FUTURE industrial development in Yorkshire could be hit by a shortfall of sand and gravel reserves, companies are being warned.
A new report by property consultants Carter Jonas reveals that West Yorkshire, along with East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, have reserves of less than seven years.
It is feared that this will not be enough to meet demand when the economy picks up, causing major headaches for industrial development.
The report says that action is needed now to ensure there will be adequate supplies of aggregates to fuel future development and construction.
Catherine Penman, head of research at Carter Jonas and author of the report, said: "The shortfall in sand and gravel reserves is cause for concern.
"It is believed to result from both geological issues and as a direct result of the complexity of progressing proposals for extraction of suitable mineral through the planning system.
"These shortages need to be addressed as a matter of urgency in order to ensure the provision of sufficient quantities of sand and gravel for development activity once economic sentiment improves and development begins to rise."
Jane Spence, senior mineral planner at Carter Jonas, said: "National objectives for minerals planning are focused around the need to ensure the efficient and sustainable use of minerals.
"It is essential to ensure an adequate supply of minerals without causing irreversible damage to the environment."
The study, Minerals Report, says: "There is concern from the industry that permitted sand and gravel reserves are insufficient to support significant growth in demand and that this will be exacerbated as economic conditions are projected to improve over the next five years.
"Unless immediate action is taken to address regional shortfalls the anticipated recovery will have a serious impact on supply of sand and gravel in parts of the country that are projected to be key areas of growth."
The report also looks at the reserves for crushed rock which appear to be adequate to meet future demand.