Page 49 - Hub-4 Magazine Issue 69
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 This report is a glimmer of hope for the sector. It is simply not good enough for the government to rely on the minerals industry to keep reminding them, through continued lobbying, that minerals are needed to achieve these housing, and wider infrastructural development goals.
Environmental awareness and minerals education
One of the biggest issues is that while the government invests time, effort, and money into marketing the country’s need for housing – elevating its importance to influence public perception – there is never any mention of the role quarrying plays in helping to make this a reality.
The industry needs the country’s policymakers to convey to the population how minerals can be won in a sustainable and environmentally considerate way – complete with restoration schemes that actually generate a net gain in biodiversity.
Unfortunately, at present, communications around minerals are not given the due care and attention they need.
Taking local authorities and councils as an example, many have limited, if any, minerals experience – which is not conducive to correctly informing and advising the government regarding any associated planning and development matters.
For instance, land banks should not be seen as the bare
minimum, we need to have minerals ready to go at all times – not a tap which is turned on and off. The land banking process is a science and an art, which needs to be recognised and harnessed by the authorities.
A collaborative effort is needed
Minerals are at the cornerstone of all building construction and development – these natural resources are what make it all possible. And as this is the case, they should arguably form the starting point for any new planning policies, not be an afterthought, or worse, omitted from the decision-making process altogether.
Ultimately, new developments – be it housing or otherwise – should only be planned for if there is a definite, ready-to-go supply of minerals, and if not, then promises should not be made to deliver unattainable targets.
It is only when the country’s government officials, site operators, and minerals industry professionals work together, that a brighter, more sustainable future for the UK’s infrastructure and development can be achieved – and now is the time to secure these deposits, to fuel this vision. July-Aug 21 - Issue 69
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