Full Surrey council meeting approves minerals plan

Surrey County Council (SCC) has approved the county's new minerals plan after an independent government inspector concluded it was "sound".

The plan, which includes proposals for some quarries on green belt land, was adopted during a full council meeting.

SCC said it would "better protect" the countryside as it would prove "very difficult" to get approval for a new quarry not included in the plan.

Among the sites included are three in Nutfield and Bletchingley.

The inclusion of sites in Oxted and north of Thorp were thrown out by a government inspector in May.

'Soundly based'

The plan sets out how the county will meet government targets for mineral extraction, such as silica sand and brick clay quarrying, until 2026.

SCC said it identified suitable areas for quarrying "so industry has enough raw materials to build and maintain our roads, houses and schools, as well as for specialist uses such as glass manufacture".

The planning inspector praised the county council's approach to the minerals plan process as being "carried out conscientiously and in line with advice".

She also commended the council's consideration for the environment as "soundly based, consistent with national policy, and justified and effective".

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