Humphries, RN 2013, 'The requirement and implications of evidence-based restoration schemes in the United Kingdom', in M Tibbett, AB Fourie & C Digby (eds), Mine Closure 2013: Proceedings of the Eighth International Seminar on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Cornwall, pp. 355-361, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1352_29_Humphries
Over the past two decades, ‘evidence-based’ decision making has become a universally established process for those developing and evaluating government policy and regulation. Although the process originated in the delivery of health care, it is has been widely applied in the UK to include natural resource management and more recently extended to the delivery of mine closure schemes.
This has resulted in a fundamental, but largely unsaid, change in the approach of planning authorities and regulators to the development control of mine restoration schemes in the UK. Traditionally, this took the form of a report describing the nature and characteristics of the restored site on the completion of the restoration works. Only at this late point in the delivery of the restoration were schemes judged as being fit or unfit for purpose. In contrast, the evidence-based approach is applied early in the planning process and before consent is granted, and is concerned with the certainty (likelihood) that schemes will be delivered. This requires the applicant to provide verified example Case or Pilot Studies of successful schemes that have been achieved in similar situations and by similar methods.
This is particularly the case where UK Priority Habitats are proffered as replacements for losses or gains as a result of proposed mining schemes. Given this, the industry should expect to be challenged by both planning authorities and regulators. This paper discusses the implications for the mining industry and the need for a national repository of Case and Pilot studies and suggests the type of data to be collected to enable independent and objective review.
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