Dispute over aggregates policy reaches climax

Extreme pressure is being placed on the Department of the Environment (DoE) by the aggregates industry to adopt what the DoE believes to be an unsustainable option in mineral planning policy. But conservationists are arguing that the DoE's current proposals do not go far enough in cutting demand for aggregates. Planners broadly favour the proposals, but would also like to see measures to promote more efficient use of aggregates.

The debate on the provision of aggregates in England and Wales heated up at the end of March, the closing date for comments on a DoE draft guidance note, MPG 6. This was the latest stage in a dispute which began with the publication of revised official projections of demand for aggregates in May 1991 (ENDS Report 196, pp 14-18).

The draft MPG 6 proposed restrictions on traditional land-won aggregates - the DoE's "Option 2". It also put fo

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