Comments on the Publication Version Draft Joint Lancashire Minerals and Waste Local Plan

Comments on the Publication Version Draft Joint Lancashire Minerals and Waste Local Plan

The Branch was delighted to respond to the County Council’s consultation on a revised draft of the Lancashire Minerals and Waste Local Plan (DMWLP). We hope that our comments help Lancashire County Council to progress a Joint Lancashire Minerals and Waste Local Plan that will best protect and enhance rural Lancashire as new development is planned.

We commented that in particular rural rail is neglected and in need of improvement for the transportation of minerals and waste and under Section 2 that focuses on protecting and enhancing our natural and built environment we highlighted the need for improved screening to minimise dust emissions, and a need for chemical analysis of dust emissions outside landfill site boundaries to identify the possible presence of materials harmful to health and the environment. This is of particular importance outside urban Hazardous Waste Landfill sites. We think that all hazardous materials should be transported in sealed bags or containers to minimise exposure of employees and the public. Our aims is to improve the public health to reassure those living or working near to such facilities.

We recommended that developers should provide an economic justification of the need for their schemes, demonstrating that there are not adequate alternative sources. Construction Site Waste Management Plans should be required by the Council for all developments, as it is only by considering how waste created by brownfield development might be managed, in advance, that thought can be given to the possible re-use or remediation of the materials, both demolition and excavated contaminated soils/waste. We also referred to Managing Sand and Gravel Aggregate Supply

Minerals and Waste Map

A large area of focus was Onshore Oil and Gas Developments and we recommended that a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) of Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, on 17 May 2018 be a material consideration in plan-making and decision-taking, alongside relevant policies of the existing National Planning Policy Framework (2012), in particular those on mineral planning (including conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons). This is because it directs Mineral Planning Authorities (MPAs) to confine their determination of applications relating to the discovery and production of shale gas to consideration of surface factors and to leave underground factors to be controlled by the regulatory authorities, namely the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Oil and Gas Authority.

CPRE asks that the DMWLP should require developers to specify in their application the formation or formations to be subject to HF and the technology to be used to prevent HF fluid penetrating contiguous formations and that they have engaged seismologists competent to use it (please see par. B9 for the significance of this requirement). We urge that the DMWLP should require developers to provide independent evidence that the preliminary acquisition of seismic data and its analysis is sufficiently detailed to ensure a reliable and adequately detailed understanding of the geology and fault structures of the formations through which boreholes will pass and especially those which will be subject to HF.

CPRE’s experience of the supervision of Cuadrilla’s activities at its Preston New Road site is that the regulatory authorities cannot by relied on. At the time of Cuadrilla’s application to the LCC, we made several recommendations for strengthening the Environment Agency’s draft Permit, none were accepted. Subsequently, all our recommendations were adopted in new Guidance. Eventually the Permit was amended to conform to the new Guidance. But our experience was that the Environment Agency can be frustrating to deal with, and slow to recognise the value of advances in technology to regulate efficiently and spontaneously. We have also had and are continuing to have unsatisfactory experiences in our dealings with the Oil and Gas Authority. It is for this reason that MPAs must check that regulation is being done effectively; we do not ask that MPAs regulate underground procedures themselves, only that they take an interest in processes at depth which have the potential to influence surface land use.

Furthermore, CPRE believes that hydrofluoric acid is too dangerous even to have on site, let alone be used for well stimulation, and we ask that the DMWLP prohibits it use.

We call for the Acidisation Policy to require the target formation to be specified, along with the technology to be used to ensure the acidisation fluid does not reach contiguous formations. Further, as before, the Policy should provide for an arrangement for liaison with the regulatory authorities to be in place so that the LCC can influence the regulatory process in so far as it concerns surface land use.

In addition, the Branch commented on the Landfilling of Waste. We think the landfilling of timber and plastics should be prohibited to encourage recycling.

Download the full response below.