Minerals and Waste
The rich geology of the South Downs underpins so much of what makes the National Park special: its diverse landscapes, land use, buildings and culture. Whilst mineral working is an historic feature of the South Downs it also presents one of today’s key challenges to the National Park’s landscape.
Meanwhile people living, working or visiting here generate waste that needs to be dealt with. Waste is a poor use of resources and causes environmental damage, throwing things away should be a last resort. There are small-scale local waste and recycling facilities within the National Park, as well as larger facilities where waste from construction and demolition activities is recycled. Inert waste that cannot be recycled can be a useful source of material to enable the restoration of old quarries or to stabilise quarry faces.
The South Downs National Park Authority are responsible for all planning applications related to minerals and waste development in the National Park. Minerals and waste development could impact on the qualities which make the National Park special – its landscapes and local distinctiveness. Major development proposals will likely be refused unless they can be demonstrated that exceptional circumstances exist and the development is in the public interest in line with National Planning Guidance
We monitor existing mineral workings and waste sites to make sure that they comply with the conditions set out in their planning permissions and are also responsible for the enforcement of breaches of planning control. Find out more about Monitoring Compliance for Minerals and Waste.
We are responsible for planning for the future management of waste and production of minerals within the South Downs National Park area. We have produced a guide on Understanding minerals and waste planning for District, Town and Parish Councils. Through working in partnership we now have adopted the following joint local plans:
- East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Plan (2013)
- Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan (2013)
- West Sussex Waste Plan (2014)
We are now working in partnership with East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council on a ‘Waste and Minerals Sites Plan’ and with West Sussex County Council on a ‘Joint Minerals Local Plan’ to ensure complete up-to-date policy coverage for the South Downs National Park.