asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research has taken place into the use of alternative materials to replace sand and gravel extracted from good quality agricultural land in the home counties.
The Department has in hand a whole series of studies relating to aggregates. These include investigation of the use of waste materials as aggregates, and, in co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Sand and Gravel Association, experiments in restoring to agriculture high quality land from which gravel has been extracted.As regards waste materials, the Building Research Establishment of the Department has recently developed a process to produce dense aggregate from colliery waste. The Department is continuing its investigations into colliery waste, china clay sand, refuse clinker and processed slate. The results of a survey by the Department of the locations, disposal and respective uses of the major industrial by-products and waste materials have recently been published as a Building Research Establishment paper—No. 19/74. I am sending the hon. Member a copy.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environent whether he will restore full rating to gravel and sand pits in England and Wales.
My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much marine gravel was exported from the United Kingdom during the years 1972–73 and 1973–74.
Of 14·7 million tonnes dredged in 1972, 2·3 million tonnes were exported. The corresponding figures for 1973 were 16·2 and 2·5 million tonnes respectively.