AN application to extract more than a million tons of ball clay from a pit near Wareham is being recommended for approval.

The Trigon Pit application would involve removing the clay at a western extension to the existing pit, over a period of 15 years.

County council regulation committee members will be told at their December 6th meeting that the site is off the C7 Bere Road, about 600 metres west and to the rear of the Silent Woman pub.

Extraction of clay, sand and gravel has been underway at the site for years with a section previously used for landfill, although that has now ceased.

The application will see the extracted clay taken off site by lorry for processing with the dug areas progressively re-instated. It will also involve the creation of three settlement lagoons, one of them to be retained after extraction has stopped.

Both Purbeck district council and Wareham St Martin parish council have not objected to the application. The county archaeologist has asked that a management plan be put in place for a barrow on Trigon Hill close to the extraction area while Historic England has objected to the application claiming it would “involve the loss of a section of surviving historic landscape which forms a critical part of the barrow’s setting and archaeological context.”

Ball clay from the site is used in the production of ceramics with average annual production of around 100,000 tonnes.

It is estimated that average lorry movements at the site could rise from 42 per day to a maximum of 64.