Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton
Minerals and Waste
5.15 Hampshire has no deposits of rock and consequently all the County's needs for crushed rock have to be supplied from elsewhere. The main source of this material currently is the Mendip Hills in Somerset, from where limestone is imported into Hampshire by rail and road. There are at present three rail-head aggregate depots - at Botley, Eastleigh, and Fareham - receiving crushed rock by rail. Over the years 1985/87/89, imports of crushed rock by rail averaged 1.08 million tonnes a year, but this fell to approximately 0.9 million tonnes in 1993. In addition, it is estimated that up to 0.5 million tonnes a year is brought into the County by road, about half coming directly from quarries in the South West region and half from rail-head aggregate depots in Berkshire.
5.16 In 1990 planning permission was granted for the erection of plant at Southampton Western Docks in connection with the proposed landing of crushed granite brought by sea from a coastal quarry at Glensanda in Scotland. The first shipload was landed in late 1990 and further landings were made in 1991, but landings of this material then ceased due to the fall in demand for aggregates and the site became unavailable for that use.
5.17 In 1992 the DoE published the research report 'Coastal Superquarries to Supply South East England Aggregate Requirements', prepared by the consultants Arup Economics and Planning. This report examines the possibility of large coastal quarries in Scotland, Norway and Spain supplying increasing quantities of aggregates to south east England. The report identifies Southampton as being the only port on the south coast with sufficiently deep water to be able to accept the very large ships (up to 75,000 dwt) that would be used. The report identifies potential locations for wharves within the existing port complex (at Dock Gate 20 on the east side of the River Test) and on the western side of the River Test (Dibden Bay). It suggests that three aggregate wharves could eventually be developed, with a total capacity of between 9 and 12 million tonnes a year. This envisages Southampton being a centre for the distribution of sea-imported crushed rock to a market area extending beyond Hampshire.
5.18 The growth of sea-borne imports of crushed rock is dependent upon large-scale investment in and development of coastal superquarries, deep-water wharves and associated dock facilities, shipping, and inland transportation links. Accordingly, it is not expected that there will be a significant increase in the supply of this material to south east England until after 2001, i.e. beyond the period of this Plan. It is anticipated that landings of crushed rock will recommence in the Port of Southampton when the demand for aggregates increases again and there will then be a steady increase in sea-borne crushed rock imports to Hampshire.