asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his policy towards the use of good agricultural land for the extraction of sand and gravel; and whether he is satisfied with the manner in which the restoration of such pits for agricultural cultivation is carried out.
We do not normally object to the extraction of sand and gravel from beneath agricultural land provided the land is intended for development or there are no other suitable deposits beneath land of a lower quality. We are always looking for ways of improving the restoration of worked pits. My Department is currently co-operating with that of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and the Sand and Gravel Association in field experiments aimed at improving restoration standards.