This has been achieved by
- Maintaining the consultation procedures with the County Mineral Authorities and Local Authorities. With the introduction of the modern Planning Acts after the Second World War, Consultation Areas were designated for china clay, ball clay and metalliferous mining to allow consultation on planning applications by other developers in order to prevent sterilization and unnecessary conflict.
- Participating in the development of Mineral Local Plans by encouraging appropriate, constructive and affordable Policies. In debates we warmly welcomed the move for the Plans to show how the Minerals Industry has contributed to good practices and the need to lessen the emphasis on the negative values of the conditions they impose.
- Commenting on current legislative proposals.
- Liaising with our colleagues in the China Clay and Ball Clay Industries, the Mining Association of the United Kingdom (MAUK) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Activities to illustrate this work
- Working with the Camborne School of Mines, the Chamber was instrumental in the formation of the Cornwall Mining Alliance in 2016. Funded jointly by the Chamber, Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter) and the Department of International Trade (DIT), the interactive web site promotes the extensive pool of experience and expertise in all matters mining and minerals which exists in Cornwall and provides a platform for communication and collaboration among its membership. It has also established a valuable and efficient single point of contact for organisations such as the DIT to feed information, export tender opportunities etc to the membership, again providing early warning of opportunities for collaborative working.
- Being actively engaged in dealing with consultations on the more major developments so as to secure that access to known resources is not unnecessarily sterilized or brought into avoidable conflict.
- Being actively engaged in the debate with Mineral Planning Authorities on the development of Mineral Plans and Policies so that the opportunity for mining can be maintained.
- The Right to Roam caused us some concerns during the consultative process. The prospect of having good access to the countryside is something that we fully support. We encouraged the introduction by landowners of good Access Management Plans and advocated that a landowner should be able to use it as a satisfactory defence when he could demonstrate that he had used every reasonable care to protect the public. But we did make representations on two serious matters of concern. We drew attention to the problem that already exists when the advice and requirements of Insurers brings one into conflict with those who may seek to access open land. We remain very concerned at the heavy premiums landowners are now having to pay for Public Liability Protection if, in fact, they can get it at all. We also argued that people who seek to roam at will on open land should be made to accept responsibility for their own good behaviour.
- We were fully supportive of the Bid for the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. Why should we not as we were to some extent involved in the very Industry that had created it. However, we were most concerned when in 2002 we became aware of a proposal by the World Wildlife Fund that stated that before any mining activity – including initial prospecting and exploration – takes place, a full environmental and social assessment should be carried out and further action halted if the assessment suggests that subsequent activity is likely to damage environmental or human wellbeing.
The proposal also suggested, inter alia, that mining activity should not take place in Highly Protected Areas which included UNESCO World Heritage Sites together with three other categories, including places where mineral activities threaten the wellbeing of communities.
We made representations to those preparing the Bid to provide a declaration supporting the resumption of mining so that the Bid would not unreasonably restrict, prevent access or impede the winning and working of minerals in Cornwall and Devon. We were subsequently assured that the Inscription would not prohibit mining subject to the normal planning process and the avoidance of damage to the integrity of the Bid and we assisted in the wording of this in the Bid document.
Then low and behold, a recent Government Consultative Paper on Minerals Planning Policy raised the prospect that major developments should not take place in, inter alia, World Heritage Sites and we asked that such a designation should not be raised to the status of National Parks and the like.