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. Mineral working is an historic feature of the South Downs and it also presents a key challenge to the National Park’s landscape.
People living, working or visiting here generate waste that needs to be dealt with. We work towards reducing, reusing and recycling waste before anything is thrown away. 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 have adopted the following joint local plans:
- East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Local Plan (2013)
- Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan (2013)
- West Sussex Waste Plan (2014)
- West Sussex and South Downs Joint Minerals Local Plan (2018)
We are currently working in partnership with East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council on a Review of the ‘Waste and Minerals Local Plan’ and with West Sussex County Council on a Single Issue Review of Soft Sand Policy following the adoption of the ‘Joint Minerals Local Plan’ in July 2018.
Further details of all joint waste and minerals plans (including background evidence, historic documents and consultations) can be found on the websites for East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire County Councils.