Mineral working differs from most other types of development in that minerals can only be worked where they occur. Because mineral works are not distributed across administrative boundaries, some counties have to fulfil wider regional or even national needs for specific minerals. It is also a “temporary” use of land, though that can be measured in decades and can result in a permanent change to the landscape, as with a deep rock quarry.

CPRE National Office’s Policy Position on Minerals and Quarrying dates from 2006, but they have issued (2012) a Planning Campaign Briefing on Minerals. This document is useful since it comprehends the effects of the National Planning Policy Framework’s (NPPF) and its response to the CLG Ministerial invitation for suggestions.

Extraction and processing of China and Ball clays in Devon are of national significance and that of Tungsten will most certainly become so once the Mine at Hemerdon Northeast of Plymouth opens in 2014. A Minerals Support Package provides more information and guidance.