20th February 2024
Replacement Minerals Local Plan Review – 2025 to 2040
Public consultation from 6th February to 19th March 2024
6 February 2024
This is to notify you that the next stage of the Replacement Minerals Local Plan Review will be undergoing a six-week public consultation (under Regulation 18 – Issues and Options), during which time Essex County Council are inviting comments.
Please note that there are two sites in Woodham Walter that have been put forward for consideration for inclusion in the new Minerals Local Plan. For details and maps of these sites please see the Candidate Site Assessment document AND its accompanying appendices on the website at www.essex.gov.uk/minerals-review
Woodham Walter Parish Council are in the process of reviewing the vast amount of information. Please note that although it will appear on the agenda for our meeting next week and all our meetings are open to the public, this meeting is being held in the small Women’s Club room. The Parish Council will not be determining our final response to the consultation at this meeting. We will be considering how and when the Parish Council will establish their response which may include organising an extra meeting at the village hall so that residents have the opportunity to learn more and express their views which will help councillors to understand the local viewpoint prior to making a decision on their response.
It is advised that parishioners respond directly to the consultation. Once the Parish Council has determined their response this will be shared to help inform parishioners.
Further information from Essex County Council:
The current Essex Minerals Local Plan (MLP) was adopted in July 2014. The Plan provides planning policies for minerals development in Essex until 2029 and identifies future sites for mineral extraction.
Every five years the council is required to review the effectiveness of its MLP. Since 2020 the review of the Plan has undergone several phases of consultation and two call for sites resulting in 52 candidate sites being put forward for consideration for inclusion in a new Plan.
ECC are now proposing to extend the Plan to 2040 covering a 15-year period from 2025. New sites will be needed to meet the forecasted demand for aggregates (sand and gravel) over this period. Doing so will ensure that the Plan is robust and can help maintain a ‘steady and adequate’ supply of aggregates and meet the relevant ‘tests of soundness’ as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.
There are two main parts of this consultation on which you are invited to comment: the first are the revised Plan polices, their supporting text and the wider Plan evidence base in the draft Replacement Minerals Local Plan. The second is the site assessment report which contains the 52 candidate sites. The suitability of each has been assessed by independent consultants.
At this stage ECC have not identified what sites they want to see included in the final Plan. ‘Preferred Sites’ for allocation will be chosen once the comments received from this consultation have been fully considered.
Full details of this consultation, all related documents and how to respond can be found
on the Essex County Council website at www.essex.gov.uk/minerals-review
Free internet access is available at Essex libraries.
Responses to this consultation should be made by 5pm on 19 March 2024.
The assessment of candidate and gravel sites can be found here: https://www.essex.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2024-02/Assessment%20of%20Candidate%20Sand%20and%20Gravel%20Sites.pdf
Other key consultation documents can be found here: https://www.essex.gov.uk/replacement-essex-minerals-local-plan-review-2025-2040/consultation-documents
Site 58 (Little Smiths, Danbury)
The Site is promoted as an extension to an existing mineral Site (Royal Oak Quarry) and is located north of Royal Oak Quarry. This Site area is approximately 3.8 ha and is proposed for 0.31 million tonnes of sand and gravel extraction. The operations of the Site would follow on from the existing Royal Oak Quarry consented operations. The adjoining uses include woodland, agricultural fields, and residential buildings. The village of Danbury is located to the west and south-west of the Site. Site access and connection to the highway network is already approved by an existing permission at Royal Oak Quarry.
Site 66 (White House Farm, Woodham Walter)
The Site is promoted as a new Site for mineral extraction at Woodham Walter, Maldon. The Site area is approximately 56 hectares and is proposed for an estimated 4 million tonnes of sand and gravel extraction over an estimated life cycle of 15 years. Infrastructure needed on site includes a processing plant. The adjoining uses include agricultural fields, farm buildings and woodland. The village of Woodham Walter is located to the west of the Site. The Site would be accessed to the south onto the Maldon Road (A414). This would include modifications of the existing Tom Tit Lane.