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Replenishment rate on reserves rises


Much improved performance by UK aggregates industry in replacing volumes extracted in 2015

THE UK aggregates industry achieved a much better replenishment rate on reserves in 2015 than in previous years. Around 90% of sand and gravel and crushed rock extracted last year was replaced with consents for new reserves.

This conclusion follows an analysis by BDS Marketing Research Ltd of planning applications and consents that the consultancy monitors on a daily basis.


Nevertheless, BDS director Andy Sales warned that the industry cannot afford to be complacent. ‘In the previous year, the aggregates industry replenished less than half the volumes extracted, and over the past 25 years, only once have aggregates companies succeeded in replenishing more than they extracted,’ he said.

BDS are also concerned that extraction in 2016 will not be replaced by new consents for reserves. ‘There are a number of important planning applications still to be considered by planning authorities, but we picked up only one application last year for more than 10 million tonnes that is still outstanding,’ said Mr Sales.

The consultancy monitored several major consents for marine sand and gravel. Taking land-won and marine sand and gravel together, this sector just about replaced volumes extracted in 2015 with new deposits.

As is often the case, however, some regions performed better than others. In sand and gravel, the East Midlands, Yorkshire and northern regions more than replaced extraction with new reserves. The opposite situation occurred in the South West, North West and Wales.

In crushed rock, a number of consents were granted in the northern region and Scotland. Elsewhere, new permissions did not replace volumes extracted in the South West, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Wales.

In total, BDS picked up nearly 250 planning applications in 2015, of which nearly a half have been consented. ‘Less than 15% of applications are refused, so if aggregates companies bring forward proposals, there is a good chance that they will receive the green light,’ said Mr Sales.

For further information contact Andy Sales on tel: (01761) 433035; or email: [email protected]


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