Candidate Sites Assessment

Find out about our Minerals Local Plan review and which parts are open to consultation. With respect to Candidate Sites, we are only accepting comments in relation to Candidate Site A83


The second part of the consultation that you can comment on is the Assessment of Candidate Sand and Gravel Sites (PDF, 25.2MB)

Comments at this time will only be accepted in relation to Site A83. If commenting on another site there must be a specific relationship with Site A83. Information about Site A83 can be found on the single-site consultation page.

The assessment contains summaries of all 52 candidate sites, with full assessments provided in the appendices. To view a summary report of one specific site, check our list of candidate sites. This list has been amended to remove the sites that have been withdrawn. Site A83 has not been added to the list. 

The need for new mineral sites is based on the need for minerals (aggregates) to support development up to 2040. The National Planning Policy Framework sets out how this need should be calculated for each type of mineral in Essex. This is set out in the Forecasting the Need for Mineral Provision Paper. The conclusions of this paper have informed the mineral provision policies Policy S6 and Policy S7 of the Replacement Minerals Local Plan (MLP).

Additional sites have been nominated for allocation in the MLP by site promoters via two ‘Call for Sites’ exercises. Both Calls for Sites involved inviting landowners, operators, and other interested parties to nominate sites that they consider suitable for future minerals development.

The site assessment work provides interim results based on the input of specialists using a defined methodology, as set out in the site assessment report. At this stage we have not identified what sites we want to see included in the final Plan. ‘Preferred Sites’ for allocation will be proposed once the comments received from this consultation have been fully considered.

Please note the candidate sites put forward are not planning applications. Their submission does not mean that planning permission will be granted in the future.  However, sites allocated in the final Plan will stand a greater chance of gaining planning permission.

Sites put forward

A total of 52 sites were put forward. These include four sites allocated for sand and gravel extraction in the existing MLP (adopted 2014) which have, to date, not come forward as applications for development.

47 of these sites are proposals for new or extensions to existing sand and gravel quarries. They have all been assessed for their suitability for mineral extraction. This assessment was completed by independent consultants.

Three sites have since been removed  from consideration at the request of the promoters.

An additional site, coded D7, has been promoted as a transhipment site for road and rail. We are proposing a criteria-led policy for the siting of additional transhipment sites. An emerging draft of this policy is set out under Policy S5 – Creating a Network of Aggregate Recycling Facilities and New Transhipment Sites within the emerging MLP.

Appendix J of the assessment contains the location plans of the ‘candidate sites’ put forward for consideration.

Assessment of sites

The suitability of the candidate sites has been assessed by independent consultants and a report of the findings prepared. The assessment report sets out the draft results of the site assessments. The work determines the suitability of the sites. It will help decide which sites should be allocated for minerals development in the Replacement MLP.

Criteria-led site assessment methodologies have been applied that reflect the planning priorities in Essex. Assessment methodologies were devised for each of 16 assessment criteria. Each site was graded against each criterion by applying quantitative and qualitative measures, for its suitability against a Red-Amber-Green (RAG) scale. The detailed assessments that has been used to grade the sites under each of the grading criteria can be found in the individual appendices.

The main report includes the RAG grade and key assessment findings for each Site. Detailed assessments are included in the appendices.

Preferred sites

The site-specific detailed assessments in this report will be the primary method through which sites will be selected as preferred sites. Policy S6 and Policy S7 set out the total amount of mineral that needs allocating. There is also a need to take strategic planning issues into consideration in order to serve the growth needs of Essex as a whole. These include ensuring an appropriate spatial distribution, within the limits of where minerals are found in Essex.

Evidence base

Our evidence base supports the Replacement Essex Minerals Local Plan and Site Assessment work, providing justification for the approaches proposed.

The Site Assessment does not contain information on the Plan and proposed Policies - see the Replacement Minerals Local Plan.  The consultation is supported by a Consultation Response Guidance Note paper setting out matters of detail on which you can also comment.