to promote co-operation.  Though the frequency of meetings has declined in recent years, Staffordshire County Council has been represented at all meetings and has been fully involved in discussions.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: Yes

2018 - 2019: Yes

2019 - 2020: Yes

Background:

Data from minutes of RTAB meetings. 

W8. Does the Waste Local Plan need to be revised? No

Discussion:

A 5-year Review of the Waste Local Plan was completed in December 2018 concluding that there was no need for a revision.

Since then, there have been no significant changes.  The Plan policies are working as intended, Plan targets are being met on time or ahead of schedule, and there have been no significant changes to National Planning Policy, strategic priorities, or local circumstances.

Trend:

2017 - 2018: No

2018 - 2019: No

2019 - 2020: No

Background:

Review of the Waste Local Plan and reviews of changes to legislation and guidance. 


 Annual Monitoring Report 2019-2020

Annual Monitoring Report 2019-2020 (517 KB)

Annual Monitoring Report 2019-2020 - Background Report (821 KB)


Annual Monitoring Report 2018-2019

Annual Monitoring Report 2018-2019 (800 KB)

Annual Monitoring Report 2018-2019 - Background Report (3 MB)

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