Planning Advice Note 50 - Controlling the environmental effects of surface mineral workings, includes best practice guidance on controlling the likely environmental effects from surface mineral working as a result of traffic, blasting, noise, dust, visual intrusion, ground and surface water, wastes, severance and footpaths.
Mr Kynoch said: 'Whilst the government recognises the economic importance of mineral extraction, the need to work minerals must be reconciled with care for the environment and sensitivity towards existing communities if we are to achieve sustainable development.
'I have today published PAN 50 on controlling the environmental effects of surface mineral working with a detailed annex on controlling the effects of 'noise'. Further annexes will follow as the results of further government sponsored research is completed and evaluated.
'I hope that this advice will not only be of value to planning authorities and mineral operators but will also reassure local communities faced with the prospect of mineral extraction in their area.'
The PAN provides general advice on the environmental effects of surface mineral workings while Annex A to PAN 50 gives detailed technical advice on noise arising from surface mineral workings.
Further annexes will be issued on 'dust', 'traffic', 'blasting' and 'ground and surface water' as the results of research become available from the Geological and Minerals Planning Research Programme. The programme, commissioned by the department of the environment on a GB-wide basis, aims to provide information on planning policies, planning procedures and the context within which planning operates.