County council strengthens focus on minerals

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 18 Mar 2015


Economic growth has prompted a minerals-rich county to strengthen its focus on sites for aggregates, building stone and peat.

Somerset County Council service manager for planning control, enforcement and compliance Philip Higginbottom said the improving economy was helping to drive demand.

He told Planning: "The economy is on on the up. The number of applications is up and the messages we are getting from minerals operators echo the sense of an ongoing recovery.”

Minerals form one of the biggest industries in Somerset and there are sites for aggregates in east Mendip and building stone in south Somerset and parts of Mendip, he said.

“But we also have an active peat industry. The government is is looking to scale down peat production but there are drives to restore, re-work or extend sites.”

Somerset County Council is seeking to recruit a new principal planning officer to deal with planning applications and enquiries for both minerals and waste.

The post will involve providing planning advice to applicants/agents, members of the public and consultees.

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