London Aggregates Working Party
Technical Secretary : C R Waite, 22 Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5LW
: Tel: 01622 764335 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes of LAWP held on 13 October 2006
at GLA City Hall, Queen’s Walk, London
Present: Peter Fletcher Chairman Richard Linton GLA
John Davison LB Bexley Rob Singleton LB Enfield
Ewan Coke LB Redbridge Chris Speek LB Havering
Duncan Pollock QPA Mike Pendock QPA
Ken Hobden QPA Bob Smith QPA
Lillian Harrison QPA Andrew Bellamy BMAPA
Peter Bide DCLG Bill Mackenzie DCLG
Andrew Lipinski DCLG Helen Keen GOL
Chris Waite Technical Secretary
also Richard Hill, Thames Water for items 3 & 4.
1 Welcome & Apologies
1.1 Richard Hill, Rob Singleton, Andrew Bellamy and Chris Speek were welcomed to the meeting.
Apologies were received from Keith Walmsley (LB Hillingdon), Nigel Jackson and Keith Frost
(QPA), Mark Russell (BMAPA), and James Trimmer (PLA).
2 Minutes/Matters Arising from 5 July Meeting
2.1 The meeting accepted a correction to the draft minutes para 9.6. Other matters would be taken with
the agenda items.
3 Lea Valley and other London Reservoirs
3.1 The Chairman invited Richard Hill to advise the meeting on the prospects for aggregate extraction
from the Lea Valley reservoirs. RH said Thames Water had experience of extraction from Queen
Mary reservoir in west London. He spoke to a paper that was circulated. This covered not only the
Lea Valley reservoirs, where extraction would require reservoir deepening, but also three other
greenfield sites owned by Thames Water elsewhere in London. A summary of the paper and
King George V Reservoir (LB Enfield)
3.2 A large reservoir (247Ha). Thames Water has no borehole data (common with other sites), but
thought it contained some 1Mt aggregate. CEMEX has sunk some boreholes and given an
impression to Thames Water that the site contains less than 0.5Mt. There is also limited adjoining
land for processing plant and restricted road access.
William Girling Reservoir (LB Enfield)
3.3 It is understood that the aggregate was used in the reservoir construction, but this needs to be
Banbury Reservoir (LB Waltham Forest)
3.4 Smaller reservoir (46Ha) and therefore unlikely to justify extraction plant, unless in conjunction with
another site. No borehole data. Limited space for processing plant. Extraction would conflict with a
sailing club use.
Lockwood Reservoir (LB Waltham Forest)
3.5 Some 80Ha in extent. No borehole data. The SPA and SSSI designations are a constraint to any
gravel extraction. However extraction has been permitted at George VI Reservoir in Staines, so such
designations may not exclude extraction.
Walthamstow Reservoirs (LB Waltham Forest)
3.6 A group of reservoirs some 107 Ha in extent. No borehole data. The SPA/SSSI designations are a
constraint to any gravel extraction. Limited space for processing plant and restricted access. The
West Warwick Reservoir west of the railway line is possibly surplus to Thames Water requirements
and has the best possibility of being promoted for aggregate extraction, but access is difficult. If
gravel could be taken out by river that might overcome the problem.
Crossness Southern Marshes (LB Bexley)
3.7 This greenfield site of some 32Ha lies to the south of Bexley Sewerage Works, and south of Eastern
Way. No borehole data, but the site is expected to contain a thick layer of gravel overlain by a thick
layer of overburden. Gravel extraction would be constrained by the ecological interest in the ditches
that cross the site. Access might be possible from Eastern Way.
Bexley Pumping Station (LB Bexley)
3.8 Very small 4.4Ha greenfield site adjoining the pumping station. No borehole data. The size of the
site, access through a residential area, and an electricity pylon line crossing the site are constraints to
any gravel extraction.
Kempton Park (LB Hounslow)
3.9 A greenfield site of some 19.5Ha with estimated reserves of some 500,000 – 750,000 tonnes. The
site is shown in Hounslow UDP as an area of search for sand and gravel. Constraints to gravel
extraction include an agricultural tenancy, a possible dust issue from proximity to a dairy, and access
to a water treatment works.
3.10 Thames Water intend to bring forward the Kempton Park site in the next 2 years, to review
Crossness Southern Marshes in 2008, to obtain borehole data for King George V reservoir and to
review the potential for West Warwick reservoir.
3.11 Duncan Pollock said that he was surprised that the presentation was so pessimistic on the possible
yields from the reservoirs, unless material had been taken out at the time the reservoirs were
constructed. Surely it was time for Thames Water to undertake borehole testing to identify the real
prospects? RH said that Thames Water had relied on the industry carrying out borehole testing. In
reply to a question from Bob Smith he agreed that Thames Water would enter into some form of
option with a company that would carry out borehole testing to enable them to have first offer of
3.12 Rob Singleton said that in respect of George V Reservoir, Thames Water should first identify what
gravel it contained. However, there are a range of constraints on gravel extraction in addition to
those referred to by RH, including SSSI status, listed buildings and Green Belt to the north of the
reservoir, and the impact of lorry traffic through residential areas.
3.13 Jon Davison said that in access to Crossness Southern Marshes would be unlikely from Eastern
Way, although there might be a possibility of one way direction in and out.
3.14 It was generally recognised that a suitable site for processing plant and access and routes for lorries
are the impacts most likely to restrict extraction from any of the reservoirs, rather than the operation
itself in the reservoir. Lillian Harrison said that expensive studies on birds had been undertaken on
the western reservoirs before permission was granted. It is not clear how far these surveys would
substitute for similar requests on any applications in the Lea Valley.
3.15 Richard Linton said that from a strategic view there was a synergy or a triple win situation where
extraction would generate income for Thames Water, would deepen the reservoirs enabling greater
holding capacity, and serve the buoyant London market, including the demands of the Olympic site.
It was agreed that the London market would remain strong, but there is only a limited window to
serve the Olympics if the earliest that extraction could take place from a reservoir following a
planning permission would be by the end of 2007.
3.16 To take the matter forward it was agreed that
a) QPA would report to its members, encouraging discussions with Thames Water over borehole
data to establish the potential resources in the reservoirs
b) the Boroughs would take account of the sites referred to in their LDFs
c) GOL would arrange a meeting for Boroughs in east London, including all those with a reservoir
or site referred to in this report.
4 London Plan Alterations: Minerals and Draft Further Alterations to London Plan,
Monitoring of DPDs, and Lea Valley
4.1 The findings of the EIP Panel for the London Plan Alterations were set out in LAWP 06/14. The
Panel supported the policies in the Alterations, and recommended only minor changes, the most
significant of which was to omit the named Boroughs in the western and eastern sectors in the new
Minerals Policy. The draft Further Alterations, now issued for public consultation with a closing
date in December, have made the amendments sought by LAWP and adopted all the Panel’s
recommendations, except the named Boroughs are retained in the new Minerals Policy.
4.2 Richard Linton said that he felt it appropriate to retain the named Boroughs in the policy, and was
so recommending to the Mayor as a response to the Panel. The Alterations would then be referred
to GOL with the intention to publish. The Further Alterations reflect this stance.
4.3 The Chairman said that, as he had given in evidence at the EIP, his authority favoured no named
Boroughs in the policy. If there was to be a list, the information from Thames Water suggested that
there should be a longer list of named Boroughs. RH said that one of the reasons for retaining
named Boroughs is that west and east London is undefined in London Plan terms. It was also
pointed out that the resource survey had identified viable resources in the named Boroughs, whereas
the reservoirs currently have no borehole data to enable the same conclusion to be drawn.
4.4 Helen Keen said that the only grounds on which GOL could resist a decision by an RPB to reject a
Panel recommendation would be if the change would be inconsistent with national policy or have a
disadvantageous impact on an adjoining region.
4.5 Lillian Harrison repeated the views of Bretts at the EIP – they are still of the view that the recycling
targets are far too high.
4.6 The Further Alterations also include an addition in paragraph 4.11b referring to avoiding adverse
impacts on European Diversity sites as a result of aggregate extraction. The meeting was unclear
where the sites were, whether they might coincide with possible future extraction sites or not, and, if
they were also SPA or SSSI Designations whether they were not adequately protected by other
policies in the plan. Richard Linton agreed to investigate and advise the Secretary.
4.7 The Chairman asked QPA whether their companies had responded favourably to requests by MPAs
for data to assist in LDFs. He had received data for LB Havering from Bretts in confidence. Duncan
Pollock said that QPA members had been advised that it was in their interest to ensure that a DPD
was well informed and MPAs able to make reasoned allocations. He confirmed that if a company
supplied data for local plan purposes, then it had to recognise that it could be disclosed in the Plan
process - for example at the EIP.
4.8 It was agreed that
a) LAWP would respond to the Further Alterations supporting the policies, including the named
Boroughs in Policy 4A.29i.
b) further consideration would be given to the wording of paragraph 411b following information
c) the meeting to be arranged by GOL (para 3.15 above) will assist co-ordination between east
London Boroughs to implement the sub regional apportionment.
5 Crossrail and Freight
5.1 The Secretary updated the meeting on the Crossrail Select Committee hearings on freight, including
aggregates, in LAWP 06/15. The Freight industry made some telling points to the Select Committee.
The Committee concluded in an interim statement that current capacity of train paths is insufficient
for the needs of growth in the industry, but believes that government should address this through
Network Rail rather than it being wholly the responsibility of Crossrail. The Committee wishes to be
updated on the Access Option that the industry is concerned about later in the year ie to establish
whether agreement is being reached on train paths. No evidence was given on individual aggregate
depots as discussions between Crossrail and the operators appeared likely to reach agreement.
5.2 The report was noted.
6 Marine Aggregates: Resources/Reserves, Marine Regulations, and Marine Bill
6.1 The Secretary reported in LAWP 06/16 upon a meeting of SEERAWP at which officers from Defra
had attended to explain their approach to marine aggregates. The discussion had ranged over the
importance of marine aggregates and particularly the East English Channel (EEC) to the South East
and London, the operation of the consultation process, the proposed Marine Bill and Regulations,
and the long term prospects for supplies. BMAPA in its response to the Regulations has offered to
provide appropriate funding in order that there should be suitable resources to ensure speedy
decisions under the new procedures. Perhaps the most significant outcome of the meeting was that
neither Defra nor DCLG officers saw it as their role to establish a medium to long term strategy for
marine aggregates. Defra said they were a consultee; DCLG said they had no powers to control
marine aggregate extraction.
6.2 Andrew Bellamy gave better news on the determination of applications within the EEC, where four
of the seven GV applications have now been permitted and have licences for a production of over
5mtpa for a 15 year period. The licence areas are producing good gravel. He expected the remaining
three applications to be determined in the coming months and dredging in those areas to begin in
2007. A further area in the Thames Estuary off Harwich is likely to come on line in early 2007, at
1mtpa. The decisions taken are all subject to a 5 year review. This is not designed to stop extraction,
but more to see if the environmental monitoring framework being carried out by the industry
shows less impacts than anticipated and justifies an increased limit on production.
6.3 AB considered that the main challenge for the industry is the renewal of a number of existing
licences which will become due in 2009-2013. Discussions on the licence renewals will start this year.
6.4 AB said that Crown Estate had joined with BMAPA in offering to provide appropriate funding for
staffing resources to determine applications under the proposed Regulations.
6.5 On the policy issue, Peter Bide said that MPS1 contains a statement which sets out the government’s
stance, namely that marine aggregate supply should continue to contribute to demand at a
proportion no lower than that of the recent past, currently about 8% nationally (but of course a
much higher percentage for London). More cannot be done until the Marine Bill. To do more would
require a marine spatial planning system. LAWP is advised to press for this and a single controlling
authority in responding to consultation on the Bill.
6.6 BMAPA found the MPS1 statement encouraging, as it is a commitment to ongoing licensing at
current volumes, with a potential to increase. The industry has shown its confidence in the long term
future for marine aggregates through it very substantial investment in new or modified dredging
vessels for the deep water in the EEC.
6.7 Nonetheless, LAWP decided to join with SEERAWP in asking DCLG how the policy vacuum
might be filled.
7.1 LAWP 06/17 set out the position on returns from industry to the London survey, and the Secretary
updated the reference to Hanson. A number of returns for quarries, wharves and rail depots
remained outstanding, including some from QPA companies. The receipt of these replies are urgent
as the Secretary does not want to submit incomplete collations to BGS or make significant estimates.
7.2 Duncan Pollock said that QPA recognised the value of the survey and had urged its members to
send in the returns, but the shortage of company personnel in some companies and takeovers
affected the ability of the industry to respond.
8 DCLG Legislation and Research
8.1 Peter Bide said that DCLG had sent a strong letter asking for aggregate companies to give priority to
returns for the national AM2005 survey. The survey is crucial to a managed aggregates system. He
did not wish to see the output from the survey delayed, and he hoped that not too many of the
figures would be based on estimates. Part of the problem appears to lie in survey forms being sent to
a person who is not responsible for this aspect in a company, or who has left due to personnel
changing. DCLG is considering the best way to establish an effective contact list for AM2006.
8.2 The 2005 Alternatives survey has had sufficient response for robust figures at the national level, but
these will be less reliable at breakdown to sub regional level – as is being attempted. In response to a
question PB said that this is a national survey for that purpose and the output is not designed for use
at the local level, including for London Borough AMRs. Local authorities need to undertake their
own surveys for local purposes.
8.3 MPS1, the 4 Annexes and Good Practice Guide will be published on 6 November, the day of the
CBI Minerals 2 Conference.
9 Any Other Business
9.1 No other business was raised except that as Duncan Pollock is retiring on 9 February next year, the
date of the next LAWP meeting, this is his last LAWP meeting. Duncan has been a permanent
fixture in minerals for some 40 years and has been a regular attendee at RAWPs throughout England
and Wales on behalf of QPA for many years. The Chairman thanked him for his part in establishing
the London RAWP and for his contributions to LAWP meetings since the first meeting in 2003. He
wished him well in his retirement.
10 Date of Next Meeting
10.1 The next meeting will be held at GLA City Hall, Queen’s Walk, London at 10 30 on Friday 9