Planning Portal

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Minerals

In planning legislation the definition of minerals includes 'all minerals and substances in or under land of a kind ordinarily worked for removal by underground or surface working except that it does not include turf cut for purposes other than sale'.
Minerals are an important natural resource and their exploitation makes an essential contribution to the nation's prosperity and quality of life. The mineral extraction industry provides employment often in rural areas and produces a wide range of products for a variety of purposes in construction, agriculture and industry.
In Northern Ireland the primary minerals are sand and gravel and crushed rock used mainly as aggregate in construction. In the foreseeable future, supplies of primary minerals are likely to come from traditional sources. Transport costs will continue to require workings to be in relatively close proximity to markets.
Exploration continues to take place for valuable minerals. However it should not be presumed that successful future exploration will guarantee planning permission to exploit any proven reserves since the environmental effects of specific proposals must first be considered.
The Minerals section of the Regional Planning Policies contains the following policies:
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