We are the minerals and waste planning authority for the county, with the exception of Exmoor National Park.
We adopted the Somerset Minerals Plan in February 2015 following a public examination led by an independent Inspector.
A number of documents have been used to gather information to write the Somerset Minerals Plan. Some of these documents have been produced by the Government, and others by Somerset County Council.
These documents form the ‘evidence base’ for the Minerals Plan and must be robust and credible. All documents that are part of the Minerals and Waste Development Framework will be published on this website as they become available.
The Minerals Plan sets out how and broadly where minerals will be worked in Somerset until the year 2030. The document covers all land-based minerals in Somerset, with detailed information on the following mineral types:
- Aggregates – such as crushed rock
- Building stone – such as Ham stone and blue lias
- Energy minerals – including oil and gas
The Plan considers Somerset’s contribution to the adequate and steady supply of aggregates (linked with national and local requirements for minerals), the safeguarding of mineral resources, and reclamation of sites; and it provides a detailed framework for assessing potential impacts of mineral development on our natural and historic environment.
The ‘old’ Minerals Local Plan (adopted 2004) is available here.
Exmoor National Park is a separate authority, and details about their planning work can be found on their website. You can find a link to Exmoor National Park website in More information.
Somerset Minerals Plan Examination
Somerset County Council resolved to adopt the Somerset Minerals Plan: Development Plan document up to 2030 on 18 February 2015.
The Somerset Minerals Plan (incorporating the recommendations of the Inspector), Sustainability Appraisal and a full Adoption Statement are available, free of charge, at the following places:
- In printed copy at Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY (during normal opening hours).
- In printed copy at district council offices in Somerset (during normal opening hours).
- Online and from public libraries (during normal opening hours).
The Somerset Minerals Plan was submitted to central government on 23 June 2014. Following the public Hearings sessions held in September, which were chaired by the appointed Inspector (see below for more information), the County Council consulted from 5 November to 17 December on a Schedule of ‘Main’ Modifications to the above Minerals Plan. The Inspector has taken the consultation responses into account in writing her report, which is here Inspector’s report
The Minerals Plan, Inspector’s Report and accompanying key assessments were presented to Cabinet on 9 February 2015, whose recommendations were presented to the County Council on 18 February 2015.
The Schedule of Main Modifications is available here.
The following representations were received during the consultation. All representations were passed unedited to the Inspector for her consideration.
- ED57 – R1 consultation response
- ED58 – R8.1 consultation response
- ED59 – R12 consultation response
- ED60 – R15.1 consultation response
- ED61 – R28 consultation response
- ED62 – R43 consultation response
- ED63 – R44 consultation response
- ED64 – R49 consultation response
- ED65– R84 consultation response
- ED66 – R119.3 consultation response
- ED67– R172.2 consultation response
- ED68– R340 consultation response
- ED69– R348 consultation response
- ED70 – R349 consultation response
A separate schedule of ‘additional’ (minor) modifications is available for information alongside the Main Modifications listed above. These minor changes do not affect the soundness of the Minerals Plan.
Planning Inspector; Elizabeth Ord LLB(Hons), LLM, MA, DipTUS was appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness and legal compliance of the Somerset Minerals Plan.
The Inspector’s task was to consider the soundness of the submitted Plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 182 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework). The relevant soundness criteria are whether the Plan is:
- Positively prepared (based on a strategy that seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development);
- Justified (the most appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence);
- Effective (the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities);
- Consistent with national policy (the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework).
Guidance Notes were prepared by the Inspector to help people understand the process.
The Pre Hearing Meeting took place at 10am on Wednesday 30 July 2014 at the Luttrell Room, County Hall, The Crescent, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY.
The purpose of the PHM was to explain and discuss procedural and administrative matters relating to the Examination. This included details about the programme, further submissions and the procedure to be followed. The content and merits of the Plan and the representations previously made were not discussed at this meeting.
An Agenda for the PHM is here.
Here is a note of the PHM.
Hearing Sessions Venue and Programme
Please note the venue for the Hearing Sessions has been changed.
Update for 30 September and 1 October:
Matter 11 on safeguarding will be held on 1 October, beginning at 10am. Matter 8 on peat will be held on 30 September, beginning at 2pm – these two sessions have been swapped.
All matters on 1 October will be held in the Pensive Suite at Taunton Conference Centre, which is on the Somerset College campus 100 yards from the Genesis Centre.
The Hearing Sessions were held on Tuesday 23 September 2014 in the Genesis Centre, Somerset College, Wellington Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 5AX.
A Revised Programme for the Hearing Sessions can be found here.
Somerset County Council’s opening statement can be downloaded here.
Should anyone have any queries relating to the Programme please contact the Programme Officer. Any representors wishing to participate in the discussions should advise the Programme Officer no later than 5 September 2014.
In response to the Inspector’s Issues and Questions identified in the Programme the following written statements were received and will be subject to discussion during the Hearing Sessions:
Matter 1 – Duty to Co-operate:
- SCC response to matter 1 (ED5)
Matter 2 – Legal and Procedural Requirements:
Matter 3 – Key Issues, Vision, Objectives and Spatial Strategy:
- SCC response to matter 3 (ED7)
- Asham and East Mendip Group hearing statement on matter 3 (ED22)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 3 (ED23)
Matter 4 – Recycled and Secondary Aggregates:
- SCC response to matter 4 (ED8)
- Asham and East Mendip Group written statement on matter 4 (ED24)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 4 (ED25)
Matter 5 – Crushed Rock:
- SCC response to matter 5 (ED9)
- Asham and East Mendip Group hearing statement on matter 5 (ED26)
- Land and Mineral Management hearing statement on matter 5 (ED27)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 5 (ED49)
Matter 6 – Sand and Gravel:
- SCC response to matter 6 (ED10)
Matter 7 – Building Stone:
- SCC response to matter 7 (ED11)
- SCC response to matter 7 (ED11a)
- Land and Mineral Management hearing statement on matter 7 (ED28)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 7 (ED29)
Matter 8 – Peat:
- SCC response to matter 8 (ED12)
- Somerset Peat Producers Association hearing statement on matter 8 (ED30)
- RSPB written statement on matter 8 (ED31)
Matter 9 – Energy Minerals:
- SCC response to matter 9 (ED13)
- The Coal Authority hearing statement on matter 9 (ED32)
- Nita Rothfield hearing statement on matter 9 (ED33)
- Sastra Rothfield hearing statement on matter 9 (ED34)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 9 (ED35)
Matter 10 – Site Reclamation:
- SCC response to matter 10 (ED14)
- Asham and East Mendip Group hearing statement on matter 10 (ED36)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 10 (ED37)
Matter 11 – Safeguarding Minerals and Minerals Facilities:
- SCC response to matter 11 (ED15)
- SCC response to matter 11 (ED15a)
- Land and Mineral Management hearing statement on matter 11 (ED38)
- The Coal Authority hearing statement on matter 11 (ED39)
- Asham and East Mendip Group written statement on matter 11 (ED40)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 11 (ED41)
- South Somerset DC written statement on matter 11 (ED47)
Matter 12 – Other Minerals:
- SCC response to matter 12 (ED16)
- Asham and East Mendip Group written statement on matter 12 (ED42)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 12 (ED43)
Matter 13 – Development Management Policies:
- SCC response to matter 13 (ED17)
- Asham and East Mendip Group written statement on matter 13 (ED44)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 13 (ED45)
Matter 14 – Implementation and Monitoring:
- SCC response to matter 14 (ED18)
- CPRE Somerset written statement on matter 14 (ED46)
- Asham and East Mendip Group written statement on matter 14 (ED48)
Evidence Base Documents
In preparing the Plan the County Council both refer to and were informed by a number of documents that together form the ‘Evidence Base’ for the Examination.
A list of the documents is included in Document SD12e in the document evidence base.
Contact the team
We deal with planning applications that relate to minerals, waste and our own County Council developments, such as schools, libraries, Social Services developments and new roads.
Your local planning authority (district council) should be able to advise you of other types of developments, including extensions, residential and business developments.
Contact: Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Team
Address: County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY