Thursday, 5 May 2016

Sales of sand and gravel in Devon flatline in 2015

Construction may be booming, but 2015 sales of sand and gravel in the county were barely up on the year before, and continue to be little more than during the recession years. DCC has advised that:
Given that the supply of sand and gravel is a key issue for the Minerals Plan and its examination, the Council has therefore updated its Minerals Topic Paper on sand and gravel supply to include the 2015 sand and gravel data to enable the inspector and examination participants to have the most up-to-date figures available. 
Existing reserves at the end of 2015 stand at 7.01 million tonnes. With the 10-year average annual production at 0.56 million tonnes, the landbank is therefore 12.5 years. The NPPF requires a landbank of 7 years; a clear indication that no new sand and gravel quarries are currently required in Devon.

With the Examination this month, the shortfall of sand and gravel for the 18 years to the end of the Plan period in 2033 is therefore (18 x 0.56) - 7.01 = 3.1 million tonnes. DCC thinks we need another 7 years on top of that for good measure; another 4 million tonnes, or 7 million tonnes in total for the period to 2040.

Either way, this must now be put in context with what's at Straitgate, confirmed in the same document:
While the Pre-submission Minerals Plan [Core Document SD01] stated a potential resource for Straitgate Farm of 1.2 million tonnes, subsequent information indicates that retention of a one metre unsaturated zone above the winter water table, as required in Table C.4 of the Plan, will have the effect of reducing the extractable resource by 300,000 tonnes