The guidance, produced after public consultation, is designed to help mineral planning authorities to develop policies for provision of silica sand in development plans, and to carry out development control. It will also help industry to bring forward development proposals which satisfy the environmental concerns of site operation and restoration in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
Commenting on the guidance, Sir Paul said:
'Silica sand is an essential raw material for many industrial processes. Although this valuable mineral is sparsely distributed, its extraction has an impact on the environment which must be carefully balanced against the needs of the community for the mineral.
The guidance also sets out policies with regard to extraction from environmentally sensitive areas. It encourages efforts to recycle, in order to reduce the impact of extraction on the environment and to conserve resources.
MPG15 replaces Circular 24/85, published in 1985.
This MPG has been published by HMSO, telephone 0171 873 9090, price £7.50, ISBN 0 11 753320 3.