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MPA concerned by WMRA proposals

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has sounded a serious note of caution about last week’s decision by the West Midlands Regional Assembly (WMRA) to change the way future supply of sand and gravel is provided for in the region.

Under the WMRA proposals there would be a shift of provision away from Staffordshire and increases for all other parts of the region. The most significant increases would be in Shropshire and Herefordshire.

The decision by WMRA follows an 18-month campaign by residents around Lichfield aiming to prevent new quarries being introduced.

‘We believe that this approach has been motivated more by politics than by sound technical assessment or mineral planning,’ said Nigel Jackson, chief executive of MPA. ‘The recommendations of the Regional Aggregate Working Party have been rejected but it is not clear why.

‘We believe that the new proposals have the potential to cause shortages of construction materials in the future in some parts of the region.’

The planning system allows for assessments to be made of the ability of each area to meet potential future demands and for that apportionment to be reduced if necessary.

‘Staffordshire have produced no evidence to support their claim that their contribution is excessive,’ said Ken Hobden, the MPA’s director of planning. ‘They are simply trying to short-circuit the system.’


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