PLANS to create controversial sand and gravel pits to help build a new £43 million bypass have been put back while engineers investigate using waste from work on the new A1 upgrade in North Yorkshire.

County planners were being asked to approve a scheme for borrow pits to be dug close to Leeming Bar.

Over 200,0000 cubic metres of clay, sand and gravel would be unearthed with up to 100 lorries a day operating on the site which would open from 7am to 7pm five days a week and 7am to 1pm on Saturday.

The minerals were due to be used as part of the Bedale, Aiskew and Leeming Bar scheme, due to start this summer.

Twenty three letters of objection had been sent by local residents worried that the site will cause noise, air and traffic pollution, be prone to flooding and cause health problems. Contractors had put in an application to the planning committee for the pits. They say it would mean sand and gravel would not have to be brought from further away causing further traffic problems.

But at the planning meeting councillors deferred the application while investigations are carried out to see if scrapings from the massive scheme to upgrade the A1 road to motorway between Leeming and Barton could be used on the Bedale bypass site.

The £314m motorway scheme is a massive engineering project and the theory is that large amounts of scrapings from the A1 could possibly be used on the new bypass site. Engineers are due to report on whether the material from the motorway site will be of a suitable quality for the new bypass to the next planning meeting on July 15.