What are minerals ?
Minerals are in most of the everyday things around us – from buildings, roads, cars and computers to toothpaste, washing powder, cosmetics and cleaning products. Not just rocks and precious stones, minerals cover a huge range of natural materials including sand, gravel, iron ore, oil, gas and clay.
Is Hampshire a good source of these materials?
Much of Hampshire is chalk, for which there is limited demand – the main minerals are sand and gravel in the south and south west, plus deposits of oil, gas and clay.
Minerals are only found in certain areas and usually dug out of the ground. But because of factors such as planning restrictions to protect the environment, existing development and a lack of suitable roads, there are only a few areas where extraction is possible.
What’s the county council’s role?
In partnership with Southampton and Portsmouth city councils, the New Forest National Park Authority and the new South Downs National Park Authority (from 1 April 2011), the county council is responsible for ensuring sufficient extraction and supply of minerals up to 2030.
We also have to ‘safeguard’ land containing mineral deposits to protect it from development, as well as making sure there are road, rail and sea facilities for importing and transporting minerals.
Why do we need minerals?
Sand and gravel are used mostly in aggregates for building and maintaining the homes, schools, businesses and infrastructure essential for Hampshire’s continued prosperity. As these materials are expensive to transport, they need to be sourced close to where they will be used. This means that demand is mainly in the south and north east of the county where the majority of people live and where many businesses are located.
How is the amount decided?
Hampshire’s emphasis on recycling and reuse reduces the need for new materials by using recycled aggregates where possible. A large amount of sand and gravel is also dredged from the sea, and crushed rock is imported by rail. But we still need to find more sand and gravel from the land (land-won) to meet national targets.
Why do we need to plan for minerals and waste?
The county council is the planning authority for minerals and waste, which means we have a responsibility to protect Hampshire by ensuring the right extractions and developments are in the right place, at the right time. As mineral and waste facilities can affect local communities, we need to be sure that all steps have been taken to reduce any impact on human health such as noise, dust and smells.
How do we manage waste in Hampshire?
In Hampshire, we see waste as a resource. Not only is burying waste in the ground expensive and bad for the environment, it’s a waste of materials that have taken time, money and energy to produce. Hampshire has been at the forefront of waste management in the UK for the past 15 years.
The county is home to some of the best facilities nationally for dealing with household waste. However, despite our successes – including recycling over 40% of household waste, and diverting more than 90% from landfill - we can’t stand still. Increases in landfill taxes every year and a growing population mean we need to look at how we deal with waste in the future.
Doing something about this now will help us make sure these new facilities are carefully planned and delivered in the best, most cost effective way.
What's the alternative? Why can’t we carry on doing what we do now?
We can’t just stand still. Hampshire’s porous chalk geology makes landfill difficult, and we need to use our materials in a more sustainable way. It simply doesn’t make sense to bury waste when we could use it to produce energy and heat, as we already do at our three ‘energy from waste’ facilities. We need to stop thinking about waste as a problem and see it as a valuable resource we can use.
As a leading county council with an excellent track record for innovation in waste management, we believe our knowledge and experience will help us in planning the first class waste facilities we need for the future.
Why is waste management important?
At home, work or in our spare time, we all produce things that need to be thrown away when they’re no longer wanted or usable. This waste has to go somewhere. But the way we deal with it now is very different compared to the past. Hampshire County Council is committed to dealing with waste efficiently.
By viewing waste as an important resource, other benefits can be realised, including creating more energy from waste, eliminating the need for landfill, and building the most up to date and efficient facilities.
Economy, Transport and Environment Department
Elizabeth II Court West
Phone us on 0845 603 5634
(Contact Centre - Hantsdirect)