Review of Old Mineral Permissions - Minister Mallon Indicates Way Forward

Date published: 27 March 2022

Minister Mallon has announced that she will commence the Review of Old Mineral Permissions (ROMPs) legislation.

Image of DfI Minister Nichola Mallon
DfI Minister Nichola Mallon

The Minister said: 

“I recognise the concerns of those who live near hard rock quarries, that noise, blasting vibrations and other emissions are reduced as far as practicable. I have also listened to the quarrying industry and those who are concerned about environmental impacts of quarrying as well as their importance for nature conservation, geological interest and that they can offer opportunities to create new habitats for wildlife or bring other benefits.

"I, therefore, believe that, on balance, now is the right time to begin the work necessary to commence the ROMPs legislation. I also recognise that, in order to deliver all the anticipated benefits of ROMPS, additional legislation is required to ensure that Environmental Impact Assessment requirements are met, that the full quarrying process is covered and that transparency and public participation is achieved. Finally, I also want to ensure that existing nature conservation interest are protected and the suitability of sites, for new habitats, is assessed.

"I am also aware of the concerns expressed by councils in regard to the additional burden reviewing existing hard rock quarries will place on them. That is why I have asked my officials to work together with councils in relation to the implementation of ROMPS and to support councils by considering a phased approach and by introducing a fee for ROMPs applications, as appropriate.

The Minister concluded:   

“I am pleased to announce that ROMPs legislation will be commenced and I am confident that, when implemented, it will secure improved operating and environmental standards for existing quarries across the North. I hope the necessary legislation can be made early in the next mandate and that this will ensure that the anticipated benefits for those living near quarries, and nature conservation, are delivered a soon as possible.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Legislation for the review of old mineral permissions is contained in Schedule 2 & 3 of the Planning Act (NI) 2011 Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 ( & Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (
  2. Environmental Impact Assessment is retain EU-derived domestic legislation and these requirements would only apply to ROMPs applications which are subject to EIA.
  3. Permissions reviewed under Schedule 2 of the Planning Act (NI) 2011 generally pre-date EIA requirements - Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (
  4. Permissions reviewed under Schedule 3 of the Planning Act (NI) 2011 were subject to EIA; however, permissions granted in the early days of EIA would generally not be as robustly conditioned as more recent permissions - Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (
  5. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.


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