PPS 9: The Enforcement of Planning Control
Enforcement of planning control over mineral working
9.1 Unauthorised mineral workings can pose particular enforcement problems in terms of the occasionally irremediable nature of the working, the speed at which significant damage to the environment can be caused, as well as the fact that there will be no agreed arrangements for the restoration or after-use of the land. Consequently in cases where formal enforcement proceedings are necessary the Department will take prompt action and will be guided by the advice set out in section 7 of this Statement to ensure that the possibility of irreparable environmental damage is minimised.
9.2 While there are no special enforcement powers in relation to planning control over mineral workings it should be noted that the failure to comply with any condition or limitation on a planning permission which relates to the carrying out of mining operations only becomes immune from enforcement action 4 years after the date on which the breach first came to the knowledge of the Department.
9.3 The Department would therefore advise minerals operators that it is in their own interests to discuss, at an early stage, any proposals they may have for new or extended mineral workings. Effective liaison with the Department can enable potential problems to be resolved through discussion and co-operation and help avoid contraventions of planning control.