The extraction of minerals makes an important contribution to supporting Scotland’s economy. National Planning Framework 3 notes that minerals will be required as construction materials to support our ambition for diversification of the energy mix.
Planning should safeguard mineral resources and facilitate their responsible use. Our spatial strategy also underlines the need to address restoration of past minerals extraction sites in and around the Central lowlands.
The planning system should:
- recognise the continuing role of indigenous coal, oil and gas in maintaining a diverse energy mix and improving energy security;
- safeguard workable resources and ensure that an adequate and steady supply is available to meet the needs of the construction, energy and other sectors;
- minimise the impacts of extraction on local communities, built and natural heritage, and the water environment; and
- secure the sustainable restoration of minerals sites to a relevant use after working has ceased.
Scottish Planning Policy provides an approach for the planning system on:
- Construction aggregates;
- Shale gas and coal bed methane;
- Mineral resources; and
- Areas covered by petroleum exploration and development licences (PEDL).
Development management considerations are also set out to ensure adequate assessments are carried out before planning permissions are determined.