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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 30/09/2003

Summary & Purpose
Surrey County Council has published a Consultation document on their Surrey Minerals Replacement Local Plan 2004-2016 and has invited the Borough Council to comment. The report sets out the issues and options and provides a response for the consideration of members.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Resource Use
Prevention and Control
and Nature
Safe, Healthy
and Active

Minerals have to be worked where they occur and in Waverley this means sand from the Farnham area and clay from the Wealden area of the Borough. The Minerals Plan is very important for the environment of Waverley. The current Minerals Plan was adopted in 1993 and has been in need of review for several years. Therefore the proposed Replacement Plan is timely.

E-Government implications:

There are no implications.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no implications for Waverley.


1. The current Surrey Minerals Plan was adopted in 1993, and the County Council has now published a Consultation document on the issues and options for a Replacement Plan to last up to 2016. The document can be seen in the Members' Room.

2. The document sets out the Local Plan process to be followed regarding consultation and who is being consulted. The consultation period lasts from July to September 2003 and the Public Inquiry is scheduled for November 2004 to January 2005. Adoption of the Plan is timed for Spring 2006.

3. The document presents a series of topics and issues and poses 43 questions about the matters raised. These questions are summarised in italics in this report. A number of the questions are very general or refer to the large gravel areas of northwest Surrey. This committee report considers the questions on the broad issues and focuses on those aspects which have a bearing on mineral extraction in this Borough. Answers to the questions are put forward for consideration.

Consultation Issue 1: Minerals and sustainable development

4. This section states that sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for future generations. The main issue is that there is likely to be tensions between the environmental/natural resources and economic objectives and the Plan must resolve where the balance lies.

Consultation Issue 2: The Need for Aggregates

5. The Government forecasts that for the period 2001- 2016, there will be a demand for all aggregates of 250 million tonnes per annum. This is 11% lower than the 1992-2006 forecast.
A. An advantage of the longer Plan period is that it allows better long term monitoring of the trends in reduction of mineral needs.

Consultation Issue 3: Location of Future Extraction

6. There is a “rundown” policy to reduce the cumulative effects of extraction in north west Surrey and the amount of extraction, but there is no rundown policy for soft sand from the greensand, including Seale/Runfold/Farnham. Rundown is likely to mean extraction in new areas, but the current Plan strategy is to give preference to extensions to existing workings, though this may prolong the impact on local residents.

Consultation Issue 4: Approach to Site Identification

7. Sites are identified by using “sieve” analysis, based on geological advice, which highlights a number of potential sites. Those with the least environmental and other constraints are then identified.

Consultation Issue 5: Recycled and Secondary Aggregates

8. Although recycling is a popular concept, aggregate recycling often attracts substantial local objection because of the lorry traffic, noise, dust and other concerns about local amenity. Most minerals sites are in the Green Belt, where importation of materials for processing is contrary to policy and establishment of a recycling plant may extend the life of the pit.

Consultation Issue 6: Restoration

9. Changes in waste policy will mean that some forms of landfill will no longer be permitted. More recycling may mean more low level or wet restorations or longer restoration times. The result could be more lakes which could change the character of certain areas. In Waverley, most of the pits have been restored to agriculture, though the Hanson site at Badshot Lea is to be in part restored to wetland. The next three questions are grouped together:-

Consultation Issue 7: Buffer Zones

10. A buffer zone puts distance between mineral workings and houses and other sensitive property. The existing Plan does not have a buffer zone policy.
Consultation Issue 8: Rail Aggregate Depots

11. In 1985, Hall Aggregates applied for a rail depot at the Alton Road sand pit at Wrecclesham, though it was withdrawn. The only rail depot currently operating in Surrey is in Woking.

Consultation Issue 9: Transportation of Minerals by Road

12. Generally, aggregates are transported over relatively short distances. In the Waverley area the Blackwater Valley is an important market. Traffic problems increase when lorries use minor roads, but current development control policies reflect these concerns. Some traffic problems can be overcome if the minerals operator implements or funds road or access improvements. Lorry movements can be limited to reduce impact, but this often leads to prolonging the duration of working and delaying final restoration.

Consultation Issue 10: Other Minerals

13. The other mineral most found in Waverley is clay. There is an operating tile works at Swallow Tiles and handmade bricks are made at Cranleigh Brick and Tile Works. Both sites have reserves of clay.

14. The questions in the consultation document allow the issues to be aired and are a good approach to producing a strategy. The Borough is a major supplier of soft sand and the issues are very significant for Waverley. The answers to the questions provided in the report will make clear the stance of the Borough Council.

Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny

This report was considered by the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 15th September 2003. The Committee had no observations to make on the responses outlined in the document, and resolved to recommend the response contained in the report to the Executive, subject to the clarification of the reference to the Hanson site in Farnham being restored to water in paragraph 9, which is contained within this report.


It is recommended that the comments in this report, given in response to the questions in the document ”Surrey Minerals Replacement Local Plan 2004-2016 – Consultation on Issues and Options”, be conveyed to Surrey County Council.

Background Papers (DoPD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.


Name: Geraldine Molony Telephone: 01483 523296
E-mail: gmolony@waverley.gov.uk

comms/executive/2003/2004/253 37352