Letter: Quarry worth hunting

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article on quarries in the Western Isles (23 June) considers only the choice of the local people between jobs and the peace and beauty of their surroundings. This country uses up to 300 million tonnes of stone, aggregates and sand per annum, and the South-east is in deficit. These building materials have to come from somewhere.

The choice for the country is a small number of large-scale sites in remote parts of Scotland or continued extraction from gravel pits across the populated south-east of England and from the over-extensive stone quarries of the Eastern Mendips here in Somerset.

The existing Scottish super-quarry at Glensanda has shown how the local environment can be protected (the quarry can be seen only from the air), and how environmentally friendly shipping can be used to carry the stone directly into the South-east's market, with distribution by rail and barge, thus limiting the distances travelled by heavy lorries. Let us have jobs and environmentally sensitive super-quarries in Scotland, and limit further extraction in southern England, where it has such a wide impact on so many people across broad areas of land.

Yours faithfully,

JONATHAN PACKER

Templecombe,

Somerset

24 June

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