Review of Old Mineral Permissions
Review of Old Mineral Permissions (ROMPs)
The planning system has a key role in controlling the location and operation of mineral workings in the public interest. It seeks to secure a continuous and ongoing supply of construction materials to meet society’s needs while protecting the environment and safeguarding the amenity of those living close to mineral extraction sites.
In line with the rest of the UK and the ROI, the Department of the Environment has introduced legislation through The Planning Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 to require the initial review of old mineral permissions (ROMPs). The legislation provides a mechanism to review all existing planning conditions thus providing an important opportunity to secure improved operating and environmental standards within the quarrying industry. The onus will be on the landowner or mineral operator to submit a scheme of conditions which will result in operations in an environmentally sustainable manner. Implementation of ROMPs is a major commitment which is awaited by the public, industry and elected representatives as a means of dealing with impacts presently arising from the operation of mineral workings.
The Department will be undertaking an initial review of mineral permissions in two phases referred to as either Phase I (Permissions granted before 31st December 1980) or Phase II (Permissions granted after 31st December 1980 but before 31st December 1993). The Department will also be publishing a list of dormant sites where no substantial development has been undertaken between 31st December 1993 and 1st June 2007. Sites classified as dormant by the Department will not be permitted to operate until a new scheme of conditions has been submitted to and approved by the Department.
The purpose and objectives of the review therefore are as follows
To require owners and operators currently holding planning permissions to submit updated conditions
To ensure that all quarries in NI have planning conditions that comply with modern environmental standards
To ensure that dormant quarries cannot be returned to use before their planning conditions have been reviewed.
Quarry owners and operators should be aware that the list of applications which will fall under the Review of Old Mineral Permissions will be advertised in the local press. Owners/operators should therefore be pro-active in identifying their permission and ensuring that the status is appropriate. The onus is on the owner/ operator to submit conditions for approval, Planning Service will be providing the industry with a set of model conditions through Quarry Products Association. Operators will be able to apply for review of their conditions through a portal accessible through the Planning Service website.
Basic information on old mineral planning applications which may fall under ROMPs has been collated to aid the industry. This is for information only, has not been verified as official Planning Service statistics.
For advice or further information contact the ROMPs Team via the link below: