Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton

Minerals and Waste Local Plan:
Adopted December 1998

Aggregates Wharves and Depots

Main Contents Page

Alternative Aggregates

Secondary Aggregates

5. Meeting the Need for Minerals

Marine-Dredged Sand And Gravel

Chalk

Geology

Crushed Rock

Clay

Sand And Gravel

Secondary Or Substitute Aggregate Materials

Borrow Pits

Chalk

Aggregates Supply

Oil And Gas

Clay

Preferred Areas For Sand And Gravel Extraction

Minerals Processing And Manufacturing Plant

Borrow Pits

Alternative Aggregates

Mineral Exploration

Oil And Gas

Aggregates Wharves And Depots

 

5.49 The SERAWP 'Regional Commentary for the South East' 1992 (SERAWP 180) sets out an aggregates supply scenario for the South East Region for the period 1992-2006. However, that document predates the new MPG6 (April 1994) and the supply scenario in it is based on an earlier and higher demand forecast than that used in MPG6. It is not known to what extent that scenario may have been used in the formulation of the regional guidelines in MPG6. The assumptions made in the following paragraphs based on the SERAWP 180 supply scenario are included only as an indication of the capacity of aggregates wharf and rail depot facilities that may be required over and beyond the Plan period. They have not been relied on as a basis for the policies and proposals in the Plan.

5.50 The new MPG6 (April 1994) envisages an increase in the supply of marine-dredged sand and gravel to the South East over the period 1992-2006, with a total of about 260 million tonnes being supplied over this 15 year period. This is similar to the supply scenario for the South East Region prepared by SERAWP in the 1992 South East Regional Commentary (SERAWP 180), which indicates average landings of marine-dredged sand and gravel increasing in the following manner: 1992-96 - 15.0 million tonnes a year; 1997-2001 - 17.2 million tonnes a year; 2002-2006 - 20.8 million tonnes a year. In 1989 2.3 million tonnes of marine-dredged sand and gravel was landed at wharves in Hampshire, although landings fell to 1.6 million tonnes in 1993. If landings at Hampshire wharves increased from the 1989 level in proportion to the increase in the SERAWP supply scenario, they would rise to an average of around 2.6 million tonnes a year in the period 1997-2001 and to an average of around 3.1 million tonnes a year in the period 2002-2006. It is believed that the existing aggregate wharves in Hampshire have sufficient potential capacity to accommodate such an increase in landings up to 2001 (i.e. over the Plan period) but that additional wharf capacity would probably be required after that date if further increases were required to be accommodated.

5.51 The new MPG6 (April 1994) envisages an increase in the supply of aggregates into the South East Region by rail and road from other parts of England over the period 1992-2006, with a total of about 305 million tonnes being supplied over this 15 year period, the majority of which will be crushed rock. It also envisages an increase in the supply of crushed rock by sea from outside England and Wales, with a total of about 145 million tonnes being supplied over the period. MPG6 says the Government believes that an increasing level of supply can be obtained from coastal superquarries over the period to 2006 but that, in view of the long lead times needed before such quarries can be brought on stream, it is unlikely that these potential sources will contribute greatly towards meeting demand until after 2001.

5.52 This is broadly similar to the supply scenario for the South East Region prepared by SERAWP in the 1992 South East Regional Commentary (SERAWP 180), which indicates the average supply of crushed rock from all sources increasing in the following manner: 1992-96 - 23 million tonnes a year; 1997-2001 - 31.8 million tonnes a year; 2002-2008 - 41.2 million tonnes a year. These figures include two to three million tonnes a year of local supply from within the South East. Hampshire does not produce any crushed rock, but imports of crushed rock into the County by rail and road were approximately 1.5 million tonnes a year in the late 1980s, although the level of such imports is believed to have fallen somewhat since then. Total consumption of crushed rock in the South East Region in 1989 was 21.8 million tonnes, approximately 7 per cent of which was consumed in Hampshire. Assuming that Hampshire continues to account for this proportion of total crushed rock consumption in the South East, imports of crushed rock into Hampshire would increase to an average level of about 1.6 million tonnes a year in the period 1992-1996, 2.2 million tonnes a year in 1997-2001 and 2.9 million tonnes a year in 2002-2006.

5.53 The Councils consider that any increase in supply should be by rail and/or sea and that increased importation by road would be environmentally undesirable. Whilst it is believed that the existing rail-head aggregate depots in Hampshire have the potential capacity to accommodate an increase in crushed rock imports, additional crushed rock importation capacity may be needed within the period to 2001, (i.e. within the Plan period), and would almost certainly be required to provide for further increases in imports after that date. Therefore, there may be a need for additional rail-head aggregate depot capacity and/or for a resumption of landings of crushed rock at Southampton within the Plan period.

5.54 Beyond the Plan period (i.e. after 2001) there is expected to be a rapidly increasing need for high capacity new deep-water wharfage and additional adjacent land for the large scale landing of sea-borne crushed rock. Indeed, if this material is to become a realistic alternative to traditional sources of aggregates, the appropriate infrastructure will have to be provided. However, the Mineral Planning Authorities will resist excessive or environmentally unacceptable proposals for deep-water wharves. Sea-borne crushed rock has been landed on a small scale at a wharf on the River Itchen in Southampton in recent years. Permission has recently been granted for the use of the wharf at the former Marchwood Power Station site for the landing of various goods, including crushed rock. It is expected that this wharf will replace the Itchen wharf, but it too can currently only accommodate small vessels and the amounts of rock expected to be landed are small, being high quality stone for a specialist market. New wharfage is expected to be required to provide for any significant increase in landings of crushed rock after 2001. If the Port of Southampton were to become a centre for the distribution of sea-borne crushed rock to a wider area of southern England, or if imports of sea-borne crushed rock were to replace rail and road imports into Hampshire and possibly also some of the sand and gravel supply from land-won and marine-dredged sources, large scale development of new wharves and associated facilities would be required at Southampton and/or elsewhere on the River Test/Southampton Water. While large scale development of this type is not expected to be required to be operational within the period of the Plan, it is necessary, having regard to the essential lead time, to safeguard a site. In view of the intensity of use of the existing port facilities, opportunities for such development are limited. Dibden Bay has been put forward by the Port Authority as being physically capable of accommodating a large scale deep-water aggregates wharf.

5.55 In view of the need to provide for increases in imports of crushed rock and landings of marine-dredged sand and gravel, the Mineral Planning Authorities consider it essential that the existing aggregates wharves and rail-head depots covered by Policy 21 are retained and safeguarded from other development. Similarly, the preferred rail-head aggregates depot site listed in Policy 21, at Micheldever Station, should be safeguarded. A map showing the preferred site, together with the main issues that need to be addressed and criteria that need to be met by any application for development, are set out in Appendix 1.

5.56 Finding environmentally and operationally suitable sites for new wharves and rail-head depots is extremely difficult. The Mineral Planning Authorities therefore believe that it is important that any environmentally acceptable opportunities that arise for the expansion and modernisation of existing wharves and rail-head depots and for the establishment of new wharves and rail-head depots are taken. Policy 23 will apply to existing aggregates wharves and rail-head aggregates depots and to any additional wharves and depots that may be established at sites where planning permission is not required for that use. Notwithstanding this, proposals that are considered likely to cause unacceptable environmental, traffic or other impact will not normally be permitted. The establishment of new wharves and the expansion of existing wharves on the eastern side of the River Itchen will normally be opposed. Where appropriate, the Mineral Planning Authorities will seek the support of the relevant District Councils in the safeguarding of sites.

5.57 There is a particular need for new and improved wharf and rail-head depot facilities in south east Hampshire, in the Havant/Portsmouth/Fareham area. Land-won sand and gravel production is declining in this part of the County, the wharf at North Quay, Portsmouth has ceased operation and the remaining wharves (Kendalls Wharf, Tipner Point, Bedhampton Wharf and Upper Quay, Fareham) and the rail-head depot at Fareham Station are either physically constrained or have environmental problems associated with them and therefore are not suitable for significant expansion. The Fareham Borough Local Plan proposes appropriate alternative uses in event of the closure of the Upper Quay and Fareham Station sites. In addition, this area is much nearer to the main marine sand and gravel dredging grounds than Southampton. However, the only possibility for the establishment of new wharf facilities seems likely to be in any redevelopment of existing dock areas in Portsmouth Harbour that might take place in the future. There is also likely to be a particular need in the future for new rail-head depot facilities in north Hampshire, in the Basingstoke or Blackwater Valley area, because this part of the County is remote from the coastal wharves. A potential site for a rail-head aggregates depot at Alencon Link, Basingstoke was included in the 1992 Consultation Draft of this Plan. That site is now identified in the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Local Plan as an area for business development, as part of the Basingstoke Central Area, and planning permission has been granted for office development on part of it. It is therefore no longer available for development as a rail-head aggregates depot.

5.58 In considering new sites for facilities for the landing or importation of aggregates by sea or rail, the Mineral Planning Authorities will seek to ensure that they are located near to the market areas where the aggregates will be required, in order to minimise movements of material by road. In the case of sea-borne imports of crushed rock, Dibden Bay has been put forward by the Port Authority as being physically capable of accepting the large ships that would be involved and as being suitably located for access to the lorry route network and having potential for rail access. The Mineral Planning Authorities will encourage the use of rail transport for the onward movement of crushed rock landed at Southampton or elsewhere, particularly where it is to be moved significant distances or in large quantities to secondary distribution points. For instance, material could be taken from Southampton to Bournemouth or Poole by train. It would also be possible for crushed rock to be transported from Southampton by sea, using small ships, to other coastal market areas such as Portsmouth and Poole. The Mineral Planning Authorities will encourage this.

5.59 The only site that has been suggested to date by prospective developers as being physically suitable for high capacity new deep-water wharfage for the large scale landing of sea-borne aggregates is at Dibden Bay on the western side of the River Test. In the event of any proposal for development at Dibden Bay which does not include provision of an aggregates wharf being put forward, an appropriate area of land (approximately 8 ha) will be safeguarded for a deep-water aggregates wharf. In the event that no other port development at Dibden Bay takes place, a high capacity deep-water aggregates wharf may be permitted provided that:

(a) it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the local planning authorities that the need for the development outweighs its impact on:

    (i) areas of importance to nature conservation;

    (ii) the conservation, landscape or ecology of the New Forest;

    (iii) local communities;

(b) sufficient provision is made to offset the impact, including replacement or substitution of the habitats or features lost and conservation of ecological networks; and

(c) the required access can be achieved without serious disturbance to the countryside, coastal areas or communities affected.

The location of Dibden Bay is indicated on the proposals map.



5.60 Whilst seeking to encourage an increase in landings of marine-dredged sand and gravel, the Councils recognise that offshore dredging can have detrimental effects. It can have adverse impact on marine nature conservation and archaeological interests, fisheries and coastal protection, although a recent joint Standing Conference on Problems Associated with the Coastline/Crown Estate study 'South Coast Seabed Mobility Study' (1993) shows that sand and gravel dredging along the south coast does not contribute to coastal erosion by depriving the shore of sediment. However, the Councils are not proposing or wishing to encourage any increase in supply of marine-dredged sand and gravel beyond the levels included in national and regional guidance on the supply of aggregates. In any case, the dredging of sand and gravel from the seabed is outside the control of the Councils. It is for the Crown Estate to consider the effects of dredging on other marine and coastal interests when making decisions on the issuing of dredging licences, although the Councils are consulted on licence applications under the 'Government View Procedure'.

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