Potential quarries in Wiltshire 'should be reduced'

Only 22 out of 62 potential quarrying sites put forward by Wiltshire landowners should be further assessed, a report has recommended.

Last year, Wiltshire Council asked people to have their say on the suitability of proposed sites to extract sand and gravel.

Almost 1,300 people replied, helping the council identify issues which led to many sites being withdrawn.

The current stock of sand and gravel will only last for another six years.

The council needs to identify suitable sites so these resources can be provided until 2026.

John Brady, cabinet member with responsibility for economic development, planning and housing, said: "We do have a statutory duty to identify land for mineral extraction but if we feel the government target is too high then we will oppose it.

"To do this we need to gain as much information as possible so any challenge is both informed and robust."

The current target for Wiltshire and Swindon is 1.85m tonnes a year for the period 2001 to 2016.

The report will go before the council's cabinet on 22 March.

If agreed, detailed assessment of the sites will help the council decide which of the 22 should go to further public consultation in the summer.

The cabinet will also be asked to agree to take forward an extension to a site option at Petersfinger Farm in Salisbury.

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