Basic information and questions

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The inspector has now read the hearing statements submitted by the JSPU and other
participants, along with information in the supporting evidence base. However, he
considers that the JSPU has not fully addressed some of his key concerns set out in
the Schedule of Matters & Issues for Examination, particularly in terms of
demonstrating the effectiveness and deliverability of the Core Strategy and its basis
of a robust and credible evidence base. Consequently, he has drawn up a further list
of specific questions and requests for detailed information on the minerals and waste
management aspects of the Core Strategy. He seeks a response from the JSPU at
the earliest opportunity, so that these key issues can be properly debated at the
forthcoming hearings. Otherwise, there is a risk that the hearings may have to be
adjourned for further information and responses to be provided. Attached are
checklists of what is normally expected in a Minerals & Waste Core Strategy, based
on presentations given recently by representatives of the Planning Inspectorate at
Government Office seminars, other meetings and conferences.

A. For minerals:
   1. How does the Core Strategy enable sufficient, deliverable and sustainable
      minerals developments and maintain an adequate and steady supply of
      minerals in line with the requirements of the latest South-East Plan and
      national guidance in MPS1?

   See MPS1 and the Sustainability Appraisal, for a definition of sustainable
   development, incorporating a balance of safeguarding, providing for an adequate
   and steady supply of minerals, and minimising impacts on people’s quality of life
   and environmental assets.
   With regard to defining “sufficient” and “deliverable”; sufficiency is taken from a
   combination of the county apportionment rate and the provision for recycled
   aggregates, involving a combination of policies such as M2, and M6, and
   identifying enough PAs to provide for the landbank as per the MWDPD, depending
   on what the eventual apportionment rate turns out to be. An updated table 3.1 is
   now available (see below) which shows a much closer correlation between the
   amount of resources required to be identified in the Preferred Areas and the
   tonnage available in those already listed in CD 1210

   If the question of the apportionment rate is not resolved by the time the MWDPD
   comes to be submitted, then we will have to take a precautionary approach and
   identify further Preferred Areas over and above those identified to date in order to
   provide for the higher rate of 1.57. As can be seen from the updated Table 3.1
   below, this will require an additional 1.99 mt to be identified.

   When preparing the Draft MWDPD for its next round of consultation, it was not
   considered helpful to identify more than the minimum considered necessary
   according to the previous version of table 3.1.

   2. How will the Core Strategy ensure that the supply and landbank of minerals
      are maintained throughout the plan period?

   By policy M2 and identifying Preferred Areas accordingly. As with all MPAs the
   ability to ensure that the landbank is maintained throughout the plan period is
   limited to the extent that it relies on operators to submit applications for sites to
   be released, as explained in para 3.22. Robust and effective monitoring
   arrangements are in place, to ensure that we get the earliest possible notice of
   any impending supply problems.
3. Does the identification of Mineral Safeguarding Areas conflict with the Habitats
   Regulations Assessment, particularly in terms of location, extent and potential
   impact on European wildlife sites?

No, Mineral Safeguarding Areas do not have any implications as to where future
mineral extraction may take place, so they do not imply that minerals will be
worked therein. They merely seek to ensure that surface development does not
proceed without consideration being given to the presence of the underlying
minerals and their possible sterilisation.
4. Further details of the reasoning for identifying Areas of Search, rather than
   Preferred Areas, for building sand, and the reasons for adopting a policy to
   supply building sand from sites outside the AONB?
To be supplied.
The following basic information would be helpful:
a. Up-to-date details of the current landbank for aggregate minerals on a site-by-
     site basis;
We are currently seeking the re-supply of this information and approval to release
it from operators. The 2008 landbank position is 12,196,000 tonnes*. An updated
calculation of table 3.1 is below, together with a table showing the list of quarries
with reserves in the landbank.

c. Details of proposed provision of minerals, including new mineral working
   areas, with details of capacity, on a site-by-site basis;

See table 4.2 of the Core Document 1210. If required, this table will be updated
before the document is next released for consultation, depending on the position
with regard to the apportionment rate at the time.

d. Details of the geology, quality, viability, accessibility and environmental
   acceptability of extracting minerals from outside and within the AONB.

This question requires a very detailed answer. We assume the question is aimed
at providing a comparative analysis for soft sand, rather than sharp sand and
gravel as well. As explained in our reply to the questions under matter 3.3 it was
not our intention to bar extraction of soft sand from the AONB, only to promote
just this kind of comparison in the future provision of building sand in Berkshire.
Further information to address this question is being assembled.

In terms of whether there is time for operators to carry out further evaluation of
the scope for providing soft sand from the Areas of Search, at this point it is
possible to say that based on the aggregated annual AM returns for soft sand and
corresponding sales over the past 5 years, it is estimated that there is
approaching 7 years supply of soft sand with planning permission. However it is
acknowledged that this is based on a small number of suppliers, and the figures
are liable to quite notable fluctuations.

*Amended during the hearing to 12,565,900 .
The figure given above is the 2008 landbank amount for sharp sand and gravel
alone and does not include the amounts for soft sand and for hoggin.
                        Updated Table 3.1 (Version Dec 08)

  Calculation of Amount of resources to be identified in Preferred Areas
                                            2010-     2010-      2008-       2008-
                                   2008-    2026      2027       2026        2027
period                             2009     high       low       high         low
           Apportionment rate       1.57     1.45      1.07     TOTAL        TOTAL
Resources required to maintain
production at apportionment rate
for period 2009-2026 (=18 years)    1.57     24.65     18.19     26.22       19.76

         Assessment of Amount of resources to be identified in Preferred Areas
           Apportionment rate     1.57              1.45                1.07
Resources required to maintain
production at apportionment rate
2009-2026                           28.26               26.22                 19.76
Permitted reserves 31 December                          12.57
2008 (actual)                       12.57                                     12.57
sub total                                     15.69               13.65                7.19
*Allowance for building sand
(10% sub total)                      1.57                1.37                  0.72
Resources to be identified                    14.12               12.29                6.47

less resources in Draft MWDPD                 12.13               12.13               12.13

Possible shortfall/surplus                    -1.99                  -0.15             5.66

List of active quarries whose reserves are included in the landbank 2008
Operator                              Quarry
Earthline Ltd                         Craven Keep
Raymond Brown                         Copyhold
Grundon                               Old Kilne Farm
                                      Star Works
                                      Raghill Farm
                                      Kennetholme Farm
Hanson Aggregates                     Theale Pit
Harleyford Aggregates                 Harts Hill Copse
                                      Aldermaston Wharf
Marley                                Midgham Quarry
                                      Bath Road
CEMEX                                 Berkyn Manor
                                      Fleet Hill Farm
                                      Poyle Manor
                                      Eversley Quarry (Manor Farm)
Summerleaze                           Sheephouse
                                      Upper Bray Road
Tarmac                                Lower Farm
Aggregate Industries                  Land East of Horton (Berkyn Farm)