Case Study: Mineral extraction, Buckinghamshire County Council

Cemex

Background

Cemex – a leading global producer of cement, concrete and other building materials – sought consent for the recovery of minerals from a former airfield near Slough.

Challenge

  • The land formed a crucial part of the Western Rail Link to Heathrow. It was crucial that consent was awarded quickly, to allow the recovery works to synchronise with the railway scheme.
  • Mineral extraction requires a significant number of HGV movements, and the site was close to Iver, a town where this was an existing concern. The County Council had expressed the need for a new road to avoid HGVs travelling through Iver.

Solution

  • SP Broadway compiled a detailed Political and Community Stakeholder Survey. This identified the key stakeholders on Buckinghamshire County Council – the decision-making authority – but also those on Slough Borough, South Bucks District, and Iver Parish Councils, who could influence local perception of the scheme.
  • We arranged and attended several meetings with local ward councillors and Cabinet members, to brief them on the proposals, explain the benefits of the scheme and understand their concerns.
  • SP Broadway organised a public exhibition, allowing Cemex to display the plans and discuss them with residents.
  • We assisted Cemex in the production of a leaflet, issued to residents and stakeholders upon application submission. This leaflet emphasised the potential for the scheme to work in harmony with the Western Rail Link to Heathrow – providing construction materials for the railway tunnel from the site itself, thus reducing HGV movements in the future.

Result

Buckinghamshire County Council Development Control Committee unanimously agreed to delegate the decision to the Head of Planning & Environment, who awarded the scheme planning permission in August 2017.

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