Conservation design for mineral working

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Conservation design

The conservation approach to minerals planning derives from the correct idea that land is a precious resource which must be conserved by wise use. The Scott Report stated unequivocally: We are clear that in principle it is wrong that any body or person should be allowed to work land and leave it in a derelict condition. We therefore recommend that legislation should be passed, imposing an obligation on all those who derive benefit from the working of land for minerals, to restore the land for agricultural or afforestation or other purposes (as may be directed by an appropriate authority) within a short specified period of time after the land has been worked out (Ministry of Works and Planning 1942: 62). Although the authors refer explicitly to 'other purposes', there has, in Britain, been a strong presumption that if the land was used for agriculture before mineral extraction began, then agriculture is the most appropriate afterᆳuse. The Ministry of Agriculture lends powerful support to this view. It is, however, unchallengeable only when one can be certain that the restored land will be beautiful and productive. There are many occasions when massive reclamation costs, soil problems, the postᆳquarrying landform, proximity to urban areas, adjacent land uses, or other factors, should lead planners to consider an alternative land use [Fig 6.6].