Whilst sand and gravel sales across the UK were up 2% in 2016 (see below), in Devon they were down 14% - from 542,000 tonnes in 2015 to 467,000 tonnes in 2016.
According to DCC, Devon's sand and gravel reserves (material already with permission to be extracted) stood at 7.04 million tonnes at the end of 2016. This provides a landbank of 13.4 years, using the 10 year average sales figure of 527,000 tonnes. The newly adopted Devon Minerals Plan runs a further 17 years until 2033. There is now therefore a potential shortfall of only (17 x 0.527) - 7.04 = 1.9 million tonnes.
Two Preferred Areas for sand and gravel are allocated in the Minerals Plan. Straitgate is identified as having up to 1.2 million tonnes - if no unquarried buffer is maintained above the maximum water table to protect water supplies; Penslade is identified as having up to 8 million tonnes. Both sites are owned by Aggregate Industries. The Regulation 22 Request for Straitgate Farm asks:
Can the applicant inform the MPA regarding the likely timescale for developing the Penslade resource? 8.3