Minerals and Waste Planning FAQ’s

Enzygo operates with a number of clients from varying backgrounds and have compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the waste and mineral planning process.

Q. What is an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)?

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a procedure that must be followed for certain types of development before they are granted development consent. The requirement for EIA comes from a European Directive (85/33/EEC as amended by 97/11/EC). The procedure requires the developer to compile an Environmental Statement (ES) describing the likely significant affects of the development on the environment and proposed mitigation measures. The ES contents, together with any comments from the public or statutory consultation bodies, must be taken into account by the local planning authority before it may grant consent.

Q. Who grants granting planning permission for waste management facilities?

Unitary Councils and County Councils as Waste Planning Authorities have a responsibility to process and determine all planning applications for minerals and waste related developments.

Unitary Councils and District or Borough Council are responsible for granting planning permission and advice for other developments such housing projects, employment, leisure and all other non-waste, minerals or county council developments.

Q. How long will it take to get planning permission?

This depends on whether the application is taken to the Local Planning Authority’s Planning Committee or not. If no objection to the proposal is received during the consultation period, the application can be determined under delegated powers.

The statutory period for applications is normally 8 weeks but for applications which are accompanied by an EIA, the statutory period is 16 weeks. This does not always mean applications are determined within these periods. If the application is considered a departure from the Local Development Plan, it would be sent to the Secretary of State before the issuing of any planning permission. The Secretary of State has the power to “call in” the application for a public enquiry.

Q: What will be the difference between Minerals and Waste Local Plans and the Minerals and Waste Development Framework?

The main vehicle for setting the context for planning decisions on minerals and waste development has, up to now, been the Local Plan. However, under changes to the planning system, minerals and waste local plans are being replaced and Minerals and Waste Development Frameworks (MWDFs) are taking their place. Unlike the Local Plan, which is a comprehensive document covering the whole of its area, the MWDF is a portfolio of individual ‘Local Development Documents’ (LDDs). Together, these LDDs will cover that which is necessary to set out the future land-use planning context for an area.