North Yorkshire County Council has agreed to publish a draft plan that includes robust protection measures for residents and the environment to guide future minerals and waste planning applications for developments such as fracking.
The draft plan adopts a raft of measures which include an extended buffer zone to protect residential locations as well as environmentally important places such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, nature conservation areas and important historic sites. These are set out in the draft Minerals and Waste Joint Plan for York and North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire County Council, City of York Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority have joined together to produce a new minerals and waste plan for the area covered by the three authorities. Once given final approval next year, it will become the key reference for all planning decisions for development for the next 15 years.
This will include development such as new or extended quarries and new waste management facilities such as recycling and treatment centres. It will also include hydraulic fracturing for shale gas (fracking).
Measures agreed by North Yorkshire’s Executive add to the measures already provided through national policy in making sure a high level of protection is provided to local communities and the environment when planning applications for these forms of development are being considered.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Councillor for Business and Environmental Services, during the meeting:
We have adopted robust protective measures in this plan for our environment and for the health and wellbeing of our residents,” said County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Waste and Countryside Services. “They extend the protection already provided in national policy.
This plan has been three and a half years in the making, and will become the bible for guiding future planning decisions. It has been amended and refined over this period by taking into account responses from extensive consultation and it gives robust protection to the environment and landscape of our beautiful county.
A first consultation on the Joint Plan was undertaken within the three authority areas in June 2013 and was followed by an Issues and Options consultation in April 2014 which received 2,405 responses. Both consultations sought views on what the Joint Plan should contain and what the priorities should be.
This was followed by a Preferred Options consultation in 2015/16, which received 2,934 responses.
Once the draft plan has gone before all three authorities there will be an opportunity for representations to be made on the soundness of the plan and whether it is legally compliant.
The final Joint Plan will be decided upon by the three authorities in February and March 2017. It will then be subject to an independent public examination by a planning inspector before it can be formally adopted.
To find out more about the plan, visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/mwjointplan