PTE/13/27

Development Management Committee

17 April 2013

County Matter: Minerals

South Hams District: Environment Act 1995 - "Stalled" Schedule 13 Reviews of Old Mineral Permissions (ROMP); Lee Moor, Headon and Shaugh Lake China Clay Works, Plympton, Nr Plymouth

DCC/2977/2010 (12/42;49/0029/99/ROMP); Lee Moor/Smallhanger (or Headon West);

DCC/2978/2010; (12/42/0030/99/ROMP); Shaugh Lake;

DCC/2979/2010; (12/49/0031/99/ROMP; Headon

Date Applications received by County Council (with Environmental Statement): 30 November 2009

Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment

Please note that the following recommendations are subject to consideration and determination by the Committee before taking effect.

Recommendation: It is recommended that:

(a) the Committee approves in principle the attached draft schedule of conditions for working and restoration of Lee Moor/Smallhanger (to be used as a template for Headon and Shaugh Lake, adapted as necessary), to be valid until the next 15 year periodic review, and delegates the issuing of the consent to the Head of Planning Transportation and Environment (in consultation with the Chair of this Committee and the Local Member); subject to the applicant entering into a legal agreement under s.106 of the Town and Country Planning Act not to oppose a Modification Order to be made by the Dartmoor National Park (and with Devon County Council as a signatory) to permanently remove areas X, Y and Z from the planning permission area;

(b) Members endorse the Habitats Regulations Assessment carried out in respect of this application;

(c) That the applicant be advised that the Authority considers that the proposed conditions do not prejudice, the economic viability of the site operation, or its asset value as a mineral resource; and

(d) The County Council jointly with the Dartmoor National Park, writes to English Heritage, setting out the substantial public benefit of securing the protection of Areas XYZ which are of National landscape and archaeological importance and expresses the view that the loss of Emmets Post would be in accordance with the principles of paragraph 33 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

1. Summary

1.1 This report is to recommend new conditions for the three periodic review applications relating to the determination of new conditions for the winning and working of china clay in South West Devon.

1.2 These are three separate mineral sites which adjoin each other located immediately to the south of the Dartmoor National Park and to the north of Plympton spread across three separate Parishes of Shaugh Prior, Cornwood and Sparkwell and covering an area of approximately 6 square miles. There are cross-boundary joint working and tipping arrangements in operation.

1.3 Parts of the as yet unimplemented mineral planning permissions lie within the Dartmoor National Park and a very small area used for storage and linked to the main site by a pipeline, is at Marsh Mills within the boundary of Plymouth City Council.

1.4 Members of the Committee visited the sites on 30 April 2010 to consider the main issues relating to these mineral sites and to view progress with restoration.

2. The ROMP Applications

2.1 The three separate ROMP applications were originally submitted to this Authority in October 1998 as a result of the requirements of the Environment Act 1995. The Act required the operators of active mineral sites working under pre-1983 planning permissions to submit new conditions relating to the working and restoration of the sites to accord with up to date environmental standards.

2.2 In 1998, the sites were in the ownership of two Operators, WBB Minerals Ltd (Headon and Shaugh Lake) and EEC International Ltd (Lee Moor and Smallhanger/Hemerdon now known as Headon West).

2.3 Shortly after the applications were accepted, new case law indicated that ROMP reviews needed to be accompanied by Environmental Statements and the Operators were requested to submit additional environmental information in this format to support the three applications. It was agreed that one Environmental Statement could support all three applications and this work was commissioned jointly by the two Operators.

2.4 The Environmental Statement (ES) was received in 2010 following the classification of these 3 applications as "Stalled ROMPs" by new legislation brought in by the DCLG in 2008 and which put a legislative time limit on the provision of the ES.

2.5 This delay was the consequence of a number of contributing factors. Firstly, ECC International was bought by French Company Imerys and work on the ES was set back as a result of new Company priorities. WBB Minerals was then bought by Belgian firm Sibelco which caused another delay for the same reasons of internal restructuring. Once both new companies had become established, they decided to carry out a joint operational review of the whole area following the decision by Imerys to pull back from the production of China Clay in its Lee Moor pit.

2.6 The ES reflects current proposals for joint working and permanent and interim restoration during the 15 year period before a further review is required. This information superseded the proposals in the three original and separate 1998 ROMP applications.

2.7 Since that date further delays have arisen due to the requirement to amend certain supporting information with particular relation to ecological management and mitigation, the need to carry out a Habitats Regulations Assessment and uncertainties over parallel issues relating to the Emmets Post Scheduled Monument and the diversion of Public Right of Way 44.

2.8 The original intention was for the County Council to act as "lead" Authority and issue one notice on behalf of Devon County Council, the Dartmoor National Park and Plymouth City Council. This was questioned as a consequence of legal advice given about the Bovey Basin ball clay sites and it is now advised that there need to be separate determinations for each of the three sites but also determinations by the Dartmoor National Park (DNP) with respect to the substantial areas of land within its boundary given that the consents within the DNP need to be accompanied by a legal agreement. This and the need to update the areas now in restoration has required considerable additional mapping information from the applicants which has only recently been completed.

3. Background to the operations and planning history

3.1 The permissions relating to the winning and working of china clay at Shaugh Lake and Headon principally date back to dates between the 1950s and the 1970s although there is a far longer history of working china clay and other minerals in this area due to its complex geology. The main Lee Moor working area was granted a further extensive permission as the result of a major planning Inquiry determined in 1972. The permitted working and tipping areas for this site, and for Shaugh Lake include some 165ha (approx. 400 acres) of land within the DNP (known as Areas X, Y and Z). The older permissions contain very little requirement to restore the sites and few controls on the environmental impacts of the operations. Interim (but not legally binding) working conditions were agreed with Sibelco in 2008 with relation to the expansion of their pit and in particular the potential impacts on archaeology.

3.2 It is important to recognise that this process relates to the determination of modern schemes of conditions for operating these sites rather than reviewing the principle of the consents that are already in place which remain valid. If the Mineral Planning Authority was to determine conditions (without the consent of the operator) that would affect the asset value of the resource, then the operator would be able to claim compensation for the loss of such value from the Authority.

The 1978 Joint Tipping Agreement

3.3 The 1972 permission required the Operators to agree the nature and capacity of the tipping and in 1978 a joint tipping agreement was reached. At that time (and subsequently) the sites were being worked separately, however, it was acknowledged that if an element of joint tipping could be accommodated, then it could be a means of reducing the overall tipping footprint whilst retaining the required capacity and therefore not affecting the asset value.

3.4 A very comprehensive legal agreement was signed which set out the final profiles (and landscaping) for the main tips in the Lee Moor and Shaugh areas. The principal result of this joint agreement was that the operator would not commence tipping on Area Y within the DNP for a period of 30 years.

3.5 Additionally there was agreement not to commence the permitted Tip T3 at the head of the Tory Brook until it was required to take material from the Smallhanger (Headon West) workings and not to use that capacity for material from the Lee Moor operation.

3.6 In assessing the final restoration profiles for the ROMP application, the applicants have identified the final profile of Tips T1, T4 and T5 as set out in that agreement. It is an important point to recognise that those landforms accommodate the required capacity needed to enable the operators to offer to give up tipping rights in Area Y and to defer until the next review period the need to commence Tip T3. If the Mineral Planning Authority was to try to negotiate tip landforms that reduced the carefully calculated final tip capacity, this could have a significant landscape impact elsewhere or could lead to a loss of asset value.

Areas X, Y and Z

3.7 These three areas of land lie within the boundary of the DNP. Areas X and Y were permitted for working and tipping respectively as a part of the Shaugh Lake permissions and Area Z is consented for mineral working as a part of the Lee Moor site. In 2001 the mineral operators indicated that they may be willing to give these areas up as they had agreed to a programme of joint working which would enable them to merge the Shaugh Lake and Lee Moor Pits thereby accessing the clay beneath the joint boundary.

3.8 As the land lies within the DNP, the National Park Authority has indicated that its preferred approach would be to make a Modification Order to the consents enabling the working and tipping within these areas and that the operators would sign a s.106 agreement not to object to this Order which would be tied to the determination of the conditions.

3.9 The giving up of these areas would have a significant environmental benefit in safeguarding areas within the National Park boundary which are considered to be of National landscape significance and which contain (especially in Area Z) considerable archaeological interest as well as significant ecological potential. The giving up of these areas could not have been imposed by the ROMP process without incurring significant loss of asset to the operators and compensation payable by the Mineral Planning Authority.

4. Consultations

4.1 South Hams District Council - Environmental Health Officer commented that they have no comments to make regarding the application having looked at in particular the noise and dust aspects of the application.

4.2 Plymouth City Council - In view of the fact that the ROMP permission would last for 15 years and the ES states that the Marsh Mills site would be no longer needed after about 3-4 years, it is considered that the applicants should indicate their clearance/restoration scheme for the site. A restoration scheme has not been submitted for Marsh Mills, however it is proposed that this is clarified in the conditions. If any schemes are submitted with relation to this site they will be determined by the City Council.

4.3 Sparkwell Parish Council - Consulted on 2 February 2010 no comments received.

4.4 Shaugh Prior Parish Council - Consulted on 2 February 2010 no comments received.

4.5 Cornwood Parish Council - Consulted on 2 February 2010 no comments received.

4.6 English Heritage - Notes the overall strategic gain that would be achieved by the removal of Areas X, Y and Z from the permitted area as these areas form part of the overall landscape supporting the area of the National Park and are rich in archaeology and cultural heritage features including a number of Scheduled Monuments and Listed Buildings. They observe that the securing of these areas from the direct impact of minerals working is a "significant and positive achievement".

With relation to non-designated archaeology, English Heritage requires an amended archaeological condition in line with that suggested by the Historic Environment Service.

The necessary removal of Emmets Post barrow will require separate Scheduled Monument Consent which has been applied for separately.

English Heritage has also asked for clarification from the applicant about their intentions to protect the Scheduled Monument at Crownhill Down Barrow Cemetery, Blackawton Cross and a Grade 2 Listed Boundary stone. These views were put to the applicant and they have made a separate SMC application in respect of a part of the Crownhill Down Barrow cemetery which is partly within the permitted working area.

4.7 The Ramblers Association (Devon Area) - Note that a diversion will be sought for the bridleway between Lee Moor and Shaugh Lake Quarry and they ask that the proposal is properly published and made available for public comment and that diversions are clearly signed. (This is being done as a separate process by the Public Rights of Way Team see paras 7.16-7.18 below). The Ramblers Association is concerned about the environmental impacts of the continuation of the China Clay works but acknowledges that the mitigation measures proposed will reduce the landscape and visual impacts.

They raise a "significant concern" that the proposal does not clarify the means of surrender of mineral working rights on Areas X, Y and Z and that as they are to be used for offsetting the environmental impacts elsewhere on the site for the relocation of protected species this needs to be secured.

4.8 Dartmoor Preservation Association - express regret for the negative impacts of the continued operation but welcome the restoration work to be done at Shaugh Quarry, on Tips T2 and T4 and the interim works for restoration within Whitehall Yeo and Cholwichtown. Their main concern is the lack of a clear commitment to surrender working rights on areas X, Y and Z and they ask that a clear and implementable agreement is secured through the ROMP process.

4.9 Open Spaces Society- Express concern that the surrender of rights on areas X, Y and Z is seen as an exchange for environmental damage when the surrender of working rights was announced in 2001 and should be definite and non negotiable. OSS require that the development rights on XYZ will be abandoned regardless of anything else which happens as they are extremely sensitive areas on the boundary of the National Park, rich in archaeological features and of immense landscape value.

4.10 HM Inspector of Quarries - no comment.

4.11 South West Water - no comment.

4.12 Highways Agency - the HA has submitted an interim response requesting additional clarification of the proposed traffic movements that would result from the operation of the site and has requested a copy of the 2002 Traffic Assessment referred to in the Environmental Statement. It is understood that the Highway Consultants for Imerys and Sibelco are directly engaging with the HA on this matter and the result will be reported once received.


4.13 Natural England - expressed initial concern on the lack of information on bats and fish, lack of clarity about the restoration programme and cumulative impact with the Wolf permission at Crownhill Down, however they subsequently appointed a specialist planning consultant to report back to them on the information contained within the Environmental Statement this Consultant advised that it was "comprehensive" of the issues of concern to Natural England and that the proposals set out in the ES should be secured by planning condition and planning obligations and that this would minimise the extent of the environmental impact reasonably possible given the extant planning permissions.

4.14 Environment Agency - consider that there are issues that have not been clearly addressed or identified within the ES and require further information on net effect on flows in the Tory Brook, in combination effects with the Tungsten Mine and compensation flows into the Smallhanger Brook. (It is understood that the issue of flow rates into existing watercourses are currently being dealt with by separate licensing and abstraction/discharge permit processes.)

The EA also wished to see broad principles agreed for a "landscape and restoration" strategy and detailed management schemes for identified geographical areas within the site. It was particularly interested in safeguarding wetland habitats and replacing those lost through working on other parts of the site and they recommended a condition requiring a scheme for the provision of surface water management.

4.15 Devon County Historic Environment Unit - require a re-wording of the archaeological condition to include post excavation analysis and publication of all archaeological fieldwork; this has now been agreed.

4.16 Plantlife International - Plantlife is a charity established to conserve sites of exceptional botanical importance. They have a particular interest in the site due to its populations of marsh Clubmoss (Lycopodiella inundata) which is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species for which they are the Lead partner on behalf of the UK Government. Plantlife has undertaken two key surveys of the vegetation on Crownhill Down and Smallhanger Waste which they have provided to the applicants. They were instrumental in an attempt (unsuccessful) to have areas of Smallhanger designated as Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its botanical interest and also for its populations of odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) amongst other matters. This request was turned down by natural England but the site remains important and is still designated as a County Wildlife Site.

Plantlife draw attention to what are, in their view, deficiencies in the applicant's Environmental Statement and also to the MPAs responsibilities under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 which places a duty on every public body to have regard to the purpose of conserving biodiversity, including restoring or enhancing a population. The Charity expresses concern about proposals/methodology for translocation of Marsh Clubmoss and fairy shrimp populations and in general consider that the mitigation measures proposed fail to compensate for the major losses that will be incurred by the quarrying activities.


4.17 British Dragonfly Society - Regrets the loss of important dragonfly habitats in the Lee Moor area and is concerned that Section 7.5 of the ES infers that only protected species would be protected and that the supporting Table underestimates the importance of these species.

5. Advertisements and Representations

5.1 When the original ROMP submissions were made in 1998 there was a vigorous postcard campaign objecting to the "new" Permissions but subsequent events and especially the potential to safeguard areas X, Y and Z have eased concerns about these sites.

5.2 The review was advertised in accordance with statutory requirements for a stalled ROMP and a proposal accompanied by an Environmental Statement and two letters of representation were received. One representation from a commercial riding stables, expressed concern about apparent proposal to alter Public Rights of Way (PROW) and any other proposals that might restrict access to the moor. The representation makes other comments about progressive downgrading of a number of paths over the last 20 or so years. The representation was passed to the County's PROW team who state that the diversions to footpaths and bridleways mentioned in the letter have already been confirmed as a part of a wider package of proposals to improve access to the moor. It is accepted that it will be difficult to achieve a direct north south link to the open moor whilst the quarry is operational due to Health and Safety considerations however a number of improvements have been made as a result of on-going liaison with the Operators including the upgrading of a footpath to a bridleway. No paths have been downgraded from bridleways to footpaths as alleged by the objector and although Bridleway 44 would need to be either diverted or stopped up to permit the merging of the Lee Moor and Shaugh Lake pits, an attractive alternative has been put forward by the Operators through the restored areas in the north western part of the Shaugh Lake site.

5.3 The second representation has been submitted more recently by the Maristow Estate questioning the ability of the operators to merge the Lee Moor and Shaugh Lake pits. This representation arose in association with the proposed footpath diversion and the application for Scheduled Monument Consent to remove Emmets Post. The County Council is clear that there is nothing in the current planning permissions to prevent the merging of these two pits and the concept was certainly discussed during the 1971 Inquiry. There are no conditions on either of the adjacent consents that would preclude the merging of Lee Moor and Shaugh Lake pits and the objector has been advised as such.

6. Planning Policy Considerations

6.1 The Lee Moor, Headon and Shaugh China Clay quarries are clearly identified in the Devon Minerals Local Plan as Mineral Working Areas with associated Mineral Consultation Areas. Policy MP35 recognises that continued extraction will take place at Lee Moor, Shaugh Lake and Headon as identified on the proposals maps. It is recognised that the permitted operations will, while they are still operational have a significant effect on the local landscape and environment, but also that the sites provide employment and extract a mineral acknowledged to be of National and International importance.

6.2 Since Imerys has reduced its involvement in working this site there are far fewer people employed than in past years, however, the site and its associated operations are still a significant local employer and the economic importance of the operation needs to be taken into consideration.

6.3 The National Planning Policy Framework requires that permitted operations should not have an adverse impact on the natural or historic environment or human health and that conditions should be put in place to secure effective reclamation at the earliest opportunity. It is considered that the extensive programme of restoration already being undertaken will be secured and continued by the draft schemes of conditions which will also legally secure the environmental safeguards recommended in the NPPF.

7. Planning Issues

7.1 This application has raised a number of procedural and planning issues, but it is considered that the principal considerations are the future of areas X, Y and Z within the National Park and the securing of effective and on-going interim and permanent restoration.

Areas X, Y and Z

7.2 It needs to be recognised that the offer by both Operators to give up working and tipping rights within the 165ha of areas X, Y and Z in the DNP represents a significant mitigation of the impact of the existing planning permissions. This nature of this offer is additionally important as it could not have been required by the County Council as Mineral Planning Authority or the DNP without seriously affecting the asset value of the consents and therefore triggering a compensation claim against the Authorities.

7.3 In the proposed mitigation set out in the ES, it is identified that the offer not to work these areas contributes "significantly" to the overall mitigation strategy as their working or tipping would increase the area of visibility of the china clay operation with consequential adverse impacts on the landscape and visual amenity of the National Park.

7.4 The identification of these areas as mitigation for ecological habitats as well as landscape impact would indicate that the agreement not to work them is a significant benefit and needs to be legally secured. The officers of the County Council have been working with the DNP officers who wish to secure X, Y and Z by making a Modification Order to the original permissions to remove these areas of working and tipping. To enable some certainty on both sides and to move forward, the Operators have agreed in principle to sign a s.106 agreement not to oppose such a Modification Order made by the DNP subsequent to the determination of the ROMP by Devon County Council and the National Park Authority.

7.5 The joint offer to give up of XYZ by the Operators is based on their assessment of the amount of clay available underneath the boundary between the Shaugh Lake and Lee Moor pits. Whilst the two pits were being worked separately this was not possible and it was the agreed joint working arrangement between the Operators that has led to this becoming a possibility. The planning permissions contain no conditions to preclude this, and it is clear from the Inspector's report that this was a consideration during the 1972 Public Inquiry.


Historic Environment

Emmets Post Scheduled Ancient Monument Number SM34876 "Bowl Barrow"

7.6 Although there are a number of monuments and archaeological features affected by the planning permissions, the most critical current issue is the application by the operators to remove the bowl barrow at Emmets Post in order to merge the Shaugh Lake and Lee Moor pits in order to access the clay beneath the narrow neck of land currently separating them. This neck of land also currently contains Bridleway 44 (see Paragraphs 7.16 to 7.18 below on Public Rights of Way matters).

7.7 It is critical to the process of merging the Shaugh Lake and Lee Moor pits that Emmets Post is removed. The monument was scheduled in 1960 which was later than the adjacent planning permissions and it is clear from the documentation from the 1972 Inquiry that the merging of these pits was intended and the Inspector did not place any conditions on the new permission that would preclude this, nor is there any discussion of Emmets Post in that document.

7.8 The clay below this neck of land is essential to the decision by the Operators to offer not to work areas X, Y and Z in the National Park without seeking compensation for the loss of the asset value within those areas. Until this issue is resolved the Operators have indicated that they will not sign the s.106 agreement which protects these areas from further working.

7.9 The Operators applied to English Heritage in January 2012 for Scheduled Monument Consent to remove the monument but no decision has been made, despite correspondence between the two Mineral Planning Authorities and the Chief Executive of EH in which the public interest case for merging the two pits (and therefore safeguarding X, Y and Z from working) is made.

7.10 It is understood that if SMC is not granted then there could be a claim against English Heritage for loss of the asset value, but, more significantly, if the area is not worked it is possible that the operators would wish to exercise their consent in Area Z which is itself rich in Scheduled and unscheduled archaeology as well as being within the National Park.

Crownhill Down Barrow Cemetery Scheduled Ancient Monument

7.11 The operators made an application to English Heritage for Scheduled Monument Consent to remove a section of this monument which is within the area of mineral working and a response on this matter is also still awaited from English Heritage. The removal of this area is not as critical to the working programme as the area around Emmets Post but it is understood that if SMC is not forthcoming, then the Operator would be less able to provide compensatory water supplies for the headwaters of the Smallhanger Brook.

7.12 The National Planning Policy Framework (Para 133) states that where a proposed development will lead to substantial harm to or total loss of significance of a designated heritage asset, LPAs should refuse consent unless it can be demonstrated that the substantial harm or loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss

7.13 It is suggested that the safeguarding of Areas X, Y and Z from further mineral working, therefore protecting a landscape of national significance and a considerable area of schedules and unscheduled monuments in Area Z would outweigh the loss of Emmets Post which, due to the nature of the exiting and past mineral working around it has already substantially lost its setting and context.

7.14 It is understood that there will be a further meeting at English Heritage in early May to discuss the SMC application for Emmets Post. Therefore one of the recommendations of this report is that this Committee, jointly with the National Park Committee (who have already resolved to do so) send a letter to English Heritage setting out the public interest element of safeguarding XYZ from further mineral development which can be achieved with the co-operation of the operators if they are able to merge the Lee Moor and Shaugh Lake operations.

7.15 With relation to non-scheduled monuments and features, the operators have submitted a Written Scheme of Investigation to be applied to all new ground disturbance. This has been agreed in principle by the Historic Environment Officer and its implementation is a suggested condition of the ROMP consent.

Public Rights of Way

7.16 The same narrow neck of land between the Lee Moor and Shaugh Lake Pits hosts Bridleway 44, which is a north/south connection between the open moorland to the north and the settlements of Lee Moor and Wotter to the south. There are two possibilities for this footpath if the pits are to be merged; firstly (and preferably), that the footpath is diverted or secondly that it is stopped up (which was the intention expressed at the Public Inquiry).

7.17 The Public Rights of Way Officer has been working with the Operator, the DNP, path users and those who hold commoners rights to secure an acceptable alternative route through the worked out parts of Shaugh Lake Quarry which are currently being restored. A report was submitted to the County Council's Public Rights of Way Committee on 28 February 2012 recommending that the bridleway be diverted along a route agreed with the operator rather than it being stopped up.

7.18 This recommendation was agreed and the County Council will be pursuing this in the interests of protecting Area Z from working, and because the proposed alternative will be an attractive route through a restored site, rather than the current narrow and unattractive route between two working quarries. As with the Scheduled Monument Consent, it is likely that the operators will not agree to sign the s.106 agreement until this matter has been resolved enabling the merging of the two pits. If there are objections to the orders then this matter may have to be resolved by Public Inquiry.

Landscape and Visual Impact

7.19 The submission is accompanied by a full Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) which looks at the impact on the landscape character as well as the obvious visual impacts of the development and the proposed restoration. The analysis covers an area within 7.5km from the centre of the site. The site is clearly visible from a wide area and the tipping permitted by the 1978 joint tipping agreement will potentially mean that Tip T1 is reinstated and joined with Tip T4 making a high ridge behind Wotter, Tip T2 will be increased in size and Tip T3 at the head of the Torycombe Valley would need to be created to deal with waste from Smallhanger although this is not likely in this first 15 year period and as seen with Tip T1, recycling activities have reduced the amount of sand going to the tips overall.

7.20 The visual impact of this tipping on the DNP is set against the need to provide this capacity to avoid the need to tip on area Y within the National Park boundary. In addition, the proposed conditions will require both interim and final landscaping and great progress has been made with the method for this over the past few years at Lee Moor.

Ecology and Hydrology

7.21 As the site is connected to the Tamar estuaries SAC by the Smallhanger Brook and the Tory Brook and is close to the boundary of the Dartmoor SAC it was necessary to carry out a Habitats Regulations Assessment to demonstrate that there would be no significant effects on the protected sites and species.

7.22 This assessment concentrated on potential dust emissions to the Dartmoor SAC and on the potential impact on the Tamar Estuaries SAC from any watercourse pollution.

7.23 The assessment concluded that there would be no significant effects with appropriate safeguarding conditions and mitigation and the assessment was accepted by Natural England. It is attached to this report as Appendix 3

7.24 A number of issues have been difficult to resolve due to the uncertain nature of the hydrogeology and the way in which certain habitats could (if possible) be recreated especially mire seepages which are important habitat for odonata (dragonflies and damsel flies) and the sheer size of the site, large parts of which are no longer in the control of the mineral operators, areas having been sold off and other areas subject to old legal agreements not to win and work minerals or tip.

7.25 Following extensive discussion between the Operators and the County Ecologist, a document identifying "sensitive" areas for further conservation management is proposed to be conditioned to ensure that the operators focus their efforts on the more sensitive areas of existing habitat and proposed restoration. This would deal with the requests of the Environment Agency in this respect.

7.26 The on-going restoration at Shaugh has created 11 new ponds which are intended to provide suitable habitat for odonata and the Operators have agreed to consider the potential for such habitat wherever they have suitable water bodies. Habitat has already been created through the agreed restoration schemes at Portworthy and as progressive restoration happens, the potential to create additional sites will be investigated.

7.27 The headwaters of the Smallhanger Brook will be affected by works in the Smallhanger Valley (known by the operators as Headon West). In order to deal with these matters which are partly confined to the next review period in any case, conditions will be applied to the consent to require a detailed assessment of the impact on the headwaters of the Smallhanger Brook. The detail of this is in any case being pursued in parallel with the Environment Agency and to some extent the issues are now being dealt with by their permitting and licensing systems, and may well be resolved before the conditions can be determined. However, in order to conclude the Habitats Regulations Assessment it is important for the Authority to ensure through the planning process that the schemes of mitigation will ensure no impact on the connected Tamar Estuaries SAC.

7.28 The translocation of Fairy Shrimp into the areas already restored is being carried out under licence from Natural England.

7.29 It is a part of this Authority's NERC duty to ensure that the conditions address how protected species are dealt with even if there is a need for separate licensing.

Highways

7.30 Although the Highways Agency has expressed an interest in controlling the traffic coming to and from this site, especially in the light of their aspirations to fund works at the Deep Lane Junction in Plympton, the overall traffic levels from the sites are far lower than in past years when clay production was more intensive.

7.31 Advice has been taken from the County Solicitor and it is clear that the Highways Agency does not possess powers of direction relating to a ROMP submission. It would not be reasonable in terms of the overall traffic numbers to link the ROMP or the existing permitted operations to problems with the strategic highway network some distance from the site and therefore it is not proposed to introduce new conditions to restrict the permitted operation which could be said to have an impact on the asset value.

7.32 Conditions will be modernised to ensure that access points are kept clean and safe for all road users. The recent completion of the Hemerdon Link road has removed the "pinch points" at Newnham and therefore the overall traffic situation is more satisfactory than in the past.

Environmental Protection

7.33 The proposed new operating conditions contain modern standards relating to the control of noise, dust and the protection of water. The Environmental Health Officer from the District Council has no additional comment to make on the proposed conditions and these sites have operated with very low levels of public concern or complaint for many years, especially since the tipping operations moved back away from the settlement of Wotter.

7.34 Most of the water management is taking place with direct input from the Environment Agency and it is a proposed condition that the Operators submit a scheme for the management of surface water from the operational areas as recommended by the EA.

Restoration and Aftercare Conditions

7.35 When members visited the site in 2010 they were shown the initial steps towards the new methods of restoration on this site making use of imported compostable materials and a planning permission was subsequently granted to formalise this arrangement.

7.36 On-going restoration using the more modern methods previously trialled in Cornwall has been far more effective in quickly "greening up" the slopes of the sand tips than any of the previous methods of hydro-seeding and the use of composting seems to be able to build a root structure that prevents the previous problems with runoff and channelling down the sides of the tips washing away the seeded areas.

7.37 The Operator has made it clear that some areas are not entirely worked out and they wish to reserve their right to protect the underlying clays (for example in Lee Moor and Whiteball) by some interim restoration (i.e. the "greening up and remodelling referred to above, but this, and the remodelling of some of the older tips to provide more natural landforms will, over time, help to reduce the landscape impact of what is a very large and important mineral operation.

7.38 The submitted restoration plans show areas of permanent restoration at the worked out end of Shaugh Lake pit where the plant and buildings have been removed, land has been remodelled and wildlife sites established. On the Portworthy mica dams the two oldest dams have been capped and the slopes planted with trees, with the flatter tops seeded to be managed as heathland and grazing.

6.39 There remains a need to retain tip capacity especially if area Y is not to be used but the proposals to remodel some of the existing tips and plant broadleaved trees on the lower "stepped" slopes are improving the overall appearance of the landscape in accordance with the landscape character of the moorland fringes. Although there was a separate consent to re-work Tip T1 above Lee Moor village, the restoration conditions were accompanied by a legal agreement that the restoration schemes approved for the ROMP would be applied to that site to maintain the overall tip capacity.

Legal Considerations

7.40 Legal advice has been that the most effective way of protecting areas X, Y and Z from further mineral development is make the consents to be issued by the National Park on areas within the Shaugh Lake and Lee Moor permissions subject to the Operators signing s.106 agreements not to object to a subsequent Modification Order (to be made by the National Park Authority) which will formally and finally remove those areas from the parent permissions.

7.41 This approach means that the DNP will have to issue two separate consents with s.106 agreements, one for the Lee Moor (area Z) and one for Shaugh Lake (areas X and Y). Devon will issue three schemes of conditions for the remaining areas of the Lee Moor (and Headon West), Shaugh Lake and Headon permissions within the Devon boundary.

7.42 This means that the DNP consents and agreements cannot be issued until the Operators have confidence that they can merge the Lee Moor and Shaugh pits in Devon. They have made it clear that they cannot sign the agreements to give up X Y and Z until this is resolved.

7.43 As the merging of these pits is still subject to the Scheduled Monument Consent for Emmets Post and the diversion or stopping up of Bridleway 44, these issues may yet take some time to resolve as the separate consent regimes work independently of the planning process.

7.44 The conditions within the DNP which relate to the Lee Moor and Shaugh Lake permissions have been jointly drafted by Devon County Council and the DNP to ensure consistency although it is accepted that there may be the need to adjust the wording as time and the mineral operation moves on. The National Park Committee approved draft conditions and the resolution to tie these to the s.106 agreement on 5 April 2013.

Plymouth

7.45 As there is only a very small part of the Lee Moor permission which is an "outlier" within the boundary of Plymouth City, the City Council agreed that DCC should issue a permission containing a Condition relating to Marsh Mills but stating that if there were to be any alteration to its status as a storage area or if there were to be a restoration scheme submitted then the application or scheme should be submitted to the City Council for determination.

8. Conclusions

8.1 The consenting "standoff" in terms of the bridleway and the Scheduled Monument remain unresolved due to the separate but parallel regimes. Following long discussions between the legal advisers at the County Council and within the DNP it was concluded that the only way forward was for both Authorities to resolve to determine the schemes of conditions subject to the Operators agreeing to sign a s.106 agreement not to object to the Modification Order to remove X, Y and Z. This should give confidence to English Heritage that if they grant SMC for the removal of Emmets Post, it will as a consequence remove X, Y and Z from the permitted areas.

8.2 The representations about securing X, Y and Z for the future by the Dartmoor Preservation Association, the Ramblers and the Open Spaces Society as well as the concerted postcard campaign prior to the offer to give up the consents within the DNP give a clear indication of the strength of feeling about the need to secure this through this process and it is considered that there is a clear public interest benefit to this course of action and that the agreement between Devon County and the National Park to jointly pursue this outcome demonstrate that the "duty to co-operate" has been exercised in this case.

8.3 The attached draft scheme of conditions in Appendix 2 indicates a representative set of modern Conditions for the more complex Lee Moor/Smallhanger site. It is proposed that this would be used as a template for the less complex sites at Headon and Shaugh Lake. There are elements of the conditions which are still being discussed with the Operator particularly those relating to ongoing restoration and aftercare as this is already in progress on parts of the site and would need to be re-drafted to represent the actual situation when the consent can be issued. If it is not possible to agree the details with the operators then the matter can be referred back to this Committee for further consideration.

9. Reasons for Recommendation/Alternatives Considered

9.1 The Committee has the option to approve, refuse or delegate this decision to the Head of PTE (in consultation with the Chair of this Committee and the Local Member).

9.2 The Operator has extended the period for determination of these conditions until the end of April 2013. If a decision is not made, then unless the Operators agree a further extension of time, the original scheme of conditions as submitted by the Operator would be applied in default.

9.3 This recommendation is that Members resolve to approve in principle the draft conditions and delegate their final issue to the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment in consultation with the Chair of this Committee and the Local Member. Depending on how long it takes to resolve the Footpath and SMC issues, the Conditions may need to be adjusted to reflect the situation "on the ground" given that the mineral operation and restoration is progressing across the site.

9.4 As the determination by the County Council within Devon is inextricably linked with the National Park's determination and the legal agreement, this will necessarily delay the final issue of the reviewed conditions for operating and restoration in Devon.

9.5 it is considered that as the Operators are broadly carrying on the operations with regard to the submitted programmes of working, restoration and environmental protection as set out in the Environmental Statement and as the sites have, to date, been well run and not in receipt of complaints about their environmental impacts then the delay in issuing the consent to ensure the protection of X Y and Z in the National interest is worthwhile.

9.6 It is recommended that:

(a) the Committee approves in principle the attached draft schedule of conditions for working and restoration of Lee Moor/Smallhanger (to be used as a template for Headon and Shaugh Lake, adapted as necessary), to be valid until the next 15 year periodic review, and delegates the issuing of the consent to the Head of Planning Transportation and Environment (in consultation with the Chair of this Committee and the Local Member); subject to the applicant entering into a legal agreement under s.106 of the Town and Country Planning Act not to oppose a Modification Order to be made by the Dartmoor National Park (and with Devon County Council as a signatory) to permanently remove areas X, Y and Z from the planning permission area;

(b) Members endorse the Habitats Regulations Assessment carried out in respect of this application;

(c) That the applicant be advised that the Authority considers that the proposed conditions do not prejudice, the economic viability of the site operation, or its asset value as a mineral resource; and

(d) The County Council jointly with the Dartmoor National Park, writes to English Heritage, setting out the substantial public benefit of securing the protection of Areas X, Y and Z which are of National landscape and archaeological importance and expresses the view that the loss of Emmets Post would be in accordance with the principles of paragraph 33 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Dave Black

Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment

Electoral Division: Bickleigh & Wembury

Local Government Act 1972

List of Background Papers

Contact for enquiries: Sue Penaluna

Tel No: 01392 382880

Room No: ABG Lucombe House

Background Paper

Date

File Ref

Application File

October 1998

12/42;49/0029/99/ROMP (Lee Moor)

Application File

October 1998

12/49/0031/99/ROMP (Headon)

Application File

October 1998

12/42/0030/ROMP (Shaugh Lake)

Environmental Statement

November 2009

Application Case Files

January 2010

DCC/2977/2010

sp220313dma

sc/cr/lee moor romp

04 090413





Appendix I

PTE/13/27

Planning Policy Considerations

National Planning Policy Framework (2012)

Devon County Minerals Local Plan (June 2004)

MP1 International Designations

MP2 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and effect on National Parks

MP4 Archaeological sites

MP10 Maintenance of the County's Nature Conservation Resource

MP11 Environmentally Sensitive Sites not having Statutory Designation

MP12 Protected species

MP14 Mineral Consultation Areas

MP27 Use of secondary and recycled materials

MP35 Mineral Working Areas for China clay

MP41 Development control considerations

MP43 Transport of Minerals

MP45 Water Resource Protection

MP48 Disposal of Mineral Waste

MP49 Rights of way

MP52 Importing Materials to Mineral Sites

MP55 Non-Operational Land and Features

MP56 Restoration


Appendix II

PTE/13/27

ENVIRONMENT ACT 1995

(SECTION 96 & PARAGRAPH 9 OF SCHEDULE 13)

APPLICATION FOR DETERMINATION OF CONDITIONS FOR LEE MOOR/SMALLHANGER MINERAL SITE

South Hams District Council Reference: 12/42;49/0029/99/ROMP

Devon County Council Reference: DCC/2977/2010

_______________________________________________________________________

DRAFT SCHEDULE OF CONDITIONS

List of relevant permissions:

WB/8448/288/51 Winning and Working Minerals (20.11.1958)(Secretary of State decision letter Reference M/660/49/9)

8451/WB/291/51 Working Minerals (Smallhanger) (25.5.1951)

WB/8627/512/51 - Construction of Mica Dam at Fernhill farm (25.7.1951)

WB/638/164/55 Tipping (Sand and Mica) (29.7.1955)

WB/2577/527/57 Mica disposal at Hooksburry Wood (31.1.1958)

WB/288/58 Extension to Tip at Tolchmoor gate (4.6.1961)

WB/7002/948/61 Waste disposal and diversion of road and brook (Coleland Bridge) (3.1.1963)

WB/193/63/290/63 Waste disposal and diversion of road and brook (25.10.1963)

WB/1449/65 Temporary Mica Dam Lee Moor (28.1.1965)

288/51 DCC doesn't have any record of this (Blackalder Tip)

WB/307/70 Tipping (Higher Lee) (29.9.1970)

WB/340/70 Tipping materials and working mineral (20.11.1972) (Secretary of State decision letter Reference M/660/49/9)

9/42/1538/77/3 Portworthy Mica Dam (24.4.1978)

9/42/95/78 Waste disposal at Hawks Tor (8.12.1978

9/42/1299/79 - Extension of mica dam and diversion of highway (29.10.1980)

9/42/1700/87 Construction of mica storage area and winning and working at Shillet Quarry, Portworthy (25.8.1988)


1. DEFINITIONS

In these conditions the following definitions shall apply:

Aftercare the use that land, used for minerals working, is put to after restoration and maintained by condition of this consent for a reasonable period for establishment and maintenance.

Authority Devon County Council, acting as the Mineral Planning Authority for those parts of the consents lying within the Devon County Council administrative boundary.

Crownhill Down Road the haul road proposed as shown indicatively marked with a bold black broken line on Figure 3.4 of the Environmental Statement.

Environmental Statement the Environmental Statement dated November 2009 submitted by the Mineral Operators to the Authority, together with all addenda and supplementary information

Excluded Areas Those areas as indicated on Drawing **** which indicate areas excluded from the conditions of this consent which are either outside the control of the Mineral Operator, are agreed to be restored and out of the aftercare period prior to this determination, or are subject to legal agreements to prevent winning or working of minerals or tipping

Extant Permissions Those permissions listed as "relevant permissions" on the front page of this decision notice which grant lawful consent for the winning and working of minerals (unless this is precluded by subsequent legal agreement or the conditions of this permission.

Extent of approved tipping The maximum extent of the tipping approved in the extant permissions as indicated on drawing *****

Headon West Those areas identified on drawing *** previously known as Hemerdon or Smallhanger.

Joint Tipping Agreement The agreement by the Mineral Operators under s.52 of the Town and Country planning Act 1970 to permit tipping on adjoining consented areas in the interests of reducing the overall tipping footprint. The extent of this agreement is indicated on drawing ****

Mineral Operator Any person or Company lawfully implementing the planning permissions.

Mining Operations all operations, activities and uses undertaken for the purpose of the winning and working of minerals, the deposit and storage of overburden, interburden & mica and the tipping of mineral waste, including such ancillary operations, activities and uses as may be lawful and necessary

Operational Areas All those areas (except for the "excluded" areas as defined above) within the area of the extant permissions, that are identified in the outline programmes for the winning and working of minerals or tipping as set out on the indicative drawings in the ES (drawing numbers:******) or are previously worked areas in restoration, interim restoration or aftercare.

Plan the drawings ******** referred to in this decision notice.

Restoration operations associated with the winning and working of minerals and which are designed to return the area to an acceptable environmental condition, whether for the resumption of former land use or a new use

ROMP Permission The conditions of winning and working of minerals and tipping applying to the extant permissions for the initial 15 year period until the date of first periodic review.

Site all that land shown outlined red on Plan,** excepting always those parts within the boundary of the National Park and those parts excluded from the conditions of this permission because they are the subject of separate legal agreements or are outside the control of the Mineral Operator as indicated on drawing D05/P02/060.

Site Access Points the main vehicular access associated with the despatch of minerals at Lee Moor as shown on drawing *******

XYZ those areas within the Dartmoor National Park subject to a s.106 agreement in association with this permission as defined on drawing D05/P02/054

2. EXTENT AND NATURE OF THE PERMISSION

Condition 1

The Development to which this Permission relates shall be limited to the Mining Operations on the Site as permitted by the extant permissions, the indicative working programme as set out in the Environmental Statement and the indicative Restoration and Aftercare of those parts of the Site affected by Mining Operations as indicated on drawings [to be updated on issue]

3. DURATION OF PERMISSION

Condition 2

Mining Operations on the Site, the subject of this determination shall cease on or before 22nd February, 2042; all buildings, structures, roads, plant and machinery associated with the Mining Operations (except those roads required for Restoration and Aftercare) shall be removed from the Site by 21st February 2044 and all Restoration shall be completed (except for the Aftercare period) by 21st February 2047.

4. WORKING PROGRAMME

Condition 3

Unless otherwise agreed in writing The Mining Operations and the Restoration & Aftercare of the Site shall be carried out in accordance with Section 3, Section 5, and Section 6 of the Environmental Statement, and Figures {****} of the Environmental Statement.

Condition 4

No development in the areas shown in Figure 3.4 (excepting that development identified in drawings 3.1 3.17 as being the working programme for the next 15 year period) for anticipated tip development, excavation and backfill/mica disposal (including the construction of the Crownhill Down Road) shall be carried out until detailed schemes of working, tipping, restoration and aftercare have been submitted to the Authority for approval. Such development shall only be carried out in strict accordance with the approved schemes.

5. ACCESS AND PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC HIGHWAY

Condition 5

The principal Site Access Points as shown on drawing *** and any other vehicular access to a public highway associated with the dispatch of minerals from the Site shall be surfaced and maintained in a good state of repair so as to keep the highway free from mud, stones, slurry and other deleterious materials.

Condition 6

The Mineral Operators shall prevent the transfer of mud, dust, stones and other deleterious material from the Site onto the public highway.

Condition 7

All vehicles carrying minerals from the Site, except those carrying single sized washed stone over 75mm, shall be sheeted or have their loads otherwise enclosed before leaving the Site.

Condition 8

There shall be no importation of waste materials onto the Site for the purposes of storage, processing or resale, except soils or soil making materials for restoration.


6. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

(i) Dust

Condition 9

The control of dust emissions from the surface workings, tips and haul roads shall be as set out in Section 8.6 of the Environmental Statement shall be implemented as an interim dust control management system. In the event of dust complaints being received by the Local or mineral Planning Authority (that can be attributed to activities at this mineral site), the operator shall, within six months of the date of notification submit a formal scheme for a dust control management system which shall be approved in writing by the Authority and thereafter the control of dust emissions shall be carried out in accordance with this agreed scheme.

The dust control measures and equipment to be utilised in accordance with (ii) Noise

Condition 10

Vehicles, plant and machinery operated within the Site shall at all times be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specification and fitted with and use effective silencers.

Condition 11

Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Authority, the noise levels arising from Mining Operations shall not exceed 55 dB LA eq (1 hour) freefield between the hours of 0700 - 1900 hours (daytime) and 45 dB LA eq (15 minutes) freefield between the hours of 1900 - 0700 hours (night time) as measured outside the nearest occupied dwelling or building used for residential purposes.

Condition 12

Unless otherwise agreed in writing The noise levels arising from bund construction, soil stripping and placement, removal of spoil heaps and the construction of new permanent landforms shall not exceed 70dB LAeq (1hour) freefield between the hours of 0700 - 1900 hours (daytime) when measured at a point not less than 3.5m from any occupied dwelling or building used for residential purposes. There shall be no such operations carried out between 1900 - 0700 hours (night time).

Condition 13

Audible safety devices required by Health and Safety Regulations shall be set at the minimum permissible level consistent with providing a safe system of working. The Mineral Operators shall keep under review current "best practice" and available technology and shall, if reasonably practicable carry out a replacement programme for such devices.

(iii) Blasting

Condition 14

Except where essential for safety reasons, blasting shall only take place between 0900 - 1600 hours Mondays to Fridays and 0900 - 1300 hours on Saturdays.

Condition 15

operations.

Condition 16

Unless otherwise agreed by the Except as may be necessary for reasons of safety, the number of blasting operations shall not exceed three in any period of 24 hours.

Condition 17

confidence level) as measured at or near the foundations of any dwelling or building used for residential purposes.

(iv) Ground and Surface Water Protection/Hydrology

Condition 18

Any oil, fuel or lubricant and potential liquid pollutants (with the exception of clay material in suspension or being separated) shall be stored in suitable tanks and containers. Any fixed tanks or containers other than double skinned tanks storing such materials shall be surrounded by bund walling of sufficient construction so as to contain 110% of the contents of the largest of such tanks or containers or any series of connected tanks or containers and shall be fitted with valves to isolate any associated pipework. The floors and walls of the bunded areas shall be impervious to water and oil. Vent pipes shall be directed downwards into the bunded area.

(v) Protection of Controlled Waters

Condition 19

Within 12 months of this Decision Notice, or such longer period as may be agreed in writing by the Authority, a detailed scheme for the use, control and management of surface water run-off from operational areas shall be submitted to the Authority for approval. Thereafter, surface water runoff shall be managed in strict accordance with the scheme as approved.

Condition 20

or any other river, stream or watercourse shall be submitted to the Authority for approval.

Condition 21

No tipping or temporary storage of materials, other than in accordance with works associated with landscaping bund construction, restoration activities and toe drainage of the tips shall take place within 15 metres of any river and within 7 metres of any other watercourse and all necessary measures shall be taken to ensure that tipped material shall not enter any watercourse or culvert.

(vi) Bird Nesting Season

Condition 22

No vegetation clearance shall take place during the bird nesting season (1 March to 31 August, inclusive) unless the mineral operator has been advised by a suitably qualified and experienced ecologist that the clearance will not disturb nesting birds. The operator shall keep a record of this advice and make such record available to the MPA on request.

7. LANDSCAPING RESTORATION AND AFTERCARE

The final wording of these conditions remains to be agreed with the operators and will also need to be adjusted to reflect the actual situation on the ground when the ROMP determination is issued. The following conditions are expressed as principles rather than as final wording:

Condition 23

The phased interim and permanent restoration and aftercare of the Site shall be carried out in accordance with the outline programme set out in Figures (to be updated)

Condition 24

The sites shall be managed in accordance with the approved schemes for the duration of this permission, or such shorter period as may subsequently The existing wildlife sites as identified in the document "Lee Moor Complex: Site Management for Biodiversity" shall be monitored and managed in accordance with the proposals set out in that document.

Reason: To protect and manage existing wildlife sites.

Condition 25

Existing trees, bushes and hedgerows within the Site shall be retained and shall not be removed from areas outwith the current or succeeding phase of Mining Operations without the prior written consent of the Authority unless the removal is related to the approved management schemes meeting the requirements of Condition 25. Any such vegetation which is removed without consent, or becomes severely damaged as a result of the permitted operations shall be replaced with trees or bushes of a similar species during the first available planting season following removal or death, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Authority.

Condition 26

Detailed method statements for the translocation of Marsh Clubmoss and fairy Shrimp shall be submitted for approval.

Condition 27

For all areas of permanent restoration, the operator shall submit details of habitat creation management and monitoring and the restoration to be carried out in accordance with agreed details.

Condition 28

Upon completion of Mining and Tipping Operations within any of the working areas identified in the ES, the Operators shall notify the Authority. Restoration shall be completed within 5 years of that date and the area shall be subject to aftercare for a further 5 years starting from the completion of the restoration.

Condition 29

Trees, shrubs, planting and seeding carried out in accordance with Section 5 of the Environmental Statement shall be maintained and replaced as necessary should they die, become diseased or are removed, during the aftercare period in accordance with the rules of good husbandry.

8. ARCHAEOLOGY

Condition 30

The development shall proceed in accordance with the 'Lee Moor ROMP Area Written Scheme of Investigation' prepared by Andrew Josephs Associates as approved in December 2011 (Attached to this decision as Appendix ****)

9. SOIL HANDLING

Condition 31

(a) All soil stripping, re-grading, sub-soiling operations and the spreading of soils and their cultivation shall only be carried out when there is sufficient soil moisture deficit so as to prevent any degradation of soil structure.

(b) Topsoils and subsoils shall be handled separately and where necessary stored separately in bunds until such time that they are required for restoration purposes.

(c) Topsoil heaps shall not exceed 4 metres in height unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Authority.

(d) Topsoil heaps shall be graded and seeded with a grass mixture which shall be approved in writing by the Authority and thereafter kept free of injurious weeds.

(e) No topsoil or subsoil shall be exported from the Site unless previously agreed in writing by the Authority.

(f) Any soils that have been brought to the site for the purposes of restoration shall be kept free from injurious weeds, and all necessary steps shall be taken to ensure that such weeds are not permitted to seed or spread within or from the site.

10. PRIOR CESSATION OF MINERAL WORKINGS

Condition 32

In the event of a cessation of Mining Operations prior to the achievement of the approved working programme which, in the opinion of the Authority constitutes a permanent cessation within the terms of Paragraph 3 of Schedule 9 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Operators shall within 12 months of the notification by the Authority (or such longer period as may be agreed in writing by the Authority) submit a revised scheme for Restoration and Aftercare to the Authority for its written approval. Thereafter, restoration and aftercare shall be carried out on the Site in accordance with the scheme as approved

Condition 33

All buildings, structures, roads, plant and machinery, erected as part of the Development, shall be removed from the Site within two years of the permanent cessation of Mining Operations.


11. GALVA

Condition 34

No Mining Operations shall be carried out within that part of the Mineral Site identified as Galva Works on Figure 2.2.

12. MARSH MILLS

Condition 35

Marsh Mills on Figure 2.2. In the event of a cessation of the use of this part of the Site for storage in association with the Mining Operations, the Operators shall submit a scheme for Restoration and Aftercare to the Authority for its written approval, within 12 months of being requested to do so by the Authority, or such longer period as may be agreed in writing by the Authority. Thereafter, restoration and aftercare shall be carried out on this part of the Site in strict accordance with the scheme as approved.



Habitats Regulations Assessment Section 1: Screening of likely significant effect on a European site

Part A: The proposal

1.Type of permission/activity:

Lee Moor China Clay Quarry Complex. Review of Old Mineral Permissions (ROMP.

The Environment Act 1995 introduced new requirements for an initial review and updating of old mineral planning permissions and the periodic review of all mineral permissions thereafter. Imerys Minerals Limited (Imerys) and Sibelco UK ltd (Sibelco), the Applicants, submitted ROMP schemes in respect of the continued development, operation and restoration of their china clay operations at Lee Moor in 1998. Both companies then agreed, voluntarily, to carry out a joint EIA of their proposals. An Environmental Statement was submitted to DCC in November 2009.

Not all planning consents associated with the Lee Moor works are subject to review as some relate to ancillary activities and are not 'minerals' permissions (which relate to the winning and working of minerals and the disposal of minerals waste). A list of the planning consents subject to the ROMP review is given in section 1.6 of the ES.

This HRA relates to the ROMP only. Other consents (such as the kilns) will need separate HRAs. .

2. Application reference no:

DCC/2977/2010 (Lee Moor), DCC/2979/2010 (Shaugh Lake) and DCC/2978/2010 (Headon) are subject to a joint ES. They are jointly considered here as the Lee Moor Complex

3. National grid reference:

Consented activities cover some 1400 hectares centred at SX 570 625.

4. European sites (within 10kms of Lee Moor quarry or with identified pollutant pathways)

Four Natura 2000 sites are located within 10km of the site. Prawle Point to Plymouth Sounds cSAC is not within 10kms but is hydrologically linked via Plymouth Sounds and Estuaries SAC (see table below and figure 1).

Natura 2000 sites within 10km/outwith 10km but with pollutant pathways, of Lee Moor Quarry Complex

Natura 2000 Site

Reference Code

Approx distance and direction from Development

Dartmoor SAC

UK0012929

Immediately adjacent Quarry Site to the NE

South Dartmoor Woods SAC

UK0012749

400m W

Tamar Estuaries Complex SPA

UK9010141

7.4km W

Plymouth Sound and Estuaries SAC

UK0013111

9.3km SW

Prawle Point to Plymouth Sound candidate SAC

UK0030373

10.9km S

Conservation Objectives

With regard to the natural habitats and/or species for which the site has been designated (the Qualifying Features listed below);

Avoid the deterioration of the qualifying natural habitats and the habitats of qualifying species, and the significant disturbance of those qualifying species, ensuring the integrity of the site is maintained and the site makes a full contribution to achieving Favourable Conservation Status of each of the qualifying features.

Subject to natural change, to maintain or restore:

The extent and distribution of qualifying natural habitats and habitats of qualifying species;

The structure and function (including typical species) of qualifying natural habitats and habitats of qualifying species;

The supporting processes on which qualifying natural habitats and habitats of qualifying species rely;

The populations of qualifying species;

The distribution of qualifying species within the site.

Qualifying Features for Dartmoor SAC

H4010. Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix; Wet heathland with cross-leaved heath

H4030. European dry heaths

H7130. Blanket bogs*

H91A0. Old sessile oak woods with Ilex and Blechnum in the British Isles; Western acidic oak woodland

S1044. Coenagrion mercuriale; Southern damselfly

S1106. Salmo salar; Atlantic salmon

S1355. Lutra lutra; Otter

Qualifying Features for South Dartmoor Woods SAC

H4030. European dry heaths

H91A0. Old sessile oak woods with Ilex and Blechnum in the British Isles; Western acidic oak woodland

Qualifying Features for Tamar Estuaries Complex SPA

A026 Egretta garzetta; Little egret (Non-breeding)

A132 Recurvirostra avosetta; Pied avocet (Non-breeding)

Qualifying Features for Plymouth Sound and Estuaries SAC

H1110. Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time; Subtidal sandbanks

H1130. Estuaries

H1140. Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide; Intertidal mudflats and sandflats

H1160. Large shallow inlets and bays

H1170. Reefs

H1330. Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae)

S1102. Alosa alosa; Allis shad

S1441. Rumex rupestris; Shore dock

Qualifying Features for Prawle Point to Plymouth Sound candidate SAC

Inshore Upstanding Reefs

Offshore Upstanding Reefs

* denotes a habitat or species which is a particular priority for conservation at a European scale and is subject to special provisions in the Directive and the Habitats Regulations.

5. Brief description of proposal:

Fig. 2 (taken from the ES) provides details of site locations within the context of the Lee Moor complex.

Activities over the 15 year ROMP period covered by this ROMP:

  • On-going clay extraction
  • Restoration of worked, mica dam and overburden/interburden storage areas

Headon and Headon West (see figs 3.5 to 3.7 and 5.38, 5.39 in the ES)

Mineral extraction will continue throughout the ROMP period at a rate of circa 130 135,000 tonnes per annum. Phase 1: Extraction will focus in the North East (Boat Pond), the southern area and develop westwards.

Phase 2/3: Extraction will continue to the western edge of the planning consent boundary. Overburden will be stored at South Tip and Main Tip and then the quarry void. Mica residue will continue to be pumped to Lee Moor Quarry. Clay will continue to be pumped from Shaugh Quarry to the processing facilities at Headon. Restoration will be to acid grassland, heathland and broadleaved woodland.

Shaugh Lake Quarry (see figs 3.8 to 3.12 and 5.34 in the ES)

Northern Sink: Restoration and then retained for long term mica storage and possibly future extraction.

Southern Sink: Continuation of mineral extraction at a rate of circa 50,000 tonnes per annum. This area will be combined with Lee Moor Pit in the latter stages of Phase 1 and subsequent phases of the ROMP.

Areas X and Y: Working rights surrendered

Lee Moor Pit (see figs 3.8 to 3.10 and 5.35 in the ES)

Continuation of mineral extraction concentrated largely in the north of the site and merging with Shaugh Lake Quarry. Extraction during phases 2 and 3 will focus on widening and deepening the corridor connecting Shaugh Lake and Lee Moor. Lee Moor Pit is also used as part of the water management process agreed with statutory regulators. The lower adit has been plugged to allow clean water to be piped to the processing works at Headon with the mica being pumped back to Lee Moor. The upper adit is used to discharge surplus water through a newly consented discharge point.

Area Z: Working rights surrendered.

Three Portworthy Mica Dams (see figs 3.13, 1.14 and 5.40, 5.41 in the ES)

During Phase 1 of the ROMP period the mica lagoons will be capped (partially complete) and restored to grassland, woodland, and wetlands for odonata on associated peripheral areas. Surface water drainage from the capped areas will be channelled in ditches to the existing brook and channel. (note that the Portworthy Phases (1,2 and 3) do not necessarily correspond with the respective phases of the ROMP.

Cholwichtown Tip T2 (see figs 3.15, 3.16, 5.36 and 5.37 in the ES)

Tipped sand material is being regraded on the eastern side followed by seeding to grassland and woodland planting on the 'stepped' profile. Potential future tipping during the next ROMP period.

Whitehill Yeo Sand Tip (see fig. 3.17 in the ES)

Secondary aggregate plant has been closed and stockpiles removed. The tip surface will be reinstated and restored. Interim seeding to grassland carried out with some potential woodland planting.

Tip T1

No tipping during this ROMP period. Aggregate Industries have obtained planning permission to rework material deposited on the tip.

Tip T4 (see figs 3.8 to 3.10 and 5.33 in the ES)

Remains operational. Tipping and restoration.

Cholwichtown Pit (see fig. 3.17 and 5.35 in the ES)

No extraction proposed in the short term. Pit bottom allowed to flood up to circa 208mAOD. Overflow construction proposed in 2010 now in place and water allowed to discharge naturally at the southern end (Parklands), with the consent of the EA. Natural regeneration of pit faces.

Whitehill Yeo Pit (see fig. 3.17 and 5.35 in the ES)

No extraction proposed in the short term. Pit bottom has been allowed to flood. Dewatering occurs via an adit which discharges into the Tory Brook. Adit will be plugged and water level allowed to rise. Construction of an overflow proposed which will discharge into the existing leat system and eventually into the Tory Brook.

Lee Moor refinery + Marsh Mills Dryer complex

No longer required operationally for processing purposes. Some buildings will be used to store feed clays. Marsh Mills will be used to store product for the kiln and from same prior to shipment. Options for future use of the buildings are being explored, outside of the china clay operation.

6. Is this application necessary to

the management of the site for

nature conservation?

No

Part B: Risk assessment

Potential impacts

All activities are outside the Natura 2000 site boundaries. There will therefore be no direct loss of habitat.

Potential impacts are on:

  • Dust. Impacts on sensitive habitats due to dust

  • Water quality impacts due to changes in sedimentation and chemical status of the water causing habitat change and loss/displacement/ change in composition of aquatic and riparian species.
    • The quarry complex lies within Plym and Yealm catchments. Headwaters of the Plym and Yealm lie within Dartmoor SAC. Both feed into the Plymouth Sound and Estuaries SAC. Tamar Estuaries SPA and Prawle Point to Plymouth Sound candidate SAC are linked to the quarry complex via Plymouth Sound and Estuaries SAC. Figure 3 shows the key surface water features within and adjacent to the quarry complex..
    • There are currently eight discharge consents held by the EA for this site. There are no current proposals for new discharge consents during the ROMP period.

  • Water flow / levels. Change in sensitive habitats due to changes in surface and groundwater flow causing habitat deterioration.

  • Disturbance due to noise/vibration on sensitive species (otter and salmon)

Likely Significant Effect Matrix

Natura 2000 Site

Qualifying Features

Possible Impacts

Is there a risk of significant effect?

Possible 'in combination' plans or projects

Is there a significant risk of 'in combination' impacts?

Dartmoor SAC

Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix

European dry heaths

Blanket Bogs

Old sessile oak woods with Ilex and Blechnum in the British Isles

Southern damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale

Atlantic salmon Salmo salar

Otter Lutra lutra

Disturbance

Dust

Water Quality

Water flows / levels

No. Habitats within the ROMP complex do not support otters and off-site effects from operational activity are not significant sources of disturbance in the SAC and supporting rivers.

Atlantic salmon are included as a qualifying feature due to their presence in the Dart and Tavy, neither of which are hydrologically connected to this site. Atlantic salmon (as a feature of Dartmoor SAC) cannot therefore be disturbed by the quarry.

No. See section on dust below.

No. Impacts on water quality are covered in S.11 of the ES. The site is downstream of Dartmoor SAC and the only impacts could therefore be water quality impacts on Atlantic salmon and otter in the Plym and Yealm catchments.

Impacts from point source discharges are prevented (as far as is reasonably possible) by the EA regulatory system of discharge consents. There are no current proposals for new discharge consents during the ROMP period.

The ES states that a 'code of practice for the use, control and management of site runoff' will be adopted by both Sibelco and Imerys in conjunction with the EA in order to prevent the discharge of 'contaminated' water through storm drainage channels, leats, catchpits and flooded pits. ' Development and implementation of this code of practice will be a condition of the ROMP.

The EA has been working closely with the china clay industry and state that recent surveys have showed that fish and macro-invertebrate data for the Tory Brook and Smallhanger brook indicate good water quality.

No. All abstractions and discharges relating to the site are regulated by the EA. The Headon West extension will remove a significant area of the upper catchment of the Smallhanger Brook during Phases 2 and 3 of the development. A scheme will be submitted to the EA to mitigate any reduction to flows to the Smallhanger Brook

Possible impacts on water quality due to development in South Hams / Caradon and development of Hemerdon Tungsten mine.

Development in South Hams & Caradon

could increase water demand within

the sites catchments

Dust impacts from aggregate recovery activities within the Lee Moor complex (Aggregate Industries at Tip T1 and Tarmac Ltd at Headon Quarry)

No. Risks to water quality and supply will be prevented by EA regulatory system of consents and surface water drainage controls imposed via planning.

No. Due to distance between these sites and the SAC + dust control management schemes required by planning consents.

South Dartmoor Woods SAC

Old sessile oak woods

with Ilex and Blechnum in

the British Isles

European dry heaths

Disturbance

Dust

Water Quality

Water flows / levels

No. The SAC lies 400m west of the northern edge of the quarry.

No. The SAC lies 400m west of the northern edge of the quarry. See section on dust below.

No interest features are susceptible.

No. No hydro-geological connectivity between the site and this SAC.

No. There are no residual impacts.

Tamar Estuaries Complex SPA

Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta

Little egret Egretta garzetta

Disturbance

Dust

Water Quality

Water flows / levels

No. The SPA is 7.4km west of the quarry complex and the impacts of noise and vibration will be negligible at this distance.

No. The site is 7.4 km from the quarry.

No. Water courses flowing through the site are not linked to the Tamar Estuaries complex.

No The only hydrological link is via Plymouth Sounds and Estuaries SAC which is downstream of the Tamar Complex.

No. There are no residual impacts.

Plymouth Sound & Estuaries SAC

Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time

Estuaries

Large shallow inlets and bays

Reefs

Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae)

Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide

Shore Dock Rumex ruestris

Allis shad Alosa alosa

Disturbance

Dust

Water Quality

Water flows / levels

No. SAC is over 9km from the quarry complex. No effect from noise or vibration.

No. The SAC is over 9km from the quarry complex.

No. See water quality section for Dartmoor SAC.

No. See hydrological section for Dartmoor SAC.

Possible impacts on water quality due to development in South Hams / Caradon and development of Hemerdon Tungsten mine.

Development in South Hams & Caradon

could increase water demand within

the sites catchments

No. Risks to water quality and supply will be prevented by EA regulatory system of consents and surface water drainage controls imposed via planning.

Prawle Point to Plymouth Sound & Eddystone cSAC

Inshore Upstanding Reefs

Offshore Upstanding Reefs

Disturbance

Dust

Water Quality

Water flows / levels

No. The cSAC is over 10 kms from the quarry.

No. As above

No. See water quality section for Dartmoor SAC.

No See hydrological section for Dartmoor SAC

Possible impacts on water quality due to development in South Hams / Caradon and development of Hemerdon Tungsten mine.

No. Risks to water quality will be prevented by EA regulatory system of consents and surface water drainage controls imposed via planning.

Dust

Para 8.5.3 of the ES states that the extraction process (wet or dry) is not a significant contributor to dust as it produces clay slurry. Dust production may arise from overburden removal, construction of overburden. interburden tips, restoration works and the movement of dump trucks on internal haul roads. MPS2 states that, 'larger particles, typically greater than 30 m in size settle within 100m of the source. Intermediate size particles (10-30 m) are likely to travel up to 200-500m. Smaller particles (less than 10 m and referred to as PM10) may travel 1000m or more.'

The only SAC which could potentially be affected by larger or intermediate particles is Dartmoor SAC which lies within 500m of Whitehill Yeo Pit and Cholwichtown Pit. However, neither of these will be worked during the ROMP period and particles are therefore very unlikely to reach the SAC.

Dartmoor and South Dartmoor Woods SACs could both be affected by smaller particles. Other SACs/SPAs are over 7kms from the quarry complex. However according to MPS2 smaller particles make up only a small proportion of dust emitted from most mineral workings. Furthermore the extraction process produces clay slurry which ensure that the small particle size clay is handled and transported in a moist condition.

Conclusion: Dust generated during operations over the next 15 years will not have a significant effect on the SAC due to: (a) the distance of operational and restoration areas from the European sites, (b) the extraction process producing clay slurry, (c) that the implementation of the Dust Control Scheme (section 8.6 of the ES) will be a condition of the ROMP.

Part C: Conclusion

As a result of this risk assessment, DCC can conclude that this proposal will have no likely significant effect on European sites, either alone or in combination.

Figure 2. Lee Moor Quarry complex



Figure 3. Key surface water features within and adjacent to the quarry complex


Date Published: Tue Apr 09 2013