The key environmental issues related to the extractive industry and the documents/information that may be required to ensure that DAERA can provide a substantive response to a planning consultation

Key environmental considerations

The key environmental issues related to the extractive industry include:

Development footprint

  • habitat loss
  • species disturbance and/or displacement
  • modification of existing groundwater levels and flow rates surrounding mineral extraction areas (during and following works) affecting nearby receptors such as wells/boreholes, springs, wetlands and waterways

Run-off contaminated with suspended solids (which in some cases may include chemically active minerals)

  • contaminated water discharging into surface waters effecting quality, water chemistry, hydromorphology and aquatic ecosystems and fisheries
  • mobilisation of sediments from quarry waste tips or quarry fines washed out and displaced from settling ponds and lagoons during storm events

On site water consumption

  • excessive water abstraction from surface waters leading to ecosystem degradation or loss, with impacts on associated fauna and flora
  • abstraction from groundwater may locally depress the water table, causing direct and indirect environmental impacts over an extended area

Dust emissions

  • transfer of dust from the air to surface waters can result in contamination
  • potential impacts on air quality
  • potential damage to vegetation

Landscape and visual

  • perceived change to the landscape character and visual amenity of the area
  • degradation of the scenic value/landscape setting of designated areas
  • visual intrusion of spoil heaps, bunding and screening plant

DAERA normally only provides advice on the impacts of developments located within the boundary of the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site or its distinctive Landscape Setting or for major/regionally significant Wind Farm developments located within the boundary of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Documents/ information required

The following lists the documents/information that may be required to ensure that DAERA can provide a substantive response:

Development details

  • site access arrangements
  • position of all infrastructure including screen bunding and any screening plant
  • existing and proposed site levels and sections
  • volumes and type of overburden, waste, topsoil and the storage, transport etc
  • Site Drainage Plan  (Required where crushing and screening or concrete batching / road stone coating  plant is proposed as part of the development or where settlement ponds exist or are proposed; or if water is to be discharged into a watercourse / soak into the quarry floor)

Surveys/ assessments

Hydrological/hydrogeological e.g.

  • desk top water features survey (will normally suffice for small scale development.)
  • hydrological/hydrogeological survey and assessment (Required where evidence collected shows that groundwater will be encountered during the works. If dewatering is required details should be submitted including estimated volumes)

Ecological surveys/assessments e.g.

  • habitat
  • priority/protected species

Landscape and visual impact

DAERA normally only provides advice on the impacts of developments located within the boundary of the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site or its distinctive Landscape Setting or for major/regionally significant Wind Farm developments located within the boundary of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Mitigation/compensation

  • Outline habitat /species management /mitigation plan
  • Dust Management Plan

End of life proposals

  • Restoration plan

Further Guidance

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