§ Mr. Win Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what were the scientific considerations behind his approval of the extraction of an extra 0.36 million tonnes of sand and other materials from the Nash bank before commencement of the Bristol channel study on the impact of dredging on the coastal environment. 
§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
The favourable Government view to extract an additional 360,000 tonnes from the Nash bank was based on an independent scientific analysis of the environmental monitoring data available as a condition of the current licence. This comprises regular bathymetric surveys of the bank and inspections of 12 local beaches to ensure that there are no adverse effects on beach sediment regimes. The assessment indicated that there was no significant risk to the coastline from the extraction proposed. A study which is expected to commence this year will examine the availability of marine aggregate resources in the Bristol channel, and the environmental consequences of and constraints on, their utilisation.