The Central and Eastern Berkshire Minerals and Waste Plan

Bracknell Forest Council, Reading Borough Council, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham Borough Council (collectively referred to as the Central and Eastern Berkshire Authorities) are working in partnership to produce a Joint Minerals and Waste Plan which will guide minerals and waste decision making in the Plan area.

The Joint Minerals and Waste Plan will build upon the formerly adopted minerals and waste plans for the Berkshire area, eventually providing replacement policies based on up to date evidence of the current levels of provision for minerals and waste facilities in the Plan area.  Importantly, the Plan aims to establish the future levels of provision required to meet national and regional policy targets and objectives.  It will set out a new vision of how this will be achieved and provide details of strategic sites that we propose will deliver the vision.

Examination of the plan

The Central and Eastern Berkshire Authorities submitted the Joint Plan for independent examination on 25th February 2021. This marked the beginning of an independent examination of the plan, held by independent planning inspectors, which included hearing sessions that took place in September and October 2021.

Leading on from the hearings, a number of modifications were identified that were needed to make the plan sound and legally compliant, and these were subject to consultation between 28th February and 11th April 2022.

The final report of the Inspectors was received on 20th October 2022. The report concludes that the plan is sound and legally compliant, subject to the main modifications. The report is available to view on the dedicated website for the plan, along with other relevant information including the submitted plan. The Central and Eastern Berkshire Authorities will now need to formally adopt the plan.

Previous stages

To date, several information gathering consultations have been achieved to inform the Plan, each of these form part of consultations undertaken as part of Regulation 18 (of the Local Planning (England) Regulations 2012):

  • In Summer 2017, an ‘Issues and Options’ Consultation was undertaken to gather technical information and confirm the evidence base;
  • During Summer / Autumn 2018, a ‘Draft Plan’ consultation set out the proposed approach for the Joint Minerals and Waste Plan
  • Due to a limited number of site options, a further ‘Call for Sites’ exercise was carried out.  This resulted in an additional site (Bray Quarry Extension) being proposed.  This was subject to consultation during the Summer of 2019
  • In February and March 2020, a Focussed Regulation 18 Consultation: Sand & Gravel Provision and Operator Performance document was subject to consultation, which consulted on the criteria for defining an ‘Area of Search’ for sand & gravel provision, two new sites and a new ‘operator past performance’ policy.
  • In September and October 2020, a Proposed Submission version of the plan, which was a full draft of the version of the plan that the authorities proposed to submit, was published for consultation.