Wesel (dpa/lnw) - The NRW sand and gravel industry has criticized an "artificial shortage and increase in price of the most important construction raw materials sand and gravel" in view of the new regional plan for the Ruhr area, which provides for restrictions on mining. "Our companies would like more appreciation for their contribution to the preservation and prosperity of the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia," said Sascha Kruchen, Managing Director of the "Future Lower Rhine" industry initiative, on Friday in Wesel.
Restrictions on gravel quarrying made the most important raw materials more expensive and slowed down the construction of affordable housing. The companies argue that not mining mineral raw materials regionally but importing them is more harmful to the climate because of the long transport routes.
The revised version of the regional plan will be publicly displayed for two months this Monday (February 6th). The sand and gravel mining on the Lower Rhine is the main point of contention. Critics fear that "their homeland is being dredged up" and that a not inconsiderable proportion of the raw materials extracted are being sold abroad for profit.
The Higher Administrative Court of Münster had imposed restrictions on the dismantling in response to complaints from several Lower Rhine municipalities. As a result, the Ruhr Regional Association reduced the number of mining areas from 20 to 17 in the draft regional plan. The area for the extraction of ground-level raw materials such as gravel is reduced from 1,163 to 932 hectares, according to an RVR statement. Once it has been made public, the regional plan is to be discussed in the committees and is expected to be adopted by the end of the year.