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10 Jul 2024

MPA welcomes Chancellor’s plans to reform UK planning system

2XGBFKR-(2).jpgPlans set out by new Chancellor Rachel Reeves to overhaul the UK’s planning system and boost housebuilding have been welcomed by the Mineral Products Association (MPA) which is calling for the same approach to be applied to minerals planning.

On her first full day in the job, with a clear emphasis on housebuilding and energy generation, the Chancellor outlined the new Government’s intention to reform the National Planning Policy Framework, review greenbelt boundaries and revive onshore wind farm development.

Representing producers of essential materials such as aggregates, asphalt, cement and concrete, as well as other mineral products that support UK manufacturing, the MPA has long called for planning reform that supports the supply chain in delivering the materials needed for growth –- one of the MPA’s priorities for the new Government.

MPA Director of Public Affairs Robert McIlveen said: “The Chancellor has wasted no time to get going, and we warmly welcome her decisions on housing and onshore wind, as well as hiring more planners. We look forward to such decisive action in other areas. MPA members supply the essential materials for housing and infrastructure as well as the feedstock for a wider range of manufacturing and industrial activities, and the Chancellor’s early drive to get growth going will be great news for the sector if it is impactful.

“Looking ahead, there is more to do. We will be writing to key ministers in the coming days, stressing that planning reform for housing is just the first step, and that a similar approach of unblocking the planning system needs to be taken for mineral extraction, processing and freight. This is fundamental to growth, given the sector represents the largest material flow in the UK economy – over 1 million tonnes of raw materials and products every day. Mineral products make up a major part of the supply chain for housing and infrastructure, but our members face prohibitive constraints in the current planning and permitting system.”

The new Government’s priorities also include a new Industrial Strategy aimed at fostering growth and accelerating decarbonisation –- also referenced in the MPA’s priorities for the new Government.

“On energy intensive industries such as cement and lime production, Labour recognised in their election manifesto that UK industry faces much higher energy costs than competitors. Whilst it’s good news that they are committed to measures such as a UK Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) we continue to press for this to be brought forward to 2026 in line with the forthcoming EU CBAM to ensure a level playing field.

“On major infrastructure projects we look forward to further detail on the trailed announcement to merge the National Infrastructure Commission and the Infrastructure Projects Authority to improve delivery – another one of our priorities for the new Government. We’re looking forward to being involved in this process, and encouraging key Government departments to improve their engagement with the supply chain to deliver infrastructure.”


About the Mineral Products Association

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and industrial sand industries. With affiliation of the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, the Cement Admixtures Association (CAA), CONSTRUCT, Eurobitume, MPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the UK Quality Ash Association (UKQAA), it has a growing membership of 520 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement and lime production, 90% of GB aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. In 2021, the industry supplied £22 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy. It is also the largest supplier to the construction industry, which had annual output valued at £178 billion. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors. 

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