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MPA’s 2nd Annual Mineral Planning Survey notes uncertainty in future aggregate supplies

Published by
World Cement,

The UK’s Mineral Products Association (MPA) has released its 2nd Annual Mineral Planning Survey (AMPS) for 2012. This indicates that the system used to provide local plans that identify where land for future extraction is located is not working. This may increase the risk of an inadequate supply of aggregates, which are essential to the functioning of both the construction industry and the economy, in the future.

Key facts from the 2nd Annual Mineral Planning Survey include:

  • Average replenishment rates of aggregate reserves are continuing to decline. Only 43% of sand and gravel reserves have been replenished in the last 10 years (to 2012) and around 98% of hard rock reserves, although these tend to be concentrated in a few major sites, are not evenly distributed.
  • There has been a 38% drop in the total tonnage of landbanks in England and Wales since 1997.
  • 25% of sand and gravel landbanks in England are below the minimum of 7 years and 50% are below 10 years.
  • The 15-year average approval rate for hard rock applications is 93% and for sand and gravel applications is 85%.
  • The success rate of sand and gravel appeals is 78% over a 15-year period.
  • Sand and gravel approvals took an average of 41 months in 2012 and hard rock approvals took 38 months.
  • In 2012, only 10 planning applications for new extraction were submitted by members compared with 40 in 1996.
  • At the end of October 2013, only 51 out of 100 mineral planning authorities in England had an adopted Core Strategy. The original target for completion of these documents was the end of 2007. In Wales, only 11 out of 25 authorities had an adopted local development plan.

According to the MPA, the aggregates industry needs the certainty of a fully functioning plan-led system if its capacity is to meet future demand for construction material.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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