Thursday, 6 June 2013

What if the same applied to quarries?

The BBC headline this morning says "Local communities offered more say on wind farms". Let's change some of the words and see how it reads instead:
Local communities are to be given more powers to block [quarries], but also offered greater incentives to accept them, the government says. 
Planning guidance in England will be changed to ensure local opposition can override national [mineral] targets. 
But the measures will see a five-fold rise in the benefits paid by developers to communities hosting [quarries]. 
The subsidies - worth about £100,000 a year from a medium-sized [quarry] - could be used to [support a wide range of local projects]... 
The government said the measures would ensure local communities had a greater stake in the planning process. 
It said it expected the [mineral] industry to improve its community benefit packages by the end of the year... 
[A government minister] said: "It is important that [quarries are] developed in a way that is truly sustainable - economically, environmentally and socially - and today's announcement will ensure that communities see the windfall from hosting developments near to them, not just the [minerals industry]". 
The Department for Communities and Local Government will make sure local people have more say in the planning of [quarries] and that the need for [minerals] does not automatically override the planning concerns of communities.
"We want to give local communities a greater say on planning, to give greater weight to the protection of landscape, heritage and local amenity," said Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles.
Planning approvals for [quarries] in England have dropped in recent years, a situation the government is keen to turn around... 
A Conservative source said the prime minister felt it was important to take local people into account so that if they did not want [quarries] they could stop them...
Could that ever happen? The Mineral Products Association, lobbying hard for the minerals industry, might have something to say first.