Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Aggregates Levy exemptions for Devon & Cornwall china clay waste ruled lawful

One 'uncertainty' in planning Devon’s future provision of sand and gravel was removed last week, as the European Commission reaffirmed that the Aggregates Levy exemption for secondary aggregates derived from china and ball clay operations in Devon and Cornwall is lawful and can be reinstated.

DCC had said: "...the removal of the Aggregates Levy exemptions for secondary aggregates introduces significant uncertainty into the prediction of future requirements for land-won aggregates".

But whilst public services are hit by spending cuts, the Government has bowed to industry lobbying by freezing the Levy at £2/tonne for the sixth year running. This is despite soaring profits at Aggregate Industries et al. The Aggregates Levy, which raises c.£300m pa, was introduced in recognition of the environmental cost of quarrying, and to encourage the use of secondary and recycled materials. Calls have been made for the Levy to be significantly increased to promote the use of waste materials in place of newly quarried aggregate; to clear up existing scars on our landscape before creating new ones.