The Herefordshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan (MWLP) was adopted in March 2024. This has been prepared to guide mineral extraction and the management of waste in Herefordshire up to 2041 and beyond.

The plan replaces previous policies and can be viewed here: Minerals and Waste Local Plan PDF.

We have provided input and information over a number of years whilst this plan was being formulated and we are pleased to see that the plan recognises the value to Herefordshire of its landscape and the underlying geology.

Minerals and waste development proposals will be expected to avoid unacceptable impacts on geodiversity value and show how they will deliver the objectives of UK and Herefordshire Geodiversity Action Plans, enabling geodiversity features to be successfully identified, investigated and where possible retained in restoration plans.

Leinthall Earls Quarry

Leinthall Earls Quarry

Local Geological Sites are to be protected in proportion to their importance. They are not afforded absolute protection, but mitigation measures are required in the event of damage. Further, the potential for important geological features to be discovered in non-designated sites is also recognised. Mineral sites could simply destroy such features, but they can also offer opportunities to enhance scientific and cultural understanding of geodiversity by revealing, recording or retaining features of geological conservation interest. The particular vulnerability of ’soft’ mineral sources such as sand and gravel deposits is specifically recognised in this regard.

Geoconservation measures may include:

  • Providing safe public access to geological features, whilst avoiding damage to them;
  • Involving geologists, geodiversity groups and museums in advising on, recording and sampling geodiversity at all stages from pre-application through to reclamation and aftercare;
  • Incorporating geodiversity considerations into site management plans to protect and maintain exposures and to support access at appropriate intervals for research and recording purposes, e.g. limited excavation of organic rich deposits that become exposed at the base of river gravels;
  • Providing information to support understanding, interpretation and enjoyment of the features;
  • Creating links beyond the site boundary into the wider landscape.

In summary, a detailed approach to mitigate impacts on geodiversity will be required for all development proposals.