A Planning Permission Vs. The Planning Permission - A Minerals Perspective

The difference between the Planning Permission you need and a Planning Permission ‘in general’ is, to put it bluntly, money in the bank for an operator and an easier life for them day-to-day.

The mentality switch required is, simply, to become a proactive rather than reactive industry on planning matters. Solving the problem at ‘the end of your nose’ becomes the norm when you barely have 30 seconds to down lunch in a day, but all that is doing is masking the real issue: Your current planning permission is lousy.

The fact that your planning permission is no longer meeting your needs can have come about in a number of ways:

·     Change in anticipated geology, faulting etc…

·     Market demands for the product/s

·     Technological advancements in plant/machinery

·     Local planning considerations, new nearby developments, etc…

·     National & Regional Planning Policies

·     A new case / enforcement officer

·     Designation ‘Creep’, Landscape Designations, etc…

Whilst no planning permission can be entirely ‘future-proofed’, it pays dividends to set goals beyond the obvious ‘get the stone out’.  The days of obtaining a ‘skeleton’ permission that you flesh-out with variations of condition (VOCs) down the line are fast running out as the level of scrutiny applied to all forms of development is ramped up by the public and planning professionals.

If you cannot comply with a condition of your existing permission, the chances are that the issue runs deeper than that single condition. By their very nature planning conditions are inextricably linked with one another. A solution is to set aside half an hour with a copy of your planning permission in-hand, and be honest with yourself. Is your current permission up-to-scratch?

Likewise, if you are looking to make a planning application for minerals development be 'straight' with yourself, your desires for The Site are likely to extend well-beyond simply getting the stone out, and if they don’t? Then they should!

If you don’t have the time to take such an approach, make sure whoever you are employing on planning matters does.

Chris - MPG Director

Mark Smedley