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Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th July 2002.

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Photo of Mr Simon Thomas Mr Simon Thomas Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

(1) how many licences have been issued for sand extraction in (a) the UK, (b) Wales and (c) Ceredigion in each of the last 10 years;

(2) what volume of sand was extracted through licences issued by her Department in (a) the UK, (b) Wales and (c) Ceredigion in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

I have been asked to reply.

Sand extraction above mean low water comes within the planning powers of Local Minerals Planning Authorities. There are no central UK-wide, English or Welsh records of numbers of planning permissions issued for such extraction. Over the past 10 years, successive Secretaries of State with responsibility for planning have granted planning permission on appeal and in respect of called-in planning applications in England and Wales for a number of sand extraction proposals but there are no central UK-wide, English or Welsh records of the total tonnage of sand only permitted on a year-by-year basis.

Nearly all sand extraction below mean low water is licensed by the Crown Estate, which owns most of the seabed around the UK coast. The Crown Estate advise me that:

(a) it has granted the following numbers of aggregate (including sand) dredging licences in the UK and Wales over the past 10 years:

UK Wales
1991 0 0
1992 1 0
1993 1 0
1994 0 0
1995 3 0
1996 0 0
1997 2 1
1998 1 1
1999 1 0
2000 2 0
2001 1 0
Total 12 2

(b) the following tonnages of aggregates (including sand) were extracted from UK and Welsh waters through licences that it has issued in each of the last 10 years:

Total extraction UK (tonnes) Total Extraction Wales (tonnes)
1991 18,418,044 2,015,721
1992 19,271,492 2,354,782
1993 17,962,785 2,133,668
1994 20,792,887 2,211,015
1995 20,953,624 2,235,543
1996 19,392,937 1,948,028
1997 19,959,782 2,030,693
1998 20,471,191 1,878,373
1999 20,910,185 1,717,428
2000 23,056,885 1,602,394
2001 21,151,015 1,549,431
Total 222,340,827 21,677,076

and that

(c) it has granted no licences in waters off Ceredigion.

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