Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009

Council's mineral allocation cut

The amount of minerals required by the government to be quarried in Surrey has been reduced by 50,000 tonnes a year.

Surrey County Council had been fighting for the cut, arguing there were not enough locations where minerals could be extracted without causing harm.

It also warned that supplies would be nearly exhausted before 2026, the target year set by the government.

A panel of planning inspectors approved a reduction in the proposed allocation from 1.32 million tonnes.

'Unacceptable harm'

Dr Lynne Hack, cabinet member for environment, said: "I am delighted that we have achieved a reduction in the amount of sand and gravel we are required to produce.

"Surrey has done its bit in the past as one of the chief producers in the south east, but there are few sites remaining which can be quarried without causing unacceptable harm to residents and the environment.

"Our resources are already being steadily depleted and it would be detrimental to local builders and companies, and to the county as a whole, if supplies were completely exhausted within the next 18 years."

The panel's recommendation now goes to the government for a final decision.

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