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Central & Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals & Waste Plan Call for Sites - FAQ

Q. Who will identify the minerals and waste sites? 

A. Sites can be put forward by anyone or any organisation and typically will be promoted by land owners, developers, agents and minerals and waste operators in Central & Eastern Berkshire. 

Q. How is the call for sites being publicised? 

A. The exercise will be publicised through a call for sites in March 2017 and nominations have been requested to be submitted by 5th May 2017. Letters/emails seeking information were sent to relevant bodies including parish councils, landowners, developers and local minerals and waste operators. 

Q. How will the sites be assessed as to whether they are suitable? 

A. Once the sites are nominated, they will be added to a 'long list' of potential site options that will also include potential sites identified by the Central & Eastern Berkshire Authorities. This 'long list' will then be subject to an initial assessment to see whether there are any significant constraints which would mean the site was unsuitable for minerals or waste development. Any sites that are not ruled out at this stage will then be analysed in more detail and will be subject to a site visit. The 'Site Assessment Methodology' will be available for comment during the 'Issues & Options' which will take place from June to July 2017. Once comments have been taken into account, this methodology will be followed to assess the sites.  

Q. Where can I view more details about the sites? 

A. Details of the sites and the outcome of the assessments will be made available at the 'Preferred Options' consultation stage of the Plan-making process. This is currently scheduled for early 2018.  

Q. What will happen to these sites? 

A. The sites will be technically assessed in terms of their suitability, availability and achievability (including viability) for minerals or waste uses. This assessment of the sites will be made public in early 2018 at the 'Preferred Options' consultation stage. 

Q. If sites are identified in the 'call for sites' exercise and are being assessed does it mean that they will be allocated for development in the Minerals & Waste Local Plan? 

A. No. The call for sites and the technical assessment of sites will be used to inform the Plan, but does not necessarily mean a site will be allocated for development. This is because not all sites considered in the assessment will be suitable or ultimately acceptable for development. 

All the sites will be considered holistically across the whole Plan area to ensure the best strategy can be achieved. Allocation of land will depend on different policy constraints (such as designated heritage or environmental sites) and practical constraints (such as rivers and hills). 

The decision on allocation of sites will ultimately be made by the individual Central & Eastern Berkshire Authorities following public consultation on the options available. 

Q. When can I comment on the sites? 

A. The intention is to ask people during the 'Preferred Options' consultation (early 2018) for comments on the sites. 

Q. How many sites will be allocated within the Minerals & Waste Local Plan? 

A. At this stage, we do not know how many sites will be allocated. We are still establishing our mineral and waste needs.  Once this is established, this will be worked into the local plan process in order to understand how many sites will need to be allocated in order to help meet our minerals and waste needs. 

Q. Will the Central & Eastern Berkshire Authorities put forward any of their own sites for development? 

A. Each of the Authorities will review land under its ownership for consideration in the 'long list' of sites. 

Q. Will you be assessing every site that has been promoted? 

A. Yes. We will assess every site that has been promoted to us. Those that are considered to be potentially suitable for minerals and waste development will be subject to a site visit. These sites will also be subject to other technical assessments including Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment). 

Q. What is a Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment? 

A. There is a requirement to produce a Sustainability Appraisal alongside the Minerals & Waste Local Plan. The Sustainability Appraisal assesses the impact of the Plan (including policies and site allocations) against a range of social, environmental and economic objectives. This helps us to ensure that our future policies are sustainable, i.e. they support development that meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. All the sites will be assessed against the agreed sustainability objectives. The Sustainability Appraisal will incorporate Strategic Environmental Assessment which identifies, describes and evaluates the likely significant effects that implementing a Local Plan or programme would have on the environment, as well as reasonable alternatives. 

Q. What happens if I have already submitted a site for housing or employment land?

A. If a site has already been nominated as a potential housing or employment site (through a previous call for sites exercise) but the landowner would also like the site to considered for mineral or waste uses as an alternative, the site should submitted again through this call for sites process.   

Q.  Will the proposed mineral and waste sites be considered against the proposed housing and employment sites?

A. Sites that have been submitted as a potential housing site or employment site will be checked for the presence of mineral resources (i.e. whether there are economically viable mineral resources within the vicinity of the proposed site) or existing minerals and waste sites. The outcome of this review will inform the decision-making on the potential sites but will not necessary mean they are unsuitable on these grounds. 

Q. Will you be meeting with site promoters? 

A.  Should we require any further information about a site later on in the assessment process we will get in touch with the site promoter. 

Q. When will the Council allocate the sites? 

A. At the 'Proposed Submission' stage, (in 2019) the Central & Eastern Berkshire Authorities will undertake a consultation on the sites it proposes to allocate as part of the Minerals & Waste Local Plan. 

Q. Who will make the final decision as to whether a site is allocated? 

A. Ultimately, the independent planning Inspector who examines the Local Plan will decide which sites are to be allocated within the Minerals & Waste Local Plan. Following his or her recommendations, it will be for each of the Central & Eastern Berkshire Authorities to formally adopt the Plan so that it can be used for planning purposes. 



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