The future of East Ayrshire’s mineral resources, and open cast coal sites in particular, will be outlined in the Minerals Main Issues Report, a planning document which is due to be published by the Council’s Planning and Economic Development Service. But before the report, which is currently in draft form, can be approved and actioned, the public are being consulted for their views on what it should contain and say.
The draft Main Issues Report focuses on the big issues facing East Ayrshire in respect of mineral development, ranging from new extraction to restoration and community benefit and much more in between. It outlines possible approaches for responding to these issues and seeks the views of all stakeholders including local communities.
Consultation on the draft Main Issues Report will play a major part in shaping the Minerals Local Development Plan which will, in time, replace the existing East Ayrshire Local Plan 2010 (in respect of minerals excluding coal) and the Opencast Coal Subject Plan 2003. The Minerals Local Development Plan will set out the strategy and policies that will guide minerals development to the most appropriate places and will play a key role in determining minerals related planning applications.
Two workshop events with drop in sessions are being held to invite public discussion and allow people to ask any relevant questions.
The workshops will cover restoration and legacy of open cast coal sites and the approach that should be adopted to identify new opencast coal extraction areas of search. The first is on Monday 25 July 2016 at Cumnock Town Hall, while the second will be held at the Boswell Centre, Auchinleck on Tuesday 2 August 2016. Running from 2.00pm until 4.00pm and again from 6.00pm until 8.00pm, the workshops will also be accompanied by drop-in sessions where any minerals related topic can be raised and discussed. The drop in sessions will run from 12.00noon until 13.45pm and 5.00pm until 5.45pm.
Councillor Jim Buchanan, East Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy said: “Our planning team have worked hard to produce this comprehensive document for the future of minerals in East Ayrshire, and we’re sure that it will be of great interest to our communities. So now we’re consulting with everyone, seeking their opinions so that we can fine tune it before final publication.”
“We are not required to produce a draft Main Issues Report, but we felt it was appropriate to do so as a result of the huge changes in minerals extraction activity that have affected East Ayrshire, primarily in opencast coal. We’re using this consultation to give stakeholders an additional opportunity to shape the plan. The draft Main Issues Report sets out possible reasonable policy and spatial options for minerals related development. Normally a Main Issues Report would identify the Council’s preferred options. We have decided not to identify ‘preferred options’ in this draft Main Issues Report because we want public feedback to guide our decisions on what our ‘preferred options’ should be.
The draft Minerals Main Issues Report consultation runs until 5.00pm on Tuesday 9 August. Following the consultation, final publication is expected this October. To see the draft report and further explanation of the process click here. To speak to one of our team or register for a place in the workshops email or telephone 01563 576758