Skip to content

Please note: You only need to register / login if you wish to make representations.

Minerals Site Specific Allocations DPD: Revised Further Issues and Options

Having trouble using the system? Visit our help page or contact us directly.

Previous Chapter || Next Chapter

View Comments (3) 7 - The Mineral Allocation Sites

View Comments (1) 7.1 Since the 2009 Further Issues and Options consultation occurred a number of changes have been made to certain sites which were proposed. A summary of all changes is shown below.

These changes include:

  • The withdrawal of proposed sites from the process.
  • Sites for which planning permission has now been granted so that these are not now part of the allocations process.
  • Additional sites have been proposed.
  • Amendments that have been made to the boundaries of some sites.

Sites withdrawn following the 2009 Further Issues and Options consultation

The following sites were withdrawn either during or after the 2009 Further Issues and Options (Preferred Options) consultation:

Breckland

MIN 11, and MIN 12 – Beetley – these sites have been merged with site MIN 10, revised site called MIN 10A.

MIN 67 – Longham – due to planning permission being granted for the site.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

MIN 18 – East Winch

North Norfolk

MIN 82 – Holt – removed from site assessment as planning permission has been resolved to be granted subject to S106 agreement.

South Norfolk

MIN 85 – Easton

MIN 86 – Easton

MIN 87 - Easton

Additional mineral sites proposed since the 2009 Further Issues and Options consultation

Breckland

MIN 117 - Beetley

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

MIN 119 – East Winch

South Norfolk

MIN 118 - Wymondham

Full details of the site locations, proposal and assessment can be found in the individual site details.

Amendments to proposed mineral sites since the 2009 Further Issues and Options consultation

The boundaries of the following sites have been amended either during or after the 2009 Further Issues and Options consultation, by the person or organisation that proposed the site:

Breckland

MIN 10A – Beetley – site boundary amended to include sites MIN 11 and MIN 12, inclusion of buffer zones

MIN 23A - Beeston with Bittering – site boundary amended.

MIN 35A – Quidenham - inclusion of buffer zones

MIN 116A – Cranworth – site boundary amended.

Broadland

MIN 37A – Buxton with Lammas/Frettenham - inclusion of buffer zone

MIN.96A – Spixworth & Horsham St Faith & Newton St Faith - site boundary amended.

Great Yarmouth

MIN 38A – Fritton with St Olaves – site boundary amended.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

MIN 41A – Castle Rising, Grimston and Leziate – modification to site boundary

MIN114A – Crimplesham – site boundary amended.

MIN 45A – Syderstone – site boundary amended.

MIN 74A – Tottenhill – site boundary amended.

MIN 75A – Watlington – site boundary amended.

MIN 76A – Tottenhill – site boundary amended.

MIN 101A – Tottenhill – site boundary amended.

South Norfolk

MIN 81 – Stoke Holy Cross - inclusion of buffer zones

MIN 80 – Swardeston - inclusion of buffer zones

MIN 79 – Stoke Holy Cross, Swainsthorpe & Swardeston - inclusion of buffer zones

Full details of the site boundary amendments can be found on the maps accompanying the individual site assessments.

List of all proposed minerals sites by Parish

Breckland

Attleborough

MIN 111

Not Allocated

100

Beeston with Bittering

MIN 23A

Not Allocated

55

MIN 61

Not Allocated

69

MIN 68

Not Allocated

75

MIN 100

Not Allocated

83

Beetley

MIN 8

Not Allocated

41

MIN 9

Not Allocated

43

MIN 10a

Allocated

45

MIN 13

Not Allocated

47

MIN 14

Not Allocated

49

MIN 51

Allocated

65

MIN 63

Not Allocated

71

MIN 72

Not Allocated

77

MIN 89

Not Allocated

79

Billingford and Bintree

MIN 97

Not Allocated

81

Bridgham

MIN 49

Not Allocated

61

Cranworth

MIN 116A

Not Allocated

102

Great Ellingham

MIN 15

Not Allocated

51

Hoe

MIN 28

Not Allocated

57

Litcham, Mileham & Tittleshall

MIN 50

Not Allocated

63

Litcham, Tittleshall & Wellingham

MIN 60

Not Allocated

67

Longham

MIN 66

Not Allocated

73

North Elmham

MIN 21

Not Allocated

53

Quidenham

MIN 35A

Not Allocated

59

Shropham

MIN 107

Allocated

88

MIN 108

Allocated

91

MIN 109

Allocated

94

MIN 110

Allocated

97

Snetterton

MIN 102

Allocated

85

Broadland

Attlebridge

MIN 55

Allocated

110

Buxton with Lammas

MIN 37A

Allocated

106

Felthorpe

MIN 48

Allocated

108

Horstead with Stanninghall

MIN 64

Not Allocated

112

MIN 65

Not Allocated

114

Spixworth

MIN 96A

Allocated

116

Great Yarmouth

Fritton and St Olaves

MIN 38

Not Allocated

118

Kings Lynn and West Norfolk

Bawsey

MIN 42

Not Allocated

148

MIN 113

Not Allocated

174

Brancaster

MIN 1

Not Allocated

122

Castle Rising, Congham and Castle Rising

MIN 41A

Not Allocated

146

Castle Rising, Grimston and Roydon

MIN 94

Not Allocated

168

Crimplesham

MIN 114A

Not Allocated

176

East Rudham

MIN 45A

Allocated

150

East Winch

MIN 5

Not Allocated

124

MIN 17

Not Allocated

128

MIN 40

Allocated

144

MIN 58

Not Allocated

154

MIN 119

Not Allocated

178

East Winch, Middleton and Wormegay

MIN 31

Not Allocated

136

East Winch and Pentney

MIN 93

Not Allocated

166

East Winch and Leziate

MIN 39

Allocated

142

Methwold

MIN 34

Not Allocated

140

Middleton

MIN 6

Allocated

126

MIN 29

Not Allocated

132

MIN 30

Not Allocated

134

MIN 59

Not Allocated

156

Pentney

MIN 19

Not Allocated

130

Runcton Holme

MIN 95

Not Allocated

170

Stoke Ferry

MIN 57

Not Allocated

152

Tottenhill

MIN 74A

Not Allocated

158

MIN 76A

Allocated

162

MIN 77

Not Allocated

164

MIN 101A

Allocated

172

Watlington

MIN 75A

Allocated

160

West Dereham

MIN 32

Not Allocated

138

North Norfolk

Aylmerton

MIN 69

Allocated

189

East Beckham

MIN 84

Not Allocated

195

Edgefield & Hempstead

MIN 43

Not Allocated

182

Edgefield & Stody

MIN 44A

Not Allocated

185

Holt

MIN 16

Not Allocated

180

Holt

MIN 71

Allocated

193

Kettlestone

MIN 52

Not Allocated

187

North Walsham

MIN 115

Not Allocated

197

South Norfolk

Caistor St. Edmund

MIN 24

Not Allocated

205

Deopham

MIN 2

Not Allocated

199

Ditchingham

MIN 78

Not Allocated

220

Earsham

MIN 7

Not Allocated

203

Haddiscoe

MIN 25

Not Allocated

207

Heckingham

MIN 92

Not Allocated

234

Heckingham & Norton Subcourse

MIN 83

Allocated

228

MIN 91

Allocated

232

Long Stratton & Morningthorpe

MIN 56

Not Allocated

214

Marlingford and Colton

MIN 54

Allocated

211

Norton Subcourse

MIN 90

Allocated

230

Stoke Holy Cross

MIN 81

Allocated

226

Stoke Holy Cross, Swainsthorpe & Swardeston

MIN 79

Allocated

222

Swainsthorpe

MIN 53

Not Allocated

209

Swardeston

MIN 80

Allocated

224

Tharston & Hapton

MIN 112

Not Allocated

236

Wreningham

MIN 4

Not Allocated

201

Wymondham

MIN 62

Not Allocated

216

MIN 70

Not Allocated

218

MIN 118

Not Allocated

238

Map of mineral site allocations

Legend

No Comments 7.1.1 Breckland mineral site allocations

Site ref no.

View Comments (257) MIN 08

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Land off Stoney Lane, Beetley

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction(sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

731,000

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

15.4

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for mineral extraction (East Bilney quarry) lies about 600m north of the site and an extension to East Bilney quarry 700m north-east of the site is now operational. The operator proposes to transport extracted mineral via a conveyor to the current East Bilney quarry for processing

Landscape: The site is fairly flat and open arable land remote from property and it would be able to be screened relatively easily. A low-level restoration with appropriate margins and land use would be acceptable in landscape terms

Ecology: There are no designated nature conservation sites within 1km of MIN 100, and little ecological interest on the site itself. The proposed restoration back to agriculture with new hedgerows, blocks of deciduous woodland, some small ponds and permanent wet grassland would be acceptable

Highways: Subject to transporting material via a ground conveyor to the current processing site at East Bilney Quarry and then utilising the existing highways access to Fakenham Road, there are no serious highways concerns. However, in order to avoid traversing MIN 51 (which is not a Middleton Aggregates site), the conveyor would need to pass through MINs 14, 9 and 13 in order to reach the processing site; none of these other three sites are proposed to be allocated. Highway improvements will be needed to the B1146 Fakenham Road before any further sites at Bilney/Beetley are developed

Amenity: As the site is distant from dwellings, and processing is proposed to take place at the existing East Bilney quarry, there are likely to be few direct amenity impacts. However, the cumulative impacts of working sites in the Bilney/Beetley area would need to be considered, particularly in relation to HGV transport. Phasing of sites would be necessary

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are revealed

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: The concerns of local residents are recognised, but it is felt unlikely that there would be significant ecological impacts and that with appropriate mitigation measures, some highways improvements and a good restoration scheme, there can be further minerals development in Beetley. MIN 8 is not a bad site, which is acceptable in principle for allocation. However, due to the need for the conveyor to cross three other parcels of land (which are in different land ownerships) to reach the processing site, there are some doubts as to the deliverability of this site. Due to the number of potential sites in the Beetley/East Bilney area, it is felt that MIN 10 and MIN 51 are the most appropriate sites to allocate.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (255) MIN 09

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Land off Fakenham Road, Beetley

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

367,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

6.9

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for mineral extraction (East Bilney quarry) lies close to the north-west of the site and an extension to East Bilney quarry 700m north-east of the site is now operational. The operator proposes to transport extracted mineral via a conveyor to the current East Bilney quarry for processing

Landscape: It may be difficult to achieve a satisfactory low level restoration on this irregularly shaped and narrow site, particularly if it was not worked and restored alongside MIN 14

Ecology: MIN 9 is more than 500m from the nearest designated nature conservation sites, County Wildlife Sites 2137 (Beck Farm Meadows) and 1037 (Folly Lane Meadows) and very unlikely to have any adverse impacts on these CWSs. As the site is currently an agricultural field with little ecological interest, any restoration including some new habitat (e.g. new hedgerows and ponds) would increase the ecological value of the site

Highways: Subject to transporting material via a ground conveyor to the current processing site at East Bilney Quarry and then utilising the existing highways access to Fakenham Road, there are no serious highways concerns. However, highway improvements will be needed to the B1146 Fakenham Road before any further sites at Bilney/Beetley are developed

Amenity: Working this site would have an adverse impact on a number of isolated properties along Fakenham Road which would be difficult to mitigate to a satisfactory level

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are revealed

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: The landscape and amenity impacts mean that this site is not appropriate to be allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (268) >MIN 10A

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Land off Fakenham Road, Beetley

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

2,400,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

44.4

Background information: An active pit with planning permission for mineral extraction (East Bilney quarry) lies close to the north-west of the site and an extension to East Bilney quarry north-east of the site is now operational. The former (now restored) Beetley landfill is also to the north-east. The operator proposes to transport extracted mineral, via an extension to the existing conveyor, to the current East Bilney quarry for processing. Note: MIN 10, MIN 11 and MIN 12 have now been combined as a single site (MIN 10A), with the revised boundary shown on the site plan

Landscape: As an open agricultural field close to the existing quarry, working this site with a low level restoration on this site with appropriate margins and land use is acceptable in landscape terms, subject to a well-designed scheme of working and restoration (including screening and other mitigation measures)

Ecology: MIN 10 is more than 500m from the nearest designated nature conservation sites, County Wildlife Sites 2137 (Beck Farm Meadows) and 1037 (Folly Lane Meadows) and very unlikely to have any adverse impacts on these CWSs. As the site is currently agricultural fields with little ecological interest, the restoration proposed (agriculture with new hedgerows, blocks of deciduous woodland, small ponds and wet grassland) would increase the ecological value of the site

Highways: Subject to transporting material via an extension to the existing ground conveyor to the current processing site at East Bilney Quarry and then utilising the existing highways access to Fakenham Road, there are no particular highways concerns. However, highway improvements will be needed to the B1146 Fakenham Road before any further sites at Bilney/Beetley are developed

Amenity: The limit of extraction is ‘pulled back’ from Fakenham Road and Halfpenny Lane by the proposer, with bunding and advanced planting planned for the gaps. As a result, the amenity impacts on nearby residents and the travellers’ site at Hungry Hill are judged to be acceptable

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: The concerns of local residents are recognised, but it is felt unlikely that there would be significant ecological impacts and that with appropriate mitigation measures, some highways improvements and a good restoration scheme, there can be further minerals development in Beetley. MIN 10A is acceptable for allocation, subject to any planning application:

  1. using the existing processing plant, accessed via an extension to the current conveyor;
  2. working up a detailed landscaping scheme, so that the impacts on residents of Fakenham Road and the landscape generally are satisfactory;
  3. ensuring that the restoration proposed by Middleton Aggregates Ltd (agriculture with various other habitats) is followed;
  4. making appropriate contributions to the B1146 Fakenham Road/Rawhall Road juction improvements; and
  5. including a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered, and appropriate scientific study is permitted during the operational stage

MIN 11 – see MIN 10A
MIN 12 – see MIN 10A

Site ref no.

View Comments (256) MIN 13

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Land south of Rawhall Lane, Beetley

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

494,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

13.1

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. East Bilney quarry, which has planning permission for mineral extraction and processing, lies immediately north of the site

Landscape: So long as the hedgerow oaks are protected through a suitable working scheme, this is a site with few landscape constraints. An appropriate low-level restoration scheme incorporating additional planting is likely to be acceptable

Ecology: MIN 13 is more than 500m from the nearest designated nature conservation sites, County Wildlife Sites 2137 (Beck Farm Meadows) and 1037 (Folly Lane Meadows) and very unlikely to have any adverse impacts on these CWSs. As the site is currently agricultural fields with little ecological interest, the restoration proposed (agriculture with new hedgerows, blocks of deciduous woodland, small ponds and wet grassland) would increase the ecological value of the site

Highways: Subject to transporting material via a ground conveyor to the current processing site at East Bilney Quarry and then utilising the existing highways access to Fakenham Road, there are no serious highways concerns. However, highway improvements will be needed to the B1146 Fakenham Road before any further sites at Bilney/Beetley are developed

Amenity: As the site is distant from dwellings, and processing is proposed to take place at the existing East Bilney quarry, there are likely to be few direct amenity impacts. However, the cumulative impacts of working sites in the Bilney/Beetley area would need to be considered, particularly in relation to HGV transport. It is likely that some phasing of sites would be necessary

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: The site is acceptable in principle for allocation. However, it is concluded that site MIN 10 would have slightly fewer impacts, and due to the need to avoid an over-concentration of Middleton Aggregate sites in the local area – which is relatively remote from centres of proposed major housing growth – and avoid two adjacent sites potentially working simultaneously (MIN 13 and MIN 51), MIN 13 will therefore not be allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (256) >MIN 14

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Land north of Stoney Lane, Beetley

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

1,440,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

19.4

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. East Bilney quarry, which has planning permission for mineral extraction and processing, is 300m north-west of the site. An extension to East Bilney quarry, which is operational, lies 400m north-east of the site

Landscape: There are few landscape concerns for MIN 14 (but see amenity concerns below). An appropriate low-level restoration scheme incorporating additional planting is likely to be acceptable in principle, but this would really need to be carried out jointly with MIN 9 to avoid an oddly-shaped restored site

Ecology: MIN 13 is more than 500m from the nearest designated nature conservation sites, County Wildlife Sites 2137 (Beck Farm Meadows) and 1037 (Folly Lane Meadows) and very unlikely to have any adverse impacts on these CWSs. As the site is currently agricultural fields with little ecological interest, the restoration proposed (agriculture with new hedgerows, blocks of deciduous woodland, small ponds and wet grassland) would increase the ecological value of the site

Highways: Subject to transporting material via a new ground conveyor to the current processing site at East Bilney Quarry and then utilising the existing highways access to Fakenham Road, there are no serious highways concerns. However, highway improvements will be needed to the B1146 Fakenham Road before any further sites at Bilney/Beetley are developed

Amenity: This site has some amenity constraints, particularly in respect of views from properties to the east and one dwelling to the north. This could, however, probably be mitigated satisfactorily by a small reduction in the site boundary and appropriate screening and planting

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: Although MIN 14 is not a bad site, it would really need to be worked jointly with MIN 9 to avoid an odd and artificial restoration boundary between the two sites. However, MIN 9 is judged unacceptable on landscape and amenity grounds, and so it would be difficult to work MIN 14 on its own (and in any case a ground conveyor to the existing East Bilney quarry would need to pass through MIN 9 on its way). In conclusion, it is felt that there are better sites in the Beetley area, so it is proposed to allocate MIN 10 only of the Middleton Aggregate sites.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

No Comments >MIN 15

Parish

GREAT ELLINGHAM

Location of site

Land at Rookery Farm, Watton Road, Great Ellingham

Submitted by

Mr T N Ewin

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

-

Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

16.8

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site

Landscape: The site comprises two fields separated by Mill Lane. There are a number of short- and long-distance views over the site, but bunding or a tree belt could screen the site effectively. There are veteran oaks which are valuable and would need to be retained, and a public path that crosses the site. The impact on the access roads would not be too bad if it involved the Watton Road, but the smaller roads could not be enlarged without adversely affecting the landscape character

Ecology: There are no significant ecology issues (apart from the veteran oaks, which would need to be retained): restoration to arable with wide field margins or maybe woodland would be desirable

Highways: The surrounding highway network is poor; substantial works would be required to the public highway (soft road) running through the site. Mill Lane would need to be converted from a ‘soft’ road to a full metalled highway, maybe widened and also drained – very substantial improvements. A haul route and routing agreement to the A11 would be needed

Amenity: The closest dwelling is a farmhouse about 250m to the south-west, with further farmhouses about 500m to the south and north-east. If properly screened, there should not be inappropriate visual or noise impact

Water resources/quality: The site is within SPZ3, and there may be a perched water table at the site, but this would not impact adversely on the chalk aquifer. Dewatering would, however, be required, and a hydrogeological risk assessment would be necessary

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Public objections were received previously on this site, citing concerns about unsuitable local roads for HGVs, potentially increasing dangers for local horse-riders and walkers, and harm to landscape and ecology

Conclusion: The site is unacceptable because the necessary highways improvements would be extremely substantial and expensive, and would themselves cause adverse landscape impacts. In addition, no borehole results have been supplied to quantify the likely mineral resource on the sites.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 21

Parish

NORTH ELMHAM

Location of site

Land at Foxburrow Farm, Beetley Quarry, North Elmham

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Simon Thompson Esq.

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

800,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

12.09

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction lies to the south of the site

Landscape: The site is located on a sloping valley ‘shoulder’ in the River Whitewater, south of Beetley Common. This is a sensitive site within the river valley (which is a Core River Valley) and would require the retention of a plant site on the valley floor. Although the site is well-screened, and restoration should be feasible, working would impact adversely on the Whitewater valley and the quiet enjoyment of Beetley Common, and it is therefore not suitable in landscape terms

Ecology: The site is near County Wildlife Site 1036, Beetley Common. Restoration back to arable with wide field margins and hedgerows would increase the ecological interest of the site. However, Natural England and the Environment Agency object due to potential adverse impacts from silt and run-off entering the River Whitewater (a tributary to the River Wensum SAC)

Highways: The site has a number of potential highways difficulties, which would be very difficult to overcome. The current track to the B1145 has a very poor junction layout, and the B1110/B1145 is an unsatisfactory junction. A direct haul road to the B1110 (Back Lane) with an appropriate junction might be achievable, but the B1110 alignment is also not ideal. There is therefore a need to clarify access and visibility proposals because visibility splays at the existing access are not adequate – and rectifying matters may impact on mature oaks

Amenity: The site is relatively remote from local dwellings but working would impact adversely on the quiet enjoyment of Beetley Common

Water resources/quality: No direct concerns expressed by the Environment Agency (although the ecology objection above is noted)

Geodiversity: There are likely to be nationally-important glacial and interglacial deposits on the site, particularly Ipswichian terraces. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered

Other comments: Local residents, the parish council and Breckland District Council raised a number of concerns, including landscape (on Beetley Common and the Whitewater valley), highways, ecology and amenity of local residents

Conclusion: The site is unacceptable due to landscape, highways, amenity and ecology impacts.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

No Comments MIN 23A

Parish

BEESTON WITH BITTERING

Location of site

Land to the north of Beeston

Submitted by

Bidwells, on behalf of RG Carter Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction

Estimated reserves

350,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

10.2

Background information: No current planning permissions on the site. However, there is an operational quarry to the north-west of the site (Punch Farm), a dormant site (run by Cemex) lies to the south-west and former quarries lie to the east and north of the site

Landscape: Some concerns have been raised about the landscape impacts of the site. Following several revisions, the site is now approximately 280m from properties in Back Lane. A 3m bund to the south of the extraction boundary and 25m permanent planting belt to the south of the bund have now been included. Additional hedgerow planting is also proposed as advanced works to the mineral extraction. The proposals are considered acceptable in landscape terms

Ecology: Litcham Common SSSI and three County Wildlife Sites are within 1km of MIN 23, but it is very unlikely that there would be any negative impacts on the site. The existing site is an agricultural field of low ecological value, so it is unlikely there would be any negative impacts. Restoration including some semi-natural habitat, such as some heathland, woodland and/or acid grassland, would be an improvement

Highways: The road network surrounding the site is not ideal for HGV transport. However, by heading east along the existing track to Mileham Road, and then north to Litcham Road, and east along Litcham Road to Reed Lane, the closest HGV Access Route (see site plan) the HGV impacts would be acceptable. Localised widening to Litcham Road might be necessary. Although the Highways Agency states that the Beeston Road/Wendling A47 junction currently operates within capacity, it has expressed some concern about the potential cumulative impact of a number of local minerals sites (MINs 23, 61, 68 and 100)

Amenity: Objections have been raised by Beeston residents that their amenity will be impacted adversely by the site, including noise, dust and views. However, with no minerals HGVs passing through the village itself, and the sites set back a reasonable distance from the village, it is considered unlikely that noise and dust generation would be significant (the details would need to be considered at any planning application, however). There will be some views of the site from upstairs windows of some properties on Back Lane. However, it is assessed that the distance of properties from the site, alongside the proposed planting and bunding, will reduce the impacts such that the proposal is satisfactory

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency – extraction at the site would be very unlikely to reach the water table, which is about 20m below ground level

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are revealed

Other comments: Numerous archaeological finds have been made in and around the site; the results of a programme of archaeological evaluation will need to be submitted with any planning application

Conclusion: The site is acceptable in principle to be allocated. However, it is recognised that the highways access from the site to the A47, whilst adequate, is not ideal. In addition, it is felt that sites at Beetley have fewer impacts than Beeston sites, so in order to avoid an over-concentration of minerals sites in the Beeston/Beetley area, it is not proposed to allocate any sites at Beeston.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 28

Parish

HOE

Location of site

Land at Manor Farm, Hoe

Submitted by

Brown & Co on behalf of Mrs A Borrett

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

-

Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

40.12

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission at the site

Landscape: The site is remote from a village settlement and although a few isolated properties lie along Hall Road these are well screened from the site. It is consider feasible to design a scheme of working for this land which would have low impacts on the wider landscape, although this might not be possible in the far north of the site, which is in a Core River Valley

Ecology: Beetley & Hoe Meadows SSSI and several CWSs are close by, with the River Wensum SAC about 2 miles distant. Low-level restoration, perhaps to mixed arable and deciduous woodland (expanding the existing woodland to the north) would be preferred. However, there could be potential adverse hydrological impacts on Beetley and Hoe Meadows SSSI

Highways: The B1110 suffers from poor alignment and visibility at this point and is likely to require significant improvements. There are also junction difficulties with B1146/ B1110. It would need to be demonstrated by the proposer that safe access could be achieved

Amenity: It is considered unlikely that a well-designed scheme of working would lead to unacceptable amenity impacts on local residents

Water resources/quality: Three Anglian Water water main pipes cross or are close to the site, and there is also an abstraction borehole on the southern part of the site, around which is therefore a Source Protection Zone 1

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: The main objections raised by local residents and Breckland District Council to MIN 28 were the unsuitability of the local road network, harm to residents’ amenity from noise and dust, potential harm to ecology (particularly Beetley & Hoe SSSI) and landscape, and potential impact on the Anglian Water abstraction point

Conclusion: Sufficient acceptable sites which can deliver the apportionment figure set out in the Core Strategy have been identified, so there is no need to select any Areas of Search for sand and gravel. No further information was received from the proposer during the 2009 consultation period e.g. on how satisfactory highways access could be achieved, or any borehole information confirming viable deposits of sand and gravel. In addition to the highways difficulties, the SPZ1 across the southern part of the site and the potential risks to the CWSs, Beetley & Hoe SSSI and the Core River Valley all militate against allocating this sites.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 35

Parish

QUIDENHAM/ SNETTERTON

Location of site

Sawmill Field, Heath Road, Quidenham / Snetterton

Submitted by

Frimstone Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

525,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

5.4

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. A former landfill site lies adjacent to the north west boundary of the site. The site has also been submitted as a waste allocation (WAS 53). Previous permission for a borrow pit on the site has now expired

Landscape: The existing industrial estates to the north, and the nearby Snetterton motor racing circuit and railway line, mean that this site cannot be considered a tranquil, unspoilt area of countryside. The revised site area, which takes the extraction limit further from nearby houses, is an improvement and it should be possible to mitigate the visual effects of the revised proposal if there is a very carefully thought-through landscape scheme

Ecology: There is relatively little ecological interest in the site currently and Eccles Wood North CWS (to the south-west) is unlikely to be impacted adversely. Restoration including elements of heathland and/or woodland would be satisfactory

Highways: Although some visibility improvements to access the C827 would be needed, there are no other highways difficulties; there are no particular concerns about A11 highways impacts

Amenity: Although there would be some medium-to-long-range views over the site from houses, the impact on these views due to the development would not be significantly detrimental, so long as appropriate screening and bunding was included as part of the landscaping scheme

Water resources/quality: Environment Agency comment: the site is located on a principal chalk aquifer within a couple of km of Kenningham and Banham Fen SSSI. Groundwater levels in the chalk are very close to the ground surface at the site and any de-watering of sand and gravel deposits would have the potential to impact on groundwater levels in the chalk. A thorough hydrogeological impact assessment (HIA) would be needed for the site

Geodiversity: The site is likely to reveal Pleistocene glacial till and outwash deposits of the Anglian Lowestoft Formation, and is adjacent to the former Snetterton Heath Pit, which has a history of research. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case other features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered

Other comments: Local residents, the parish council and Breckland District Council have raised various concerns, including impacts on ecology (Eccles Wood North), highways, landscape and amenity of local residents

Conclusion: With the reduced site area and mitigation measures (such as additional bunding), the site is acceptable in principle. However, given that further careful thought would need to be given in a planning application to a landscaping scheme, a hydrogeological impact assessment, and a agreement with the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership for access to the site, and the fact that there are significant resources planned to be allocated at Shropham, which would have fewer impacts, the site is not required.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

No Comments MIN 49

Parish

BRIDGHAM

Location of site

Manor Farm, Bridgham

Submitted by

Paul Rackham Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

3,500,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

110.56

Background information: No current minerals or waste planning permission at the site

Landscape: The site lies within the valley of the River Thet and is mostly improved grazing land. There are views across the site from higher land on either side, including a number of dwellings. The low-lying nature of this river valley site means that any development would be visible from the higher ground on the valley sides. It is currently an attractive valley floor landscape, which is designated a Core River Valley. Any mineral extraction would be likely to be detrimental to this landscape character and, likewise, any bunding would not be appropriate within this landscape

Ecology: Extraction could impact adversely on floodplain grazing marsh. The site is near Breckland SPA and CWS 776, 773 and 774 has potential to affect drainage of the CWSs and a number of other BAP species and habitats. Both Natural England and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust object to this site. Consequently, the proposed allocation is not suitable in ecological terms

Highways: In highways terms, safe access to the A148 would be required, with a route to the A11 avoiding East Harling. No further information has been received to clarify the proposed access arrangements

Amenity: Due to their proximity to the site, residents of the villages of Bridgham and East Harling would be likely to be disturbed by noise, dust and light pollution from MIN 49

Water resources/quality: The site is located on a principal chalk aquifer and groundwater levels in the chalk and sands & gravels are likely to be very close to the surface at the site. Due to its potential to impact on water levels in Middle Harling Fen SSSI, the Environment Agency will object to this proposal unless it can be demonstrated that any de-watering would not have an adverse effect on the SSSI

Geodiversity: Although not a site of particular significance, It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: English Heritage has significant concerns about the potential impact of the proposed minerals development on a number of listed buildings and an adjoining conservation area in East Harling, including the Grade I listed St Peter’s Church. In addition, many objections have received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about harm to landscape and local wildlife, the unsuitability of local roads for HGVs and amenity impacts on local residents (noise, dust, light pollution etc)

Conclusion: The site is considered unacceptable on landscape, ecology, water quality and historic environment grounds, and there has also not been sufficient evidence provided to show that the highways impacts would be satisfactory.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 50

Parish

MILEHAM, TittleshaLL and Litcham

Location of site

Land surrounding Grenstein Farm, Mileham

Submitted by

Savills (L&P) Ltd on behalf of Mr R Ellis

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

-

Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

224.5

Background information: No mineral or waste planning permission on the site

Landscape: This site is attractive, undulating farmland, with the River Nar SSSI (a Core River Valley) running through the north-east corner of the site. The site is well-screened to the south and west, but has more open views to the east; its sloping nature means that it would be difficult to screen. Working the entire site would have a detrimental impact on the wider countryside. However, there may be some potential to work land in the north-western part of the site without unacceptable landscape impacts. The Litcham Road frontage parts of the site are unacceptable on landscape grounds

Ecology: Much of the site, particularly the Nar valley, is too attractive and ecologically valuable to consider, but the north-western part of the site may have some potential (see site plan). There are unlikely to be impacts on ecology in the north-west section of the site unless working is very deep, and restoration to arable with hedgerows, acid grassland and woodland would be beneficial, with public access a bonus

Highways: Direct access from the site to the B1145 Litcham Road would be needed, and contributions to a new roundabout scheme at the A1065/B1145 would probably be necessary. However, a dedicated haul road would be needed, which could itself be unacceptable on landscape grounds. There would be a need to clarify visibility specification for the access and agree a condition requiring a suitable routing agreement. Localised widening to the carriageway may need to be undertaken

Amenity: Much of the site is distant from dwellings, and the previous consultation (in 2009) showed a large part of the site to be unacceptable for development, including the area closest to Litcham village and Grenstein Farm itself. A further farm to the west borders the site and could be adversely impacted by mineral extraction

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency would require an appropriate buffer zone between the development and the River Nar SSSI, and Natural England is also concerned about potential adverse hydrological impacts and impacts from silt and run-off

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: English Heritage is concerned that the site is likely to impact on the setting of a number of listed buildings, including the Grade I listed All Saints Church Priory Farmhouse in Litcham, and the Grade I listed Church of St Mary in Tittleshall. National Grid plc has commented that a high pressure gas pipeline crosses close to the site. Local residents, the parish council and Breckland District Council are principally concerned about harm to landscape (the River Nar SSSI valley), ecology and inappropriate local highways network. No further information has been submitted by the site owner, so the County Council has not been able conclude that any part of the site would be appropriate for minerals development

Conclusion: Sufficient acceptable sites which can deliver the apportionment figure set out in the Core Strategy have been identified, so there is no need to select any Areas of Search for sand and gravel. In addition there are concerns about the impact on valley of the River Nar SSSI (landscape, ecology and water quality), amenity impacts on nearby residents, uncertainty about whether an acceptable highways scheme could be developed and the potential impact on the historic environment.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (260) >MIN 51

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Land west of Bilney Road, Beetley

Submitted by

Simon Westaway Assoc. on behalf of East Anglian Stone Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), concrete batching plant, aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

1,300,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

14.1

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for mineral extraction (East Bilney quarry) lies 300m to the north of the site

Landscape: This site is remote from property and is fairly flat and would be relatively easy to screen from the views from the surrounding roads. The site contains some good internal landscape features (two small woodlands) – rare in this open landscape – which would need to be protected through a suitable working plan. Access requirements may lead to improvements on the adjacent network of country lanes which could themselves have an adverse landscape impact

Ecology: MIN 51 is more than 500m from the nearest designated nature conservation sites, County Wildlife Sites 2137 (Beck Farm Meadows) and 1037 (Folly Lane Meadows) and very unlikely to have any adverse impacts on these CWSs. As the site is currently agricultural fields with little ecological interest, the restoration proposed (agriculture with new hedgerows, blocks of deciduous woodland, small ponds and wet grassland) would increase the ecological value of the site

Highways: Significant highways improvements to Bilney Road and the Bilney Road/Rawhall Lane/Fakenham Road junction would be needed for this site to be acceptable (being in separate ownership, this site cannot use the existing Middleton Aggregates processing plant at East Bilney Quarry)

Amenity: As the site is distant from dwellings and footpaths, and processing and concrete batching is proposed to take place on the site, there are likely to be few direct amenity impacts. However, the cumulative impacts of working sites in the Bilney/Beetley area would need to be considered, particularly in relation to HGV transport. It is possible that some phasing of sites might be necessary

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: Being remote from footpaths and dwellings and with few landscape concerns, this site is acceptable for allocation. However, any planning application will need to:

  1. propose satisfactory road-widening or passing bays on Bilney Road;
  2. make appropriate contributions to the B1146 Fakenham Road/Rawhall Road junction improvements;
  3. develop a high-quality working and restoration scheme, safeguarding the two small areas of woodland on the site; and
  4. include a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered, and ensure appropriate scientific study is permitted during the operational stage

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 60

Parish

TITTLESHALL, LITCHAM & WELLINGHAM

Location of site

Land off Heath Lane & Wellingham Road

Submitted by

Savills (L&P) Ltd on behalf of the Lexham Estate

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

-

Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

169.13

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission at the site

Landscape: Whilst the site is arable land of fairly ‘ordinary’ quality the boundary mature oaks are a notable landscape feature. The site is remote from property, and could be screened satisfactorily from local roads. However, the linear nature of the site may make a workable restoration plan difficult to develop. The western part of the site (west of Wellingham Road) should be omitted from the acceptable ‘search area’

Ecology: The site would be acceptable with appropriate restoration. The ecology of the nearby River Nar SSSI and CWSs unlikely to be affected unless working of site very deep. It is noted that the central part of the site is currently being managed for heathland restoration and a restoration plan including heathland, acid grassland and woodland would be desirable, leading to significant ecological gains, with some public access also desirable

Highways: The local highways network is poor; the C325 could not cater for any increase in traffic, especially HGVs, and there is no realistic expectation that necessary improvements could be made

Amenity: There are no significant amenity concerns – the site is relatively remote from property, although some mitigation measures may be necessary to ensure that the amenity of Tittleshall residents was preserved

Water resources/quality: The site is located at the head of the River Nar. The Environment Agency has significant concerns about this site due to the potential for changing the landform and removal of part of the geological source of the River Nar. There could also be a perched water table; de-watering could be necessary, a permit for which would be required

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: National Grid plc has commented that a high-pressure gas pipeline crosses MIN 60; a suitable cordon sanitaire around the pipeline would be necessary. Local residents and Breckland District Council have objected on a range of grounds, including amenity impacts on Tittleshall dwellers, the inadequacy of the local highways network, and harm to ecology and landscape

Conclusion: No Areas of Search for sand & gravel need to be allocated, and in any case, the site is unacceptable due to highway concerns regarding HGV traffic on the C325, potential impact on the River Nar and the presence of the gas pipeline across the sites.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

No Comments MIN 61

Parish

BEESTON WITH BITTERING

Location of site

Punch Farm, Beeston

Submitted by

Simon Westaway Assoc. on behalf of East Anglian Stone Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction, concrete batching plant, aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

550,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

5.8

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. There is an adjoining operational sand and gravel site (to the west) to Litcham Road and a former quarry lies to the south-east

Landscape: Some concerns have been raised about the landscape impacts of the site. However, the site is well-screened from public roads and property and could probably be worked and restored with little landscape impact; indeed, a restoration incorporating some woodland would lead to landscape improvements

Ecology: The River Nar SSSI, Litcham Common SSSI and three County Wildlife Sites are within 1km of MIN 68, but it is very unlikely that there would be any negative impacts on these designated sites. The existing site is an agricultural field of low ecological value, so it is unlikely there would be any negative impacts. Restoration including some semi-natural habitat, such as some heathland, woodland and/or acid grassland, would be an improvement

Highways: The Highway Authority recently won an appeal to prevent further access to Watery Lane, so access from this site would need to be direct to Litcham Road. HGVs would travel along Litcham Road to its junction with Reed Lane, which is an HGV Access Route (see site plan). A revised planning application for a new haul road direct to Litcham Road was granted planning permission in December 2010. Although the Highways Agency states that the Beeston Road/Wendling A47 junction currently operates within capacity, it has expressed some concern about the potential cumulative impact of a number of local minerals sites (MINs 23, 61, 68 and 100)

Amenity: As noted above, the site is well-screened from the two nearest properties (farmhouses). Other amenity matters such as noise, dust and hours of operation are unlikely to cause significant difficulties but would need to be addressed through a planning application

Water resources/quality: No concerns – extraction at the site would be very unlikely to reach the water table, which is about 20m below ground level

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are revealed

Other comments: Numerous archaeological finds have been made in and around the site; the results of a programme of archaeological evaluation will need to be submitted with any planning application

Conclusion: The site is acceptable in principle to be allocated. However, it is recognised that the highways access from the site to the A47 could be better. In addition, it is felt that sites at Beetley have fewer impacts than Beeston sites, so in order to avoid an over-concentration of minerals sites in the Beeston/Beetley area, it is not proposed to allocate any sites at Beeston.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (483) MIN 63

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Beck Farm, East Bilney

Submitted by

Mr R Richmond

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

750,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

7.28

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction (East Bilney Quarry) adjoins the southern boundary of the site

Landscape: This site is visible and lies very close to East Bilney village. The sloping nature of the site would mean it would be difficult to design an adequate scheme of working to reduce the landscape impacts of mineral extraction. In landscape terms working this site would have a high impact on East Bilney and the wider countryside

Ecology: MIN 63 is adjacent to County Wildlife Site 2137 (Beck Meadows) and the Environment Agency also objects on the grounds of potential impact on the River Blackwater. However, a properly-controlled scheme of working would be unlikely to have any adverse ecological impacts. An appropriate restoration scheme (e.g. to woodland) would lead to ecological improvements

Highways: A new access onto the B1146 Fakenham Road is unlikely to be acceptable to the Highway Authority at this point. Access to the public highway needs to be derived through East Bilney quarry to the south

Amenity: The amenity impacts on East Bilney residents caused by the proximity of the site, and particularly the inability to screen the site satisfactorily, would be unacceptable

Water resources/quality: In the absence of a hydrogeological risk assessment, the Environment Agency objects to this site due to its location in a SPZ1

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: The site’s potential landscape and amenity impacts are unacceptable, and there is also concern about potential pollution to groundwater and the River Blackwater.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

No Comments MIN 66

Parish

LONGHAM

Location of site

Land adjacent to Longham Hall, Dereham

Submitted by

Tarmac Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction

Estimated reserves

-

Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

27.3

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. Active pits with planning permission for mineral extraction lie to the north and north-east. A planning permission has recently been granted in respect of land immediately to the north of the site (the Spreadoak site, formerly MIN 67, which has consequently been withdrawn from the Minerals Site Allocation DPD)

Landscape: MIN 66 is on sloping ground, and could be viewed from a number of roads and properties in Longham village, Wendling Road and Honeypot Lane. The site would be difficult to screen and bunds would appear an alien feature in the local landscape. It is therefore not considered suitable for allocation as an area of search in landscape terms

Ecology: The site is not near any designated sites and a survey for protected species or BAP Species would not be needed given that the site is an intensive arable field at present. Low-level restoration to mixed arable and woodland would be a big ecological improvement

Highways: A new access to C229 Reeds Lane would be needed (with acceptable visibility splay) and improvements to junction. Improvement to C222 Litcham Road/C229 junction also needed. The exact point of access would need to be clarified and appropriate visibility splays conforming to adopted standards would need to be demonstrated. Off-site improvements would be required

Amenity: Working on this area of open landscape has the potential to impact adversely on a number of properties and users of the surrounding road network, including some in the village of Longham

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: The site owner (Mr N McLeod) states that the site would be restored to a very high standard, with landscaped parkland leading to a lake. Financial contributions would also be made to the village hall. However, Mr McLeod also states that the site would probably not be needed until about 2027, when the Spreadoak quarry has finished. This is obviously beyond the end of the Plan period (2024). Local residents, the parish council and Breckland District Council have objected on a range of grounds, including amenity impacts, harm to ecology and landscape, unsuitable local highways network, and harm to tourism locally

Conclusion: The landowner’s statement that the site would not likely start until 2027 means that the site cannot be allocated and irrespective of any landscape improvements on restoration, the operational impacts on landscape and amenity would be unacceptable.

Site not allocated.

MIN 67 – LONGHAM (Spreadoak) – withdrawn from the process as the site was granted planning permission in early 2010

Site ref no.

No Comments MIN 68

Parish

BEESTON WITH BITTERING

Location of site

Land at Watery Lane, Beeston

Submitted by

Tarmac Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

200,000 tonnes (estimate)

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

Uncertain

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. However, an existing quarry (Punch Farm) lies to the north-east of the site and a dormant site (run by Cemex) lies to the south-west

Landscape: Some concerns have been raised about the landscape impacts of the site. The site is adjacent to existing and dormant workings, and thus the landscape is already degraded to some extent. However, the southern part of the site has long views over open countryside and would be difficult to screen satisfactorily, so only the northern ‘square’ will be allocated. Some additional boundary planting to protect longer views towards Watery Lane are likely to be necessary

Ecology: Litcham Common SSSI and three County Wildlife Sites are within 1km of MIN 68, but it is very unlikely that there would be any negative impacts on the site. The existing site is an agricultural field of low ecological value, so it is unlikely there would be any negative impacts. Restoration including some semi-natural habitat, such as some heathland, woodland and/or acid grassland, would be an improvement

Highways: Direct access to Watery Lane would be unacceptable (due to the unsatisfactory nature of the Watery Lane/Litcham Road junction) and so the access route would need to be either through MIN 23 to the east (Mileham Road) or via a new route from MIN 61 direct to Litcham Road and then east along Litcham Road to Reed Lane, the closest HGV Access Route (see site plan). Localised widening to Litcham Road may also be necessary. Although the Highways Agency states that the Beeston Road/Wendling A47 junction currently operates within capacity, it has expressed some concern about the potential cumulative impact of a number of local minerals sites (MINs 23, 61, 68 and 100)

Amenity: Objections have been raised by Beeston residents that their amenity will be impacted adversely by the site, including noise, dust and views. However, working the northern ‘square’ of the site would not be too visually intrusive to Beeston residents. Other amenity matters such as noise, dust and hours of operation are unlikely to cause significant difficulties but would need to be addressed through a planning application

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency – extraction at the site would be very unlikely to reach the water table, which is about 20m below ground level

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are revealed

Other comments: Numerous archaeological finds have been made in and around the site; the results of a programme of archaeological evaluation will need to be submitted with any planning application

Conclusion: Only the northern part of the site is acceptable in principle to be allocated, a relatively small area. It is also recognised that the highways access from the site to the A47 could be better. In addition, it is felt that sites at Beetley have fewer impacts than Beeston sites, so in order to avoid an over-concentration of minerals sites in the Beeston/Beetley area, it is not proposed to allocate any sites at Beeston.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (256) MIN 72

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

High House Farm, Gressenhall

Submitted by

Mr N McLeod

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

500,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

22.5

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site

Landscape: The site is gently sloping arable land, with relatively few landscape constraints. The site is remote from Gressenhall and an appropriate scheme of working and restoration should be achievable

Ecology: As a ‘standard’ agricultural field, there is little ecological value on the site currently, and it is sufficiently remote from nearby designated wildlife sites that it is unlikely to have a significant impact on them. Restoration including some woodland would be beneficial

Highways: Because the site is not being proposed by Middleton Aggregates, it cannot use the existing processing plant at East Bilney Quarry, so material would have to be removed by road. Access via Gressenhall or Stoney Lane would be unacceptable; the only acceptable route would be to the north along Bilney Road, and then east to Fakenham Road (B1147). Significant highways improvements to Bilney Road and the Bilney Road/Rawhall Lane/Fakenham Road junction would be needed for this site to be acceptable

Amenity: The site is remote from dwellings, and although there would be views from Stoney Lane, Bilney Road and the Nar Valley Way, an appropriate scheme of working and restoration is likely to be achievable and acceptable

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: Highways access through Gressenhall, or to Fakenham Road via Stoney Lane would be unacceptable; substantial improvements to Bilney Road (involving third party land) and the Bilney Road/Fakenham Road/Rawhall Lane junction would be needed. The highways improvements needed are more significant than for other sites in the Beetley/Bilney area, and with no information supplied as to the likelihood of these highways improvements being deliverable, and in order to avoid an over-concentration of sites in Beetley/Bilney, the site is not acceptable.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (481) MIN 89

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Beck Farm, East Bilney

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

205,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

4

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction (East Bilney quarry) lies about 200m west of the site. An extension to East Bilney quarry, which is operational, lies about 400m east of the site. The site is bounded by Beetley (restored) landfill to the south. Material from the site would be transported via the existing conveyor to East Bilney quarry for processing

Landscape: The site comprises a small arable field which slopes gently down from the south toward the River Blackwater. It is well-screened from the wider landscape. Middleton Aggregates’ proposed restoration to woodland with some small pools to the north would, subject to an appropriate final landform, be acceptable in landscape terms

Ecology: The site itself has little ecological interest, but it does adjoin County Wildlife Site 1037 (Folly Lane Meadows). A restoration to woodland (as proposed) would be satisfactory, but mitigation measures may be necessary to safeguard Folly Lane Meadows and the River Blackwater

Highways: Subject to transporting material via the existing ground conveyor to the current processing site at East Bilney Quarry and then utilising the existing highways access to Fakenham Road, there are no serious highways concerns. However, highway improvements will be needed to the B1146 Fakenham Road before any further sites at Bilney/Beetley are developed

Amenity: The site is very close to the village and property but it would be feasible to screen a mineral working on this site

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency, but appropriate safeguarding to protect the River Blackwater would be necessary

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: An acceptable scheme of working and restoration may be achievable on this site, particularly if it makes use of the existing conveyor to the processing plant at East Bilney Quarry. However, the proximity to East Bilney village, the River Blackwater and Folly Lane Meadows CWS means that risks of harm are somewhat greater than for other (proposed) allocated sites at Beetley/East Bilney (MINs 10 and 51). Due to the need to avoid an over-concentration of sites in the local area – which is relatively remote from centres proposed for major housing growth – MIN 89 will therefore not be allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (8) MIN 97

Parish

BILLINGFORD & BINTREE

Location of site

Bintree Woods, Bintree

Submitted by

Wardell Armstrong LLP on behalf of the Forestry Commission

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), concrete batching plant, asphalt plant, aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

2,840,600 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

65.8

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site

Landscape: The site comprises a large area of conifer plantation and it would be feasible to design a working scheme to minimise visual intrusion of a mineral working, although the noise would affect the tranquillity of the site. The site is remote from principal roads and any access arrangements could have a significant adverse impact on the wider landscape. The amenity of the users of the bridleway should be protected and suitable access arrangements would be required

Ecology: There is significant ecological value in retaining the existing wood, although it is recognised there would be gains in restoring to deciduous woodland. It is understood that the site supports, amongst other fauna, breeding woodlarks and nightjars. MIN97 falls outside of the Breckland SPA, but the RSPB’s view is that the nightjar and woodlark populations within this site are likely to be “functionally linked” to the wider SPA population. Based on the findings of the Appropriate Assessment for a planning application for Methwold Warren (site MIN 34), which is within the Breckland SPA, the strictures which would be necessary to allow development to take place without adverse impact on the birds (e.g. no revving of engines) cannot practicably be controlled by planning conditions. The site is therefore not suitable on ecological grounds

Highways: A new haul route direct to the A1067 will be required, with improvement works to existing public highways in the vicinity of the A1067 maybe also required. The proposed access route is not particularly direct and further investigations as to the condition and acceptability of these roads to accommodate HGVs would be necessary. A road running north and then passing along an (improved) track would probably have fewer landscape impacts, but it is recognised that this would involve substantial use of third-party land

Amenity: The closest residential property is at High House Farm, approximately 250m to the south and the residents of the County School hamlet are about 500m north of the site. With a screen of about 250m of trees to be left, and appropriate bunding, there should be few adverse amenity impacts to these residents, but there would still be an adverse impact on tranquillity

Water resources/quality: Natural England and the Environment Agency are concerned about the potential for adverse hydrological impacts, and siltation, on the River Wensum SAC

Geodiversity: Although not a site of particular significance, It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about the landscape harm that would be caused, ecological damage to Bintree Woods (loss of habitats and species) and the River Wensum SSSI/SAC, amenity harm to local residents (both noise/dust etc and loss of accessible trails in the woods) and the impact of HGVs on unsuitable roads

Conclusion: There is insufficient information on the feasibility and potential landscape and highways impacts of the proposed access route to safely allocate the site. There is also some concern about potential impacts on the River Wensum SAC. However, the principal reason for not allocating the site is the presence of breeding nightjar and woodlark, which are believed to be “functionally linked” to the Breckland SPA. It is not thought to be practicable to satisfactorily ‘condition’ the working of the site to mitigate the harm to these birds.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

No Comments MIN 100

Parish

BEESTON WITH BITTERING

Location of site

Point Farm, Litcham Road, Beeston

Submitted by

Birketts LLP on behalf of Mr Paul Matthews

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction(sand and gravel)

Estimated reserves

430,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

22.9

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. Sites with planning permission for the extraction of sand and gravel lie to the east and north-east

Landscape: Not suitable in landscape terms. This is an open site and its sloping nature means that it would be difficult to screen. Working this site would have a detrimental impact on the wider countryside

Ecology: There are no designated nature conservation sites within 1km of MIN 100, and little ecological interest on the site itself. With regards to restoration, a habitat that would fit in with the surrounding habitats such as arable fields with wide margins, hedgerows or possibly a block of new woodland planting is preferred and creates the potential for an increase in biodiversity at the site with a wider range of habitats

Highways: There would be a need to clarify visibility specification for the access and agree a condition requiring a suitable routing agreement. Localised widening to Litcham Road may also be necessary. Although the Highways Agency states that the Beeston Road/Wendling A47 junction currently operates within capacity, it has expressed some concern about the potential cumulative impact of a number of local minerals sites (MINs 23, 61, 68 and 100)

Amenity: It is unlikely that there would be any significant amenity impacts on nearby properties, although a suitable stand-off zone would be needed to protect the residents of Point Farm

Water resources/quality: The site is not within a Source Protection Zone and the Environment Agency would have no objection in principle to the working of this site. However, dewatering may be necessary, and a hydrogeological risk assessment would need to be prepared to accompany any planning application

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are revealed

Other comments: Birketts LLP comment that restoration of the site would lead to the improvement of the agricultural land on the site (which currently comprises very thin soils), along with landscape and biodiversity gains

Conclusion: The site is on open arable land very close to the existing Bittering Quarry and the sloping nature of the site means it would be difficult to screen satisfactorily. Although there are likely to be few other difficulties, and potential ecological and soil quality gains on restoration are recognised, the landscape impacts are so significant that the site cannot be allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (5) MIN 102

Parish

SNETTERTON

Location of site

Land at North Farm, south of the River Thet, Shropham

Submitted by

Ennstone Johnston Limited

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

1,500,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

58.2

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel lies close to the northern boundary of the site (over the River Thet)

Landscape: This site is adjacent to the River Thet and there are several blocks of woodland on or adjacent to the site. The area around North Farm – which trains and houses horses – to the south has a ‘parkland’ feel and would be affected by the site to some degree. Some concerns have been expressed about the potential landscape impacts of the site, particularly in relation to the Thetford River Valley landscape character area. The River Thet is also a Core River Valley. A landscape and ecology buffer zone around the boundary with the River Thet is necessary to protect and safeguard the sensitivity of the area (see site plan), and some improved landscaping/bunding/planting on the southern boundary of the site would help protect North Farm. The potential haul road to the south would, if it runs along the existing farm track adjacent to a hedgerow, probably not have particularly significant landscape impacts, although some more detailed work would be needed at a planning application stage

Ecology: The north-east part of the site is adjacent to Swangey Fen SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC) and most of the northern and western boundary of the site is adjacent to Shropham Fen CWS (on the other bank of the River Thet). There have been some previous representations objecting to this site unless an Appropriate Assessment result shows that the site could be developed without adverse impact on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC. A Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment (AA) of the potential impacts of MIN 102 has been prepared to assess the impacts on Swangey Fen SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fen SAC); it concludes that, so long as the site could be worked ‘dry’, with other mitigation measures, it would be acceptable. Several mitigation measures and operation methods are recommended:

  1. Land adjacent to Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC, and anywhere else on the site which could not be worked ‘dry’ should be excluded from consideration;
  2. It must be shown in a planning application that there would not be continuous dust deposition on the SAC/SSSI;
  3. A hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI;
  4. Drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet; and
  5. Site traffic should not cross the River Thet; this means that the current processing site could not be used.

The woodland blocks on the site would need to be retained; any proposal to remove them would need to be supported by the results of an EIA. Restoration to arable with wide field margins, hedgerows and woodland would be beneficial ecologically.

Highways: The Appropriate Assessment recommendation that site traffic must not cross the River Thet means that the current processing site could not be accessed from MIN 102 by a new bridge. An alternative haul road running south to Hargham Road and then to the A11 has been suggested by the site proposer; subject to an acceptable junction arrangement with Hargham Road (which would seem to be achievable), this haul road would be acceptable

Amenity: A reduced site area and improved landscaping/bunding would be needed to reduce the impact on North Farm to an acceptable level. Some careful siting of the processing plant would also be necessary. It is unlikely that the site, including the potential haul road to Hargham Road, would have an unacceptable impact on the Dogs Trust kennels on North End Road. No other dwellings or footpath users would be adversely affected by this site

Water resources/quality: The north-east corner of the site borders Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC and the Environment Agency objects in principle to any dewatering works where this would cause an unacceptable change on groundwater levels. A buffer zone along the north-eastern corner of the site and along the boundary of the River Thet will therefore be necessary to protect the integrity of Shropham Fen CWS and Swangey Fen SSSI, and a full hydrogeological risk assessment (HRA) to demonstrate that there would not be any adverse impacts on Swangey Fen SSSI

Geodiversity: The site could contain nationally important glacial and interglacial deposits, particularly buried terrace sedimentary archives. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered. Working this site would allow further study to link with previous geological investigations at Shropham Pit

Conclusion: The site is allocated, subject to:

  1. a buffer zone along the north-eastern, northern and western boundary to protect existing areas of woodland, Swangey Fen SSSI, Shropham Fen CWS and the Core River Valley of the Thet. The adjoining Barnes Oak plantation should also be protected from any potential dewatering impacts;
  2. there would be no continuous dust deposition on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC;
  3. drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet;
  4. only those parts of the site which could be worked ‘dry’ (i.e. above the water table) would be acceptable;
  5. a hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI
  6. appropriate screening and/or bunding to protect the amenity of the residents and horses of North Farm;
  7. a haul road running south of the site to Hargham Road and then to the A11; a new vehicular bridge crossing the Thet to serve the current processing area will not be acceptable (due to the Appropriate Assessment recommendations)
  8. a comprehensive working and restoration plan to take into account the points above and including wide field margins, hedgerows and woodland

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 107

Parish

SHROPHAM

Location of site

Land to the north of Spong Lane, Shropham

Submitted by

Breedon Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

180,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

6.1

Background information: A planning application for the extraction of sand and gravel from the site, and restoration with the importation of inert waste, was resolved to be granted permission (subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement) on 18 March 2011. If/when the S106 agreement is signed, MIN 107 will be withdrawn from this document. The site lies east of an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction, and west of the current processing plant

Landscape: Some concerns have been expressed about the potential landscape impacts of the site, particularly in relation to the Thetford River Valley landscape character area. The River Thet is also designated as a Core River Valley. Most of the site is well-screened and it slopes away from Shropham, but some views of the site are likely from cottages to the south. In landscape terms, working the site will be acceptable, so long as screen-planting and/or bunding will effectively screen the site from views from the south

Ecology: There have been some previous representations objecting to this site unless an Appropriate Assessment result shows that the site could be developed without adverse impact on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC. A Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment (AA) of the potential impacts of MIN 107 has therefore been prepared to assess the impacts on Swangey Fen SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fen SAC). Using the information contained in the current (March 2010) planning application for the site, the mineral reserves “lie well above the water table” and would thus be worked dry. The Environmental Statement for the planning application concludes that there would not be any impact on Swangey Fen SSSI, and the Appropriate Assessment result concurs with this, so long as the site would be worked ‘dry’. The AA recommends several mitigation measures and operation methods:

  1. It must be shown in a planning application that there would not be continuous dust deposition on the SSSI/SAC;
  2. Drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet;
  3. There should not be any additional traffic crossing points over the River Thet; and
  4. A hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI.

MIN 107 comprises two fields separated by a hedgerow, which contains some valuable veteran oaks; a stand-off zone around these oaks would be necessary. Restoration of the site to agriculture with conservation grassland, reedbed/carr woodland, open water and lowland mixed deciduous woodland, as proposed in the current planning application, would lead to ecological gains and provide an opportunity to increase the biodiversity of the site

Highways: The surrounding highways are narrow in width and suffer from poor alignment. Access to the processing plant on the current Shropham Quarry to the east will be via Spong Lane, and egress from process plant needs to be provided via the C823 Swangey Lane only (and thence to the A11), with improvements required to this road. As working at Shropham sites would be phased, the Highways Agency is satisfied that the impact on the A11 would be acceptable

Amenity: The site is remote from dwellings and footpaths, and the well-established (and legally controlled) route to the processing site and then onto the A11 junction also passes few dwellings. The amenity impacts of the site are thus limited to some long views from cottages from the south, which are acceptable

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency has objected to this site, stating that the groundwater level is only a metre below the surface, and that as dewatering would be required, this would impact unacceptably on Swangey Fen SSSI. However, as noted above, borehole information supplied by Breedon Aggregates has demonstrated that working would take place well above the water table, and there would also not be any impacts on surface water bodies. The Stage 2 AA for the site concludes that it would not have an unacceptable impact on Swangey Fen SSSI

Geodiversity: The site could contain nationally important glacial and interglacial deposits, particularly buried terrace sedimentary archives. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered. Working this site would allow further study to link with previous geological investigations at Shropham Pit

Other comments: English Heritage has some concerns about the cumulative impact of Shropham sites on a number of listed buildings in Shropham, including the Grade I listed St Peter’s Church.

There is high potential for archaeological remains from the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, with potential for remains from other periods as well. Consequently a programme of trial trenching will be required in addition to a normal desk-based assessment and field survey work

Conclusion: Properly screened and controlled, it is concluded that the site would not have an unacceptable impact on water quality, ecology, highways and landscape. In particular, it is felt that the distance from St Peter’s Church and other listed buildings in Shropham, allied with screen-planting, will mean that the impact will be satisfactory. This site is therefore allocated, so long as:

  1. satisfactory screening and/or bunding are provided, particularly on the western and southern boundaries, to safeguard long-distance views into the site from Shropham;
  2. an appropriate ‘stand-off’ zone is left around the hedgerow in the middle of the site to protect the veteran oaks there;
  3. there would be no continuous dust deposition on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC;
  4. the site would be worked ‘dry’ (i.e. above the water table);
  5. a hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI;
  6. drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet;
  7. the current haul road to the processing site and agreed routing to the A11 is used. Some improvements to Swangey Lane will be needed;
  8. a desk-based archaeological assessment, followed by field surveys and trial-trenching, is carried out;
  9. the restoration proposals include a variety of habitats, probably including conservation grassland, reedbed/carr woodland, open water and lowland mixed deciduous woodland; and
  10. retain some open faces for geological study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered

Site ref no.

View Comments (5) MIN 108

Parish

SHROPHAM

Location of site

Land to the North of Hargham Road, Shropham

Submitted by

Breedon Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

150,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

14.9 ha

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. The site lies west of an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction and processing

Landscape: Some concerns have been expressed about the potential landscape impacts of the site, particularly in relation to the Thetford River Valley landscape character area. The River Thet is also a Core River Valley. Existing vegetation screens the site from the north and east; an appropriate buffer zone of bunding and/or planting would help screen properties to the south and west. With a suitable buffer zone to protect Shropham Fen CWS. With the greatly reduced site area, and new buffer zones and planting, it is felt that the landscape impacts would not be unacceptable, with restoration to a mix of agriculture and semi-natural habitats offering the potential for landscape improvements

Ecology: There have been some previous representations objecting to this site unless an Appropriate Assessment result shows that the site could be developed without adverse impact on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC. The site adjoins Shropham Fen CWS and working and restoration of the site would need to protect the integrity of the CWS. A Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment (AA) of the potential impacts of MIN 108 has been prepared to assess the impacts on Swangey Fen SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fen SAC); it concludes that, so long as the site could be worked ‘dry’, with other mitigation measures, it would be acceptable. Several mitigation measures and operation methods are recommended:

  1. Land adjacent to Shropham Fen should be excluded;
  2. It must be shown in a planning application that there would not be continuous dust deposition on the SAC/SSSI;
  3. Drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet;
  4. There should not be any additional traffic crossing points over the River Thet; and
  5. A hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI.
  6. Restoration of the site to agriculture with conservation grassland, woodland, open water and mixed hedgerows would lead to ecological gains and provide an opportunity to increase the biodiversity of the site

Highways: The surrounding highways are narrow in width and suffer from poor alignment. Access to the processing plant on the current Shropham Quarry to the east will be via Spong Lane, and egress from process plant needs to be provided via the C823 Swangey Lane only (and thence to the A11), with improvements required to this road. As working at Shropham sites would be phased, the Highways Agency is satisfied that the impact on the A11 would be acceptable

Amenity: The site is remote from dwellings and footpaths, and the well-established (and legally controlled) route to the processing site and then onto the A11 junction also passes few dwellings. The amenity impacts of the site are thus limited to some long views from cottages from the south, which are acceptable

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency states that the groundwater level is very close to the surface, and that dewatering would probably therefore be required to work MIN 108. A hydrogeological risk assessment (HRA) would be needed to demonstrate that there would be no adverse impact on Shropham Fen CWS and Swangey Fen SSSI

Geodiversity: The site could contain nationally important glacial and interglacial deposits, particularly buried terrace sedimentary archives. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered. Working this site would allow further study to link with previous geological investigations at Shropham Pit

Other comments: English Heritage has some concerns about the cumulative impact of Shropham sites on a number of listed buildings in Shropham, including the Grade I listed St Peter’s Church. There is high potential for archaeological remains from the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, with potential for remains from other periods as well. Consequently a programme of trial trenching will be required in addition to a normal desk-based assessment and field survey work

Conclusion: Properly screened and controlled, it is concluded that the site would not have an unacceptable impact on water quality, ecology, highways and landscape. In particular, it is felt that the distance from St Peter’s Church and other listed buildings in Shropham, allied with screen-planting, will mean that the impact will be satisfactory. This site is therefore allocated, so long as:

  1. satisfactory screening and/or bunding are provided on the southern boundary, with a ‘stand-off’ zone around Shropham Fen CWS;
  2. there would be no continuous dust deposition on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC;
  3. drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet;
  4. only those parts of the site which could be worked ‘dry’ (i.e. above the water table) are worked;
  5. a hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI;
  6. the current haul road to the processing site and agreed routing to the A11 is used. Some improvements to Swangey Lane will be needed;
  7. a desk-based archaeological assessment, followed by field surveys and trial-trenching, is carried out;
  8. the restoration proposals include a variety of habitats, probably including conservation grassland, reedbed/carr woodland, open water and lowland mixed deciduous woodland; and
  9. retain some open faces for geological study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered

Site ref no.

View Comments (4) MIN 109

Parish

SHROPHAM

Location of site

Land to the south of Honeypots Quarry, Shropham

Submitted by

Breedon Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

680,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

33.2

Background information: A planning application for the extraction of sand and gravel from the eastern part of the site, with restoration through the importation of inert waste, was resolved to be granted permission (subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement) on 18 March 2011. If/when the S106 agreement is signed, this part of MIN 109 will be withdrawn from the document. The site lies east of an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction, and west of the current processing plant

Landscape: Some concerns have been expressed about the potential landscape impacts of the site, particularly in relation to the Thetford River Valley landscape character area. The River Thet is also a Core River Valley. The site comprises four fields on a sloping site, near to woodland. A road runs along the southern boundary of the site and a footpath crosses the site. There are some long-range views to Shropham village to the south. Most of the landscape impacts are either already acceptable, or could be made so fairly easily, but the necessary screening to Shropham residents would be via a newly-planted tree belt, which would take some years to reach a sufficient size. Existing vegetation and landform generally screen the site fairly effectively, but some advanced planting of trees would be necessary on the southern boundary of MIN 109. It is therefore suggested that the central and south-western fields should not form an early phase of working on this site. Restoration to a mix of agriculture and semi-natural habitats offering the potential for landscape improvements

Ecology: There have been some previous representations objecting to this site unless an Appropriate Assessment result shows that the site could be developed without adverse impact on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC. A Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment (AA) of the potential impacts of MIN 109 and has been prepared to assess the impacts on Swangey Fen SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fen SAC); it concludes that, so long as the site could be worked ‘dry’, with other mitigation measures, it would be acceptable. Several mitigation measures and operation methods are recommended:

  1. It must be shown in a planning application that there would not be continuous dust deposition on the SAC/SSSI;
  2. A hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI;
  3. Drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet; and
  4. There should not be any additional traffic crossing points over the River Thet.

Using the information contained in the current (January 2011) planning application for the site, the mineral reserves “lie well above the water table” and would thus be worked dry. The Environmental Statement for the planning application concludes that there would not be any impact on Swangey Fen SSSI. Restoration of the site to agriculture with conservation grassland, reedbed/carr woodland, open water and lowland mixed deciduous woodland, as proposed in the current planning application, would lead to ecological gains and provide an opportunity to increase the biodiversity of the site

Highways: The surrounding highways are narrow in width and suffer from poor alignment. Access to the processing plant on the current Shropham Quarry to the east will be via Spong Lane, and egress from process plant needs to be provided via the C823 Swangey Lane only (and thence to the A11), with improvements required to this road. As working at Shropham sites would be phased, the Highways Agency is satisfied that the impact on the A11 would be acceptable

Amenity: The site is remote from dwellings and footpaths, and the well-established (and legally controlled) route to the processing site and then onto the A11 junction also passes few dwellings. The amenity impacts of the site are thus limited to some long views from cottages from the south, which are acceptable

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency has objected to this site, stating that the groundwater level is only a metre below the surface, and that as dewatering would be required, this would impact unacceptably on Swangey Fen SSSI. However, as noted above, borehole information supplied by Breedon Aggregates has demonstrated that working would take place well above the water table, and there would also not be any impacts on surface water bodies. The Stage 2 AA for the site concludes that it would not have an unacceptable impact on Swangey Fen SSSI

Geodiversity: The site could contain nationally important glacial and interglacial deposits, particularly buried terrace sedimentary archives. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered. Working this site would allow further study to link with previous geological investigations at Shropham Pit

Other comments: English Heritage has some concerns about the cumulative impact of Shropham sites on a number of listed buildings in Shropham, including the Grade I listed St Peter’s Church. National Grid has pointed out that a high-pressure gas pipeline crosses close to the site; this may have implications for the area of the site that could be developed. There is high potential for archaeological remains from the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, with potential for remains from other periods as well. Consequently a programme of trial trenching will be required in addition to a normal desk-based assessment and field survey work

Conclusion: Properly screened and controlled, it is concluded that the site would not have an unacceptable impact on water quality, ecology, highways and landscape. In particular, it is felt that the distance from St Peter’s Church and other listed buildings in Shropham, allied with screen-planting, will mean that the impact will be satisfactory. This site is therefore allocated so long as:

  1. satisfactory screening and/or bunding are provided on the southern boundary of the site to protect views from Shropham;
  2. there would be no continuous dust deposition on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC;
  3. drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet;
  4. the site which would be worked ‘dry’ (i.e. above the water table);
  5. a hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI;
  6. the current haul road to the processing site and agreed routing to the A11 is used. Some improvements to Swangey Lane will be needed;
  7. a desk-based archaeological assessment, followed by field surveys and trial-trenching, is carried out;
  8. the restoration proposals include a variety of habitats, probably including conservation grassland, reedbed/carr woodland, open water and lowland mixed deciduous woodland; and
  9. retain some open faces for geological study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered

Site ref no.

View Comments (5) MIN 110

Parish

SHROPHAM

Location of site

Land to the south of Spong Lane, Shropham

Submitted by

Breedon Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

150,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

11.4 ha

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. The site lies west of an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction and processing

Landscape: Some concerns have been expressed about the potential landscape impacts of the site, particularly in relation to the Thetford River Valley landscape character area. The River Thet is also a Core River Valley (policy DM2 of the Pre-Submission Core Strategy). Existing vegetation screens the site from the north and east; an appropriate buffer zone of bunding and/or planting would help screen properties to the south and west, and the reduced site area helps in this regard. Restoration to a mix of agriculture and semi-natural habitats offering the potential for landscape improvements

Ecology: There have been some previous representations objecting to this site unless an Appropriate Assessment result shows that the site could be developed without adverse impact on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC. A Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment (AA) of the potential impacts of MIN 110 and has been prepared to assess the impacts on Swangey Fen SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fen SAC); it concludes that, so long as the site could be worked ‘dry’, with other mitigation measures, it would be acceptable. Several mitigation measures and operation methods are recommended:

  1. It must be shown in a planning application that there would not be continuous dust deposition on the SAC/SSSI;
  2. A hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI;
  3. Drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet; and
  4. There should not be any additional traffic crossing points over the River Thet.

The site is relatively close to Shropham Fen CWS and working and restoration of the site would need to protect the integrity of the CWS. Restoration of the site to agriculture with conservation grassland, woodland, open water and mixed hedgerows would lead to ecological gains and provide an opportunity to increase the biodiversity of the site

Highways: The surrounding highways are narrow in width and suffer from poor alignment. Access to the processing plant on the current Shropham Quarry to the east will be via Spong Lane, and egress from process plant needs to be provided via the C823 Swangey Lane only (and thence to the A11), with improvements required to this road. As working at Shropham sites would be phased, the Highways Agency is satisfied that the impact on the A11 would be acceptable

Amenity: The site is remote from dwellings and footpaths, and the well-established (and legally controlled) route to the processing site and then onto the A11 junction also passes few dwellings. The amenity impacts of the site are thus limited to some long views from cottages from the south, which with additional screen planting, are acceptable

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency has objected to this site, stating that the groundwater level is only a metre below the surface, and that as dewatering would be required, this would impact unacceptably on Swangey Fen SSSI. However, as noted above, information supplied by Breedon Aggregates has demonstrated that working would take place well above the water table, and there would also not be any impacts on surface water bodies

Geodiversity: The site could contain nationally important glacial and interglacial deposits, particularly buried terrace sedimentary archives. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered. Working this site would allow further study to link with previous geological investigations at Shropham Pit

Other comments: English Heritage has some concerns about the cumulative impact of Shropham sites on a number of listed buildings in Shropham, including the Grade I listed St Peter’s Church. There is high potential for archaeological remains from the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, with potential for remains from other periods as well. Consequently a programme of trial trenching will be required in addition to a normal desk-based assessment and field survey work

Conclusion: Properly screened and controlled, it is concluded that the site would not have an unacceptable impact on water quality, ecology, highways and landscape. In particular, it is felt that the distance from St Peter’s Church and other listed buildings in Shropham, allied with screen-planting, will mean that the impact will be satisfactory. This site is therefore allocated, so long as:

  1. satisfactory screening and/or bunding are provided on the southern boundary of the site to protect views from Shropham;
  2. there would be no continuous dust deposition on Swangey Fen SSSI/SAC;
  3. drainage from the site should be passed through a settlement lagoon before discharge, with use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) preferable to outfall to the River Thet;
  4. the site which would be worked ‘dry’ (i.e. above the water table);
  5. a hydrogeological risk assessment of the whole Shropham area (covered by MINs 102 and 107-110) should be prepared to correctly determine the potential for any impacts on the SAC/SSSI
  6. the current haul road to the processing site and agreed routing to the A11 is used. Some improvements to Swangey Lane will be needed;
  7. a desk-based archaeological assessment, followed by field surveys and trial-trenching, is carried out;
  8. the restoration proposals include a variety of habitats, probably including conservation grassland, reedbed/carr woodland, open water and lowland mixed deciduous woodland; and
  9. some open faces are retained for geological study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and there is a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 111

Parish

ATTLEBOROUGH

Location of site

Land at Swangey Fen, near Shropham

Submitted by

Ennstone Johnston Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

270,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

11.16

Background information: There is currently no mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for mineral processing lies close to the western boundary of the site. In the submission it is proposed that the site is worked as an extension to the adjacent site

Landscape: This site is in an attractive valley location, adjacent to Swangey Fen SSSI. The land north and south of the site, rises and becomes rolling arable farmland. The same is true of the south, but there is no visual link as the valley is well wooded. There is a mineral working to the west, which has created a series of flooded gravel pits. Although the impact on individual viewpoints would be limited, the character of the valley floor meadow would be adversely affected by mineral excavation. Bunding would be inappropriate to the valley landform, which is a Core River Valley

Ecology: The excavation of the site could affect the drainage of the Swangey Fen SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fen SAC), and there is potential that BAP and protected species will be affected. It could also have an adverse affect on the BAP habitat and associated species of the site itself, as well as affect drainage of the adjoining SSSI

Highways: The surrounding highways are narrow in width and suffer from poor alignment. Access needs to be provided via the C823 Swangey Lane only, and improvements would be required to this road

Amenity: The site is remote from properties and footpaths, and so there would not be any adverse amenity impacts

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency comments that the site is on chalk, overlain by sands and gravels. The water table in the chalk here is only a metre below ground level, therefore excavations here would require dewatering of a principal aquifer. This site is adjacent to Swangey Fen SSSI, which is a groundwater-level dependent site; development at this site therefore poses a serious risk to groundwater flow to the SSSI. The developer would need to provide an acceptable hydrogeological risk assessment (HRA); any activities that can adversely affect groundwater must be considered including physical disturbance

Geodiversity: Development could involve working into nationally-important glacial and interglacial deposits in Thet valley, particularly buried terrace remains of Ipswichian age. It would be useful to retain some open faces during working and restoration for scientific study, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase for when features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: The site lies within Flood Zone 3 – but as a proposed sand & gravel quarry, this would be classed as ‘water-compatible’ development in PPS25

Conclusion: The site is inappropriate on landscape grounds, and in the absence of a hydrogeological risk assessment, there may also be an adverse impact on groundwater flows to Swangey Fen SSSI. A Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment was not carried out for MIN 111 because its significant landscape impacts means that the site could not be allocated in any case.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 116A

Parish

CRANWORTH

Location of site

Woodrising, near South Burgh

Submitted by

Simon Westaway Associates on behalf of R C Richardson & Sons (Arable)

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

950,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

14.7

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site

Landscape: The site is a large arable field with the appearance of a ‘domed plateau’, and it sits within an attractive area of gently rolling countryside. There are blocks of woodland surrounding the site and several footpaths cross the site. Although some distant views of the site would probably not be badly affected, the residents of several properties close by, and the users of footpaths, would be impacted by working, despite modifications to the site area proposed by the operator. The only part of the site where extraction might be possible without creating an unacceptable visual intrusion would be the small section to the north of the footpath, but this would probably be too small an area to be viable

Ecology: Working could affect Woodrising Watermeadows CWS; a hydrological survey would be required. A line of mature oaks to the north of the site would need to be retained. Restoration to woodland or arable field with mixed native hedgerows and wide field margins would be preferred

Highways: The surrounding local highway network is currently inadequate: Woodrising Road would require widening and a right turn lane would be required at its junction with the B1108 to be made acceptable. The proposer has stated that, taking into account necessary highways improvement costs, the site remains viable

Amenity: Although the revised (smaller) site area improves the situation somewhat, the residents of several properties close by, particularly Hurdlemaker’s Cottage and Grove Farm and the users of footpaths, would be impacted by working this site

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: Although not a site of particular significance, It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Although no local residents object, the parish council and Breckland District council both object to this site on, respectively, highways and highways and landscape grounds. R C Richardson & Sons’ agent, Simon Westaway Associates, submitted a representation reducing the site area and proposing various mitigation measures to try to overcome the concerns expressed in the Further Issues & Options consultation draft

Conclusion: It is not proposed to allocate this site. Although there could be ecological gains on restoration, and necessary highways impacts could probably be made, the site would generate unacceptable impacts on the local landscape and to the amenity of nearby residents.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (479) MIN 117

Parish

BEETLEY

Location of site

Land east of Folly Lane, East Bilney

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

410,000

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

7.36

Background information: The site lies immediately west of the operational extension to East Bilney quarry and immediately east of the former (now restored) Beetley landfill. East Bilney quarry lies to the immediate west of the former landfill. The operator proposes to transport material using the existing conveyor belt to East Bilney quarry for processing (which crosses the middle of the site)

Landscape: The tranquillity of this site is compromised by the existing mineral site to the east and the conveyor belt, which crosses the southern part of the site. There are limited views of the site from School Lane to the north, Folly Lane to the west and the public right of way to the north, although these views are largely shielded by existing hedgerows. The south of the site can also be seen in elevated views from East Bilney Hall, a Grade II listed building and the north-eastern part can be seen in a long view from properties on the edge of Brisley. An acceptable restoration proposal will need to take into account the restoration contours of the quarry to the east. There is potential to work a smaller site area on the eastern part of the site, to the south of the existing woodland, but the impact of the other parts of the site would be unacceptable on landscape grounds

Ecology: A line of mature oaks lie along the eastern boundary to the site, and the site also adjoins Folly Lane Meadow CWS to the north, with Beck Farm Meadows CWS a short distance to the north-west. There are concerns that the extraction at the site could potentially have adverse impacts on the two CWSs and the River Blackwater, although reducing the site area and creating a buffer zone might help

Highways: Subject to transporting material via the existing ground conveyor to the current processing site at East Bilney Quarry and then utilising the existing highways access to Fakenham Road, there are no serious highways concerns. However, highway improvements will be needed to the B1146 Fakenham Road before any further sites at Bilney/Beetley are developed

Amenity: The amenity of nearby properties and the public right of way could be impacted adversely by the working of the site

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency, but it is likely that extraction into the water table would be damaging to the CWSs and the River Blackwater

Geodiversity: It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Many objections have been received from local residents and the parish council, principally raising concerns about landscape, HGVs and ecology, and the loss of tranquillity that would occur. Continued extraction in the area is also felt to be unfair as it has already been quarried for many decades

Conclusion: The site area, as proposed, is unacceptable on landscape, ecology and amenity grounds, and due to the need to avoid an over-concentration of sites in the local area MIN 117 will therefore not be allocated.

Site not allocated.

No Comments 7.1.2 Broadland mineral site allocations

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 37A

Parish

FRETTENHAM/BUXTON WITH LAMMAS

Location of site

Land at Mayton Wood, Frettenham/Buxton with Lammas

Submitted by

Frimstone Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

1,450,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

23.5

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission at the site. A closed landfill site adjoins most of the eastern boundary of the site and an active pit with planning permission for mineral extraction adjoins the north-east boundary of the site. It is proposed that the site is worked as a continuation of the currently permitted area adjoining the north east boundary would therefore utilise the same access and plant site with material being transported to this by conveyor. Restoration would be to a lower level using inert material to restore the deeper areas and the after use would be to extend the woodland and grassland scheme on the existing site.

Landscape: This site has landscape constraints in respect of views from the PROW, surrounding roads and properties; however it is considered that these can be successfully mitigated by a suitable screening scheme. The restoration scheme will need to be carefully designed in order to successfully integrate the site with the closed and partially restored landfill site to the east. This site lies immediately west of an active sand and gravel quarry. There is the potential for landscape impacts on five properties on Buxton Road (views from the upstairs rooms), a well designed screening scheme could successfully mitigate this but would need to be proved at the application stage by the use of detailed sections and profile boards. To further mitigate any landscape impacts on this site, it would be necessary for an applicant to demonstrate through an approved scheme of working progressive restoration in a number of phases.

Ecology: No outstanding ecology issues that could not be addressed with an application. Restoration to acid grassland and/or heathland would add ecological interest to the site.

Highways: No outstanding transport issues that could not be addressed with an application. However a financial contribution towards improvement works along the B1354 and a routing agreement may be required.

Amenity: The nearest properties are less than 100m from the proposed allocation and there have been significant public concerns about a loss of amenity, in relation to air quality, dust, noise and vibration.

Water resources/quality: None noted.

Geodiversity: Extraction may expose geodiversity assets including the Wroxham and Happisburgh Formations. The proposers have indicated their willingness to allow access by authorised persons to study any geology exposed by future workings.

Other comments: none noted.

Conclusion: This site is considered suitable for allocation, subject to a number of conditions including:

  • An approved screening scheme, to mitigate any visual impacts identified;
  • A programme of mitigation measures to deal appropriately with any impacts identified from a noise and dust assessment
  • An approved scheme of working, including progressive restoration ,and;
  • Contributions to ensure highway improvements as detailed above.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (9) MIN 48

Parish

FELTHORPE

Location of site

Swannington Bottom Plantation, Felthorpe

Submitted by

Jon Cheetham Contracting

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

1,900,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

51.6

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission at or near the site.

Landscape: The site is relatively tranquil as defined by the CPRE and lies within an area of dark landscape on the county map. The site is remote from settlement, the nearest properties being approximately 300m to the north of Mill Lane. The site is effectively Swannington Bottom, a coniferous plantation. If a well designed working with a woodland screen is retained, the site would have a relatively low landscape impact. In landscape terms this site has relatively few constraints.

Ecology: Protected species could be present on the Upgate Common SSSI which is adjacent to the proposed site; and some protected species could be affected by the loss of woodland; however restoration to a mosaic of habitats (heathland, fen, and woodland) similar to the existing common could lead to the creation of areas of high conservation value. An appropriate buffer will need to be placed between any proposed workings and the Upgate Common SSSI; also any proposed working scheme will need to avoid dewatering of the site to mitigate hydrogeological impacts to the SSSI.

Highways: Link to the A140 Aylsham Road would necessitate additional HGV traffic passing through the village centre of Felthorpe; the use of this route for this proposal is therefore unacceptable. Access from the westernmost point of the site along the existing track (which would need to be improved), then turning left to pass through Gilham’s Heath Plantation, before a further left turn to the Reepham Road (a Designated Lorry Route) would be acceptable. Highways issues would be satisfactory so long as access was (via an existing track to the Reeepham Road and a routing agreement could be put in place.

Amenity: Steps would need to be taken to ensure that any impacts on amenity to nearby residents would be assessed.

Water resources/quality: Anglian Water indicates that no water supply assets would be affected. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering; any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater level and quality; especially the impacts of any dewatering on the hydrology of the SSSI which would need to be mitigated by any proposed scheme of working.

Geodiversity:

Other comments: The site contains a scheduled round barrow on its southern boundary which would require an appropriate buffer to both protect it and its setting within the wider landscape.

Conclusion: This site is acceptable subject to conditions including:

  • An approved landscape mitigation scheme;
  • An assessment of amenity impacts, and appropriate mitigation for any identified adverse impacts,
  • a scheme of working which mitigates the hydrogeological impacts on the Upgate Common SSSI and potential impacts on any protected species, including a buffer;
  • an approved restoration scheme which provides landscape, ecology, and biodiversity gains;
  • a suitable buffer zone to protect the round barrow and its setting, and;
  • a highways routing agreement.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (5) MIN 55

Parish

ATTLEBRIDGE

Location of site

Keepers Cottage, Attlebridge, Norwich,

Submitted by

Mrs D Mattioli

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel);
aggregate processing
Estimated reserves

525,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

1.9

Background information: There is no current mineral and waste planning permission at the site. An active sand and gravel working with planning permission lies to the north-east of the site. An active landfill with planning permission lies over 400m to the south east. The site has also been submitted as a potential waste site (WAS 24)

Landscape: The site lies within the larger Central North Norfolk national character area. Locally it is within a wider area of coniferous woodland plantations on former heathland interspersed with areas of arable farmland, and is bounded by a County Wildlife Site to the North. Apart from the property on the site, the site is remote from property. Provided access could be taken through the existing active landfill site, the impact of working this area would be relatively low on the wider countryside whereas an access which followed the existing track to the property would have an adverse landscape impact on the Wensum Valley. The site lies between two areas of former mineral working and landfill.

Ecology: Although the site is close to the river Wensum SAC the principal impact would occur if dewatering was planned, provided this does not form part of any working scheme there is no objection in principle regarding impacts on the SAC. There are two CWSs close to the site; and it is likely that bats roost within the area; therefore a bat survey would need to be carried out as part of any future planning application and suitable mitigation measure incorporated if bat roosts/feeding areas were identified. Development of the site could provide long term ecological gains provided that a high quality restoration scheme which provided habitats such as heathland was agreed.

Highways: This site lies between two public highways (A1067 Fakenham Road and C261 Reepham Road) both of which are considered by the Highway Authority as suitable for HGV traffic. There are no significant highways concerns so long as the existing access to the landfill site is used for this site (via King William’s Drive to Reepham Road).

Amenity: There were no impacts on amenity raised.

Water resources/quality: No Anglian water assets are affected by the proposal.

Geodiversity: There are locally significant geodiversity assets which may be impacted by this proposal; this will need to be addressed in any future application to provide mitigation.

Other comments: National Grid indicated that there are high pressure gas transmission pipelines within the vicinity of the site which will need to be taken into account by any developers. Hellesdon Parish council registered its concerns regarding impacts from increases in the number of vehicles travelling through the parish to access the site.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation subject to conditions including:

  • An approved scheme of working and restoration; taking into account the potential for impacts on the Wensum SAC from dewatering and fully mitigating these;
  • A scheme of working and restoration which takes into account the geodiversity assets and provides an opportunity for research.
  • A scheme of working which takes into account the presence of high pressure gas transmission pipelines in the vicinity,
  • A routing agreement, and;
  • A survey to identify any protected species or habitats and mitigation for any impacts.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 64

Parish

HORSTEAD WITH STANNINGHALL

Location of site

Horstead Quarry Extension, Grange Farm, Horstead

Submitted by

D K Symes Assoc. on behalf of Longwater Gravel Co. Ltd.

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves 350,000 tonnes (area A)
650,000 tonnes (areas B & C)
Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

24.1

Background information: No current or waste planning permission at the site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction immediately adjoins the western and northern boundaries of the site. It is proposed that the site is worked as a continuation of the currently permitted area to the north.

Landscape: This is a large area of arable land and divides into three areas; area (a), a large flat arable field to the east, area (b), a smaller flat triangular arable field to the west separated from area (a) by a hedge with mature hedgerow trees and area (c) a detached small more undulating set a side field to the north of the existing quarry access road. The site lies in an area of relatively tranquil landscape as defined by the CPRE and in an area of dark landscape on the county map. Areas (a) and (b) are remote from property although (b) is more visible in the local landscape. Whilst it should be possible to design a scheme of working to reduce the landscape impact of working this land, removal of the hedgerow trees and between the fields would have a high landscape impact. Area (c) is smaller and more undulating although again it may be possible to design an acceptable scheme of working for this site. In terms of the areas proposed area (a) has low constraints in landscape terms; area (b) is a smaller parcel, is more open to public views and may be harder to restore retaining the hedgerow to the east; and area (c) is a detached, smaller area of intrinsically attractive countryside closer to property and would have an unacceptable landscape impact.

Ecology: restoration to arable with wide margins, hedgerows and some woodland would be beneficial ecologically.

Highways: A routing agreement is necessary and it would also be necessary to restrict the annual volume of extraction per year. Financial contributions would be required towards improving the B1354 between Waterloo Road and Horstead will also be needed.

Amenity: There are properties within 100m of parts of the site and the amenity impacts of dust, noise and vibration would need to be assessed, it may be unacceptable to allocate these parts of the site.

Water resources/quality: Anglian Water have indicated that no water supply assets are affected by the proposal.

Geodiversity: Geodiversity assets of local significance may be impacted on by the proposal and it may be beneficial to retain some open faces on restoration for study as well as a watching brief for any potential geodiversity feature that may be uncovered during the operational phases.

Other comments: none noted

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation there being other more appropriate sites to meet the required mineral apportionment. The site is not needed within the current plan period; area (c) would be considered unsuitable on landscape and amenity grounds; however areas (a) and (b) would be considered at the review of the plan subject to conditions including:

  • Appropriate highways improvements and a routing agreement
  • A limit on total extraction to no greater than current extraction levels
  • A noise and dust assessment to identify potential impacts on the amenity of nearby properties and appropriate mitigation.
  • A scheme of working and restoration which takes into account the geodiversity assets and provides an opportunity for research.
  • An appropriate approved scheme of working and restoration.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

No Comments MIN 65

Parish

HORSTEAD WITH STANNINGHALL

Location of site

Land on Trafford estate, Stanninghall Road, Frettenham, near Horstead

Submitted by

Tarmac Limited

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

4,500,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

53.3

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission at the site. The land immediately to the south of the site has an extant planning permission for sand and gravel extraction. It is proposed that the site is worked as a continuation of the currently permitted area to the south and would therefore utilise the same access.

Landscape: The site is on a plateau which lies in an area of relatively tranquil landscape as defined by the CPRE and in an area of dark landscape on the county map. The site is currently arable farmland subdivided hedgerows with some mature trees, it should be possible to design a scheme of working which would have an acceptable impact on the wider landscape. In landscape terms this site has relatively few constraints, although two properties will have views of the site, which will need to be addressed in any subsequent application.

Ecology: There are opportunities for a suitable restoration scheme to improve the biodiversity of the site. It is possible that protected species may be present on the site (Barn owls and/or bats) and this would need to be established by a survey at the application stage and suitable mitigation measures put in place if a population of a protected species is established.

Highways: the existing quarry access must be used and it must be established that the existing visibility splays are appropriate.

Amenity: There are concerns that with properties within 100m of parts of the site there may be unacceptable impacts on amenity without mitigation measures. This would need to be assessed as part of the application process.

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency had indicated that they would raise an objection in principle to this site on the grounds that part of it was within a Groundwater Source Protection Zone (SPZ) 1; however a review by the Environment Agency has removed this SPZ along with some others within Norfolk.

Geodiversity: It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interested are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: Archaeological evaluation would be needed with any future application; there are also potential impacts on a scheduled Roman camp and a Grade II* listed church which would need to assessed and suitable mitigation incorporated into any future application.

Conclusion: This is has relatively few constraints which could not be addressed by a suitable application; however there is a question of phasing of the development based on the likely life of the permitted quarry to the south meaning that MIN 65 is unlikely to be worked within the current Plan period therefore it is not proposed to allocate the site at this time, although it may be considered as part of the first review of the mineral and waste site specific allocations DPD.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (4) MIN 96A

Parish

SPIXWORTH and HORSHAM ST FAITH and NEWTON ST FAITH

Location of site

Land at Grange Farm, Spixworth

Submitted by

Mr M Falcon on behalf of DM Cook and Partners

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

1,000,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

48.16

Background information: Adjacent to the site is an existing permitted site for aggregate processing which is linked to an active permitted sand and gravel pit located less than 300metres to the south.

Landscape: The site within an area of moderate tranquillity as defined on the CPRE map and is identified as a dark landscape on the county map. The site lies approximately 0.5 km from the edge of Spixworth and 0.6km from Horsham St. Faiths. The eastern boundary has now been withdrawn further west and the distance from St. Peter’s Church and Grange Farm may be sufficient together with appropriate mitigation to ameliorate the impacts on the settings of these buildings however this would require further detailed assessment. Impacts on the two detached cottages on the southern boundary of the site are still likely to be significant, and appropriate assessment and mitigation measures would be necessary.

Ecology: No outstanding ecology issues that could not be addressed with an application and restoration to meadow or parkland would be beneficial, along with improved public access.

Highways: The current access route to the A140 passes north through Frettenham along a Designated Lorry Route, a traffic assessment would be required as well as potentially a routing agreement to limit the number of HGVs using the route to existing volumes.

Amenity: There are concerns that with properties within 100m of parts of the site there may be unacceptable impacts on amenity without mitigation measures. This would need to be assessed as part of the application process.

Water resources/quality: There is a rising foul sewer crossing the site, either the boundary of the site will need to be amended or the sewer diverted at the developers cost.

Geodiversity: Although the site is not likely to be of national significance; it would be useful to have a watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interest are uncovered. Retention of some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: This site would require a programme of archaeological evaluation with any planning application, as the site contains the remnants of a Second World War training area along with possible First World War and Auxiliary unit military features.

Conclusion: The site is considered to be suitable for allocation subject to the inclusion of the following conditions:

  • a traffic assessment would be required to assess the impacts of HGV traffic along the current access route, and appropriate mitigation
  • An approved programme of archaeological evaluation and appropriate fieldwork if required.
  • An approved scheme of working and restoration.
  • A noise and dust assessment to identify potential impacts on nearby properties and public rights of way and appropriate mitigation

Site allocated.

No Comments 7.1.3 Great Yarmouth mineral site allocations

Site ref no.

View Comments (71) MIN 38A

Parish

FRITTON

Location of site

Waveney Forest, Fritton

Submitted by

Martin Robeson Planning Practice & Brett Aggregates on behalf of Newcombe Estates Company Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand, and gravel), aggregate processing and concrete batching plant

Estimated reserves

1,870,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

81.69

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site

Landscape: The site lies within a relatively tranquil area of countryside, although the presence of overhead power lines and pylons does detract slightly from the landscape. The northern and western part of the site falls within the Broads area, which has a status equivalent to that of a National Park. Of the four potential phases of working proposed, the first three fall within the Broads area in whole or part. However, the submitted (revised) plans show that a ‘screen’ of existing trees would be retained around the boundary of the site. It is considered unlikely that the working of the site would impact adversely on long views into the site from the River Waveney and the marshes. The proposal to restore the worked areas to a mix of wet (deciduous) woodland and heathland (with some reed ponds) would be a more ‘natural’ and appropriate Broads landscape than the current coniferous woodland.

The higher areas of the site within the forest – generally land to the south and east – would also be screened by the retention of a block of perimeter woodland.

The bunding and screening of the haul road to the A143 would need to be designed carefully to ensure that the impact on the setting of Waveney Forest was acceptable, and the tarmacking of the road (necessary for dust suppression) would add an urbanising element to the landscape. However, with the removal of the tarmacked road and the bunding on restoration of the site, the impacts are likely to be satisfactory. Some additional boundary planting at the back of New Road properties would also be necessary.

It is felt that the considerable reduction in site area proposed by Brett Aggregates, along with further reductions that the County Council believes are necessary to protect amenity (see Amenity below), and the retention of the ‘screen’ of trees on the site boundary, allied with the high-quality restoration plan, means that the landscape impacts of the proposal are likely, on balance, to be acceptable. However, it is acknowledged that it is a finely-balanced case

Ecology: The site is about 2km from Breydon Water SPA and the Broadland SPA, which are designated for their wetland bird interest. Although a more detailed Appropriate Assessment would need to be carried out as part of an ecological study supporting any planning application, Natural England’s view is that working the site would be unlikely to have an adverse impact on the two SPAs. Given the distance to the SPAs, and the fact that a reasonable screen of deciduous trees would be left between the site and the marshes/River Waveney, this view is supported by the Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment for the site, which concludes that there would be no likely significant effect (NLSE) on the SPAs so long as appropriate mitigation measures are followed (e.g. an adequate ‘stand-off’ zone)

A small part of Waveney Forest itself is classified as a County Wildlife Site (this is a ‘V’ shape in the eastern part of the site) and Fritton Warren South CWS adjoins the south-east part of MIN 38. Fauna known to be present in Waveney Forest include various woodland birds, amphibians, reptiles (especially adders), mammals and the European protected snail Vertigo angustior. Because of the significant areas of the forest which would be unworked, and progressive working and restoration elsewhere, the birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals are unlikely to be ‘crowded out’ or subject to excessive disturbance, although some trapping and relocation of adders and other reptiles might be needed. Vertigo angustior requires unshaded, damp habitats, typically grassland on the edge of wetlands; because it does not occur in areas of coniferous woodland, and the only areas to be worked are coniferous woodland, it is considered unlikely that there would be any adverse impact on the population.

Restoration to wet woodland and heathland, with reed lakes, would be ecologically beneficial, particularly if (as proposed) no deciduous woodland would be lost as a result of working

Highways: The proposed haul route from the plant site to the A143 would be across an area of grazing land. Satisfactory access to the A143 will require a dedicated right-turn lane; it seems likely that adequate visibility splays can be achieved, but this may require the loss of a group of oak trees with Tree Protection Orders. The A143 is a Principal Road, the highest tier on the County Council’s official route hierarchy, and is thus acceptable in principal to accommodate HGV traffic. With the likely scale of HGV movements as submitted by Brett Aggregates being 30 per day (15 in and 15 out), the Highway Authority is satisfied that there are unlikely to be unacceptable impacts on highway safety on the A143. The Highways Agency does not consider that the site HGV movements would have a significant effect on the A143/A12 (trunk road) junction in Gorleston/Great Yarmouth. As HGV movements would be spread throughout the working day, the impact on peak-time congestion into and out of Great Yarmouth is likely to be very small

Amenity: Although there are only two public rights-of-way in Waveney Forest, informal public access across much of the rest of the area is tolerated by the landowners (although the forest is closed on a few occasions each year). There are likely to be some impacts on those who use the rights-of-way for quiet enjoyment of the countryside, and further modification of the plans to introduce wider ‘buffer’ zones for the users of footpaths is appropriate (see site plan). With these changes, and appropriate design and methods of working, and with greater footpath availability on restoration, there would be longer-term benefits. Because the site will be screened by the retention of the deciduous trees on the edge of the forest, there should not be any adverse impacts on boaters using the River Waveney, save for some limited noise during some of the phases of working.

The working and processing of minerals and the production of concrete, and their transport via the haul road to the A143, will inevitably generate some noise and dust. Those who would be most affected by this are the residents of two dwellings within the forest itself (Forest Lodge, to the north-west, and Round House, to the south-east), Fritton Warren (a property to the west of the haul road) and the residents of New Road (to the east of the haul road and the forest). Given that most of the conifers in the forest have very little foliage below crown height, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the screening provided by the coniferous woodland to mitigate noise and dust, so some advanced planting of new trees surrounding the areas to be worked would be appropriate. The plant site would also need to be ‘sunk’ into the ground as far as is practicable, and fully bunded. ‘White noise’ reversing alarms would help reduce any noise impacts compared to standard reversing alarms. In comments on the site, Great Yarmouth’s Environmental Health Officer has expressed his “particular concerns” as to the likely effects of dust on Forest Lodge and Round House, so an additional stand-off zone between Forest Lodge and Round House and areas of working would be necessary to protect amenity.

The proposer has submitted details of the suggested screening and bunding of the haul road, and although there is insufficient information to be certain, it seems likely that noise impact on nearby residents would be satisfactory when judged against the current background levels (the A143 is a fairly busy road). In order to limit dust production, the proposer has volunteered that the haul road would be fully tarmacked, with the normal wheel-washing and mud-removal processes for HGVs.

Potential adverse impacts on air quality have been expressed as a health concern by many local residents, particularly particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) from combustion engines on site. However, plant vehicles burn standard diesel and the additional impacts above background levels are not likely to breach current national PM10 thresholds (as expressed in the National Air Quality Standards). A target level for PM2.5 concentration of 25µg/m3 is likely to be required to met by 2015 (after being introduced in 2010), with a reduction to 20µg/m3 by 2020. Although some studies have shown that charged particles have a greater chance of remaining within the lungs, the impact of ‘ionised’ particles (caused by the power lines crossing the site) is not thought to be a significant concern at Fritton. The Health Protection Agency has been consulted on MIN 38, and it concludes that: ”From the information provided, it seems unlikely that there will be significant adverse health effects associated with a quarry at this site”. Although the HPA’s conclusion has been criticised by some local residents as being based on outdated science, it is clear that, irrespective of this, it would need to be demonstrated (though further investigation) that the operation of the site could be meet the impending PM2.5­ targets

Water resources/quality: Various concerns have been raised about potential impacts on groundwater, the River Waveney, Fritton Lake and an Essex & Suffolk Water abstraction point near Fritton Lake. However, the hydrogeological and hydrological study supplied by Brett Aggregates states that with standard operating procedures (e.g. bunding fuel stores with 110% capacity, sealed drainage systems for the wheel-wash area etc), no dewatering of the site (‘wet’ working will be needed in some areas) and the installation of a groundwater monitoring network around the site to monitor groundwater levels, there would be no significant risks to groundwater or surface water; the County Council Hydrogeologist concurs with these conclusions. The Environment Agency has not raised any objections in principle to this site on water quality grounds, although it is clear that standard measures to mitigate risk (e.g. those listed above and more) would be needed

Geodiversity: This site could reveal nationally important remains for early and middle Pleistocene early human settlements in NW Europe, perhaps linking to finds at Norton Subcourse and Pakefield (in Suffolk). Preservation of a section of former cliff-line of Holocene age on the site would be desirable and a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase when features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered would be vital should this site be worked

Other comments: English Heritage previously raised concerns about the impact of the site on a number of listed buildings in St Olaves and along the River Waveney. However, now that the site would be ‘enclosed’ within the forest, it is felt that there would not be any visual harm to the setting of these listed buildings.

The Fritton area has been the site of various military activities ranging from the Civil War to World War II, and there are a number of archaeological remains. A gun emplacement at Bell Hill is thought to date from the Civil War, but because it is approximately 250m from the site boundary, it is not believed that its setting would be impacted adversely. A series of World War II defensive structures within the site boundary, including trenches and dugouts, have recently been investigated by English Heritage. Although these structures are not scheduled or listed, they are of value and further investigative work would be necessary (paragraph HE9.6 of PPS5). There should be a presumption in favour of retaining these structures, and so further work would need to be undertaken to provide better information on their value and any conservation strategy

Conclusion: Following the conclusion in the previous Further Issues & Options DPD that the site was unacceptable, the proposer (Brett Aggregates) has significantly reduced the site area and submitted a series of reports considering hydrology/hydrogeology, landscape, cultural heritage, noise, air quality and highways. In particular, the shrinking of the site into the forest, leaving a ‘screen’ of trees surrounding it, reduces the impacts on landscape, ecology and on local listed buildings. Further reductions to the site area would, however, be necessary to ensure acceptable amenity impacts on local residents and those using the forest for recreation purposes, and further detailed work on the military archaeology would also be necessary to inform a scheme of working.

It is clear that a number of areas would need more detailed investigations to support a planning application, including (but not limited to) noise, dust, ecology, military archaeology and groundwater, and the proposed high-quality restoration scheme for the site would need some further refinement.

There are advantages of working the site – in particular the proximity to Great Yarmouth, direct connection to the A143, a high quality biodiversity- and landscape-led restoration, and the opportunity to potentially reveal rare and valuable archaeological remains (of early human settlements) and Ice-Age geomorphological features. However, there are some disadvantages – there would be some loss of woodland habitats and potential disturbance to wildlife, extraction within the Broads area, impact on military archaeology and there could be potential impacts (noise and dust) on local residents, particularly on dwellings within the forest itself.

MIN 38 remains a finely-balanced case and whilst it may be possible for an acceptable scheme to be developed, with a reduced need for sand and gravel across the county, an assessment of all potential sites concludes that there are sites elsewhere in the county with fewer disadvantages.

Site not allocated.

No Comments 7.1.4 King’s Lynn and West Norfolk mineral site allocations

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 01

Parish

BRANCASTER

Location of site

Thieves’ Hole, Burnham Deepdale

Submitted by

Mr A Borthwick

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction

Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

28.3

Background information: No current minerals or waste planning permission on this site.

Landscape: The site comprises open arable land; the western part of the site forms the top of the undulating plateau whereas the eastern part slopes downward towards the east. A small copse of trees lies within the eastern part of the site. This site lies within the AONB and sites should be allocated exceptionally within this area, where they are either in the national interest or form part of a wider scheme to enhance the landscape. A proposal on this site would have the potential to impact adversely on the quiet enjoyment of the countryside and cause the loss of a small woodland feature and is therefore considered unacceptable on landscape grounds.

Ecology: Restoration to either arable with field margins & hedgerows or heathland habitat to complement Barrow common would be ecologically beneficial.

Highways: The local highway network is inadequate and routing would cause HGVs to either use the A149 coast road, which is very narrow in places, or access the B1155 in Burnham Market. Neither route is acceptable.

Amenity: None noted.

Water resources/quality: None noted.

Geodiversity: Although the site is not likely to be of national significance; it would be useful to have a watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interest are uncovered. Retention of some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: The site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation due to the landscape and highways impacts.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 5

Parish

EAST WINCH

Location of site

Land off East winch Road, East Winch, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (carstone)

Estimated reserves

698,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

5.7

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission at this site. The site lies immediately to the east of an active quarry with planning permission for carstone extraction and inert landfill. The site is also submitted as a waste allocation (WAS 89). It is proposed that the site is worked as an extension of an existing quarry and that following reinstatement ‘slightly above original levels’ the after use of the site ‘ will be specifically aimed at improving biodiversity’.

Landscape: The site lies on a plateau above the River Nar. The site is bounded by significant areas of mineral and waste workings to the west and south. To the north an established shelter belt provides some screening and the eastern boundary of the site borders farmland. The site could be worked for mineral with mitigation measures to prevent significant adverse impacts. Restoration would be more problematical, as there are uncertainties regarding any restoration that relied on imported material, a low level restoration could be achieved however this would require wide gently sloping margins if it were not to look incongruous in the wider landscape. The site would also need to be phased with the other mineral and waste workings in the vicinity if there was not to be an over-concentration. These issues could be dealt with satisfactorily within the application process, and this would render the site suitable for extraction in landscape terms.

Ecology: This site is viewed as an opportunity on restoration to provide connection corridors to surrounding sites, so providing an extensive ecological network in the area with improved biodiversity.

Highways: There are no outstanding highway issues that could not be addressed through the application process. The construction of East Winch Road needs improvement and contributions to these would need to be made and the improvement works carried out prior to commencement on any new East Winch site.

Amenity: There were concerns raised regarding noise,dust and/or vibration which need to assessed as part of any application process and any adverse impacts mitigated for.

Water resources/quality: The carstone deposits on this site form part of a principal aquifer, as such any developer will be required to produce a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA) to identify potential risks to the groundwater and suitable mitigation. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points.

Geodiversity: It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interested are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: The site is bisected by a high pressure gas transmission pipeline which would require a suitable standoff zone surrounding it and additional works to protect the stability of the pipeline, by for example constructing suitable crossing points for heavy plant. In this case such a large area of the site might be excluded from extraction together with works to protect the pipeline from plant as to question the viability of the site.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be less acceptable with more constraints than the nearby site MIN 6 therefore it is not proposed to allocate MIN 5.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 6

Parish

MIDDLETON

Location of site

Land off East Winch Road, Mill Drove, Middleton

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (carstone) and processing

Estimated reserves

1,416,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

10.2

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. The site lies immediately to the north of a large area of permitted mineral and waste operations. The site has also been submitted as a waste allocation (WAS 25). It is proposed that restoration ‘will be to a managed heathland type habitat at the lower level’.

Landscape: The site lies on plateau land above the River Nar; and is a fairly flat agricultural field with a tree belt along its northern edge and some hedgerow trees along the southern boundary. The site is in an area of past and present mineral workings and waste sites; with such uses on all sides but the northern boundary. Any working would be screened from public viewpoints this area is defined as being of moderate tranquillity by the CPRE, and is identified as an area of dark landscape on the county map. Any restoration scheme to a lower level will need to be carefully designed to ensure hedgerows and trees are retained in a suitable manner and that a low level restoration sits comfortably in a landscape which will have to accommodate the domed landforms of the two adjoining landfill sites.

Ecology: This site is within an area of high wildlife value; which offers the opportunity for a high quality restoration scheme featuring heathland to offer improved biodiversity through connections to adjoining sites offering a more extensive ecological network.

Highways: The proposed access route makes use of an internal haul road from the site to the access of the existing quarry onto the East Winch Road. While the distance travelled on the East Winch Road from this access is relatively short, it should be recognised that workshop and storage facilities are located on Mill Drove; therefore a suitable contribution will be required to carry out necessary improvement works to East Winch Road, these contributions will need to be made and works carried out prior to the commencement on any new East Winch site. A Traffic Assessment would be required to identify any capacity/safety issues at the East Winch Road/A47 junction if this site is to be allocated.

Amenity: Concerns have been raised about impacts to amenity caused by HGV movements, dust, noise and vibration; these would need to be assessed and suitable mitigation put in place as part of any application process.

Water resources/quality: A 24 inch water main runs along part of the site boundary, either the site boundary would need to be amended; or protection/diversion of the water main would need to be undertaken at the developer’s expense to the satisfaction of Anglian Water. The site is in an area with a high water table located on the Carstone formation principal aquifer which is identified as highly vulnerable, and it is thought that dewatering would be necessary to the working of the site. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. The developer would also be required to provide an acceptable Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA), and suitable mitigation measures as result of any findings of adverse impacts, or the Environment Agency would consider objecting to the site.

Geodiversity: There are geodiversity features of potentially regional significance which may be impacted by the working of the site, with glacial till and glacio-fluvial gravel deposits of high research value

Other comments: National Grid have indicated that a high pressure gas transmission pipeline is located in the vicinity of the site and that they would wish to be consulted on any future application to ensure the safety of the pipeline.

Conclusion: It is proposed to allocate this site subject conditions including:

  • An approved scheme of working and restoration scheme which addresses both landscape, ecology and geodiversity requirements;
  • Phasing of the site with the other carstone quarries nearby, and;
  • Suitable highway improvements to address the traffic which will use Mill Drove.
  • A noise and dust assessment to identify any potential impacts and appropriate mitigation.
  • A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment to identify any potential impacts to groundwater and appropriate mitigation.
  • An approved agreement between the mineral operator and the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership for a programme of research and study of the geodiversity features on the site.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 17

Parish

EAST WINCH

Location of site

Land at Lower Farm, East Winch, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

210,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

2.0

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission at this site. The site lies immediately to the east of a former sand and gravel pit and south and east of a large area of permitted existing mineral and waste operations at Blackborough end. Restoration to a small water area is proposed, involving the formation of margins ‘to encourage a heathland lake habitat with shoreline sand cliffs, Scots pine, heathland scrub and grassland and sandy/gravely shoreline areas’.

Landscape: The site lies on a wider area of well wooded undulating plateau land above the River Nar. This site is a relatively small area close to property (although the owners of the nearest property have proposed the site). The deposit is deep which would make a suitable restoration more difficult to achieve. Users of the adjacent footpaths would be adversely affected. The site therefore has constraints in landscape terms but could be suitable as a short-term after-use led proposal.

Ecology: No ecology issues that could not be addressed through an application; restoration to fishing lakes would be acceptable.

Highways: No outstanding transport issues that could not be addressed through the application process. The East Winch Road will require improvements for which the developers would need to make a contribution and improvements would need to be carried out prior to the commencement of extraction.

Amenity: Concerns were raised as to possible noise, dust and vibration affecting nearby properties, an assessment would be required as part of any future application and adverse impacts would require suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: The site overlies a buried channel with a confining layer of Nar Valley Clay, pressure created in the channel beds causes artesian flows to nearby boreholes and the Environment Agency would oppose sand and gravel extraction in this area unless it could be demonstrated that the risk to the underlying aquifer through breaches of the confining clay layer have been fully considered and mitigated against. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points.

Geodiversity: It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interested are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: In light of the landscape impacts identified and the risks of a breach to the confined aquifer it is considered that there are other more acceptable sites, and therefore MIN 17 is not considered suitable for allocation.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 19

Parish

PENTNEY

Location of site

Eastern extension to Pentney Quarry, Pentney

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

700,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

7.2

Background information: There is no current mineral extraction permission on this site; On part of the site is a permitted aggregate processing plant and asphalt plant, currently permission is until 2016. The site lies adjacent to an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction.

Landscape: The site is comprised of aggregate processing and asphalt plant on the northern part of the site with the southern part of the site being rough grassland. The site lies within the Nar Valley floodplain, in an area of farmland; which is defined as a core river valley. It is bounded by an active sand and gravel extraction site on the western flank, which has impacted on the river valley. The site could be viewed from a footpath that runs along the River Nar and is likely to have visual impacts on users. An acceptable restoration scheme in landscape terms could be reedbed with small areas of open water. The site would need to be phased together with other workings in the river valley to avoid over concentration. The site could impact on the setting of the listed priory building due to the open nature of the landscape which would therefore make screening itself intrusive. The proposed access route also has the potential to impact on the listed priory.

Ecology: The site is in close proximity to a number of areas of high wildlife value. A wetland extension to the existing open water areas adjacent is likely to provide an appropriate restoration in ecology terms. Concerns regarding the impacts of silt ingress both from the site and from transport routes on nearby protected sites would need to be assessed and suitable mitigation measures identified as part of the application process.

Highways: Traffic from this site should use the existing access route from Pentney Quarry along Common Road to the A47 and established routing agreements. A Traffic Assessment would be required to assess any capacity/highway safety concerns at the junction of Common Road and the A47, improvements or phasing may be required. English Heritage have concerns regarding the impact of HGV traffic on the setting of the listed remains of Pentney Priory.

Amenity: Concerns have been made regarding the impacts of noise, dust, light pollution and vibration on nearby properties; this would need to be assessed in any application and suitable mitigation put in place.

Water resources/quality: The site is in Flood Risk Zone 3 and a Flood Risk Assessment will be required as part of an application to identify any potential adverse impacts. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrological Impact Assessment would be required to identify any impacts on the River Nar and suitable mitigation.

Geodiversity: This site could potentially contain geodiversity features of national significance. In order to mitigate impacts on these finite features, It would be important to have a watching brief during extraction in case potential features are uncovered and the retention of some open faces as part of the restoration to aid scientific study.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation, as more appropriate sites to meet the mineral need have been identified in the Core Strategy. The site may be reconsidered during the review of the Mineral site specific allocations DPD, and a number of issues which would need to be addressed have been identified including,

An appropriate restoration scheme, which could provide long term landscape and ecology gains over the current site use. Suitable screening of the footpath would be required

Phasing of the Pentney sites to ensure that an intensification of HGV traffic does not occur; phasing is likely to ensure that highways impacts and the impacts of traffic on Pentney Priory are acceptable; it is considered that the site itself is sufficiently distant from the Priory, although all impacts will have to be quantified as part of any future application process.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 29

Parish

MIDDLETON

Location of site

Priory Farm, Blackborough End, King’s Lynn, PE32 1SQ

Submitted by

Bidwells on behalf of Mrs A Carter

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

7.3

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. There are permitted mineral operations which lie to the north, east and south of the site. Blackborough End landfill lies to the north.

Landscape: The site lies within the Nar valley landscape and comprises gently sloping improved grassland, which is divided by hedgerows interspersed with mature trees which form a significant feature which would be lost by any working. Owing to the sloping nature of the site it would be difficult to screen from the west. There concerns that any restoration scheme that incorporated large water bodies would be unacceptable in landscape terms. There are also concerns that any mineral extraction and subsequent restoration would significantly affect the setting of scheduled remains of Blackborough Priory, and English Heritage are likely to object to any planning proposal for mineral extraction on this site.

Ecology: There are relatively few issues, but it is recognised that restoration to wetland lakes would be beneficial ecologically; it would not be in landscape terms.

Highways: There are no outstanding highway issues that could not be addressed through the application process. The construction of East Winch Road needs improvement and contributions to these would need to be made and the improvement works carried out prior to commencement on any new East Winch site. A Traffic Assessment would be required to identify any capacity/safety issues at the East Winch Road/A47 junction if this site is to be allocated.

Amenity: Concerns were raised as to possible noise, dust and vibration affecting nearby properties, an assessment would be required as part of any future application and adverse impacts would require suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: The site overlies a buried channel with a confining layer of Nar Valley Clay, pressure created in the channel beds cause artesian flows to nearby boreholes and the Environment Agency would oppose sand and gravel extraction in this area unless it could be demonstrated that the risk to the underlying Nar Valley aquifer through breaches of the confining clay layer as well as extraction directly into the Sandringham sands aquifer have been fully considered and mitigated against. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Geodiversity: It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interested are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: It is considered that the impacts on landscape features and the risks of a breach to the confined aquifer would be unacceptable, therefore this site will not be allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 30

Parish

MIDDLETON

Location of site

Priory Farm, Blackborough End, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Bidwells on behalf of Mrs A Carter

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

3.5

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. Permitted mineral operations lie to the north and south of the site. Permitted waste operations lie to the north (Blackborough End landfill).

Landscape: The site lies within the Nar Valley and comprises improved grazing to the south of priory Farm. The site is in a moderately tranquil area as defined by the CPRE and is identified as a dark landscape on the county map. Due to the sites location in a river valley there are landscape constraints however these are moderated to some extent by the degree to which the valley has already been disturbed; however on balance taking into account the effect that working on this site would have on the setting of the scheduled Blackborough priory, and in particular the concerns raised that further development would risk the priory becoming an island within the workings.

Ecology: The loss of grassland would have ecological impacts and in particular any restoration involving the creation of open water would be unfavourable in biodiversity terms as there is already a possible over concentration of these features within the Nar Valley; a more favourable restoration would be to wet grassland/reedbeds, which could result in biodiversity improvements.

Highways: There are no outstanding highway issues that could not be addressed through the application process. The construction of East Winch Road needs improvement and contributions to these would need to be made and the improvement works carried out prior to commencement on any new East Winch site. A Traffic Assessment would be required to identify any capacity/safety issues at the East Winch Road/A47 junction if this site is to be allocated.

Amenity: Concerns were raised as to possible noise, dust and vibration affecting nearby properties, an assessment would be required as part of any future application and adverse impacts would require suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: The site overlies a buried channel with a confining layer of Nar Valley Clay, pressure created in the channel beds cause artesian flows to nearby boreholes and the Environment Agency would oppose sand and gravel extraction in this area unless it could be demonstrated that the risk to the underlying Nar Valley aquifer through breaches of the confining clay layer as well as extraction directly into the Sandringham sands aquifer have been fully considered and mitigated against. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Geodiversity: This site could potentially contain geodiversity features of regional significance. It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: Part of the site is crossed by a high pressure gas main which would require a suitable standoff zone surrounding it and additional works to protect the stability of the pipeline, by for example constructing suitable crossing points for heavy plant. Alternatively diversion of main would be required, which would have to be carried out by agreement with National Grid and at the developer’s expense.

Conclusion: It is considered that the impacts on landscape features and the risks of a breach to the confined aquifer would be unacceptable, therefore this site will not be allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 31

Parish

EAST WINCH and MIDDLETON and WORMEGAY

Location of site

Priory Farm, Blackborough End, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Bidwells on behalf of Mrs A Carter

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

33.8

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. Permitted mineral operations lie to the north and south of the site and permitted waste operations to the south.

Landscape: The site lies within the Nar valley and comprises a large area of improved grassland, with blocks of carr woodland, and is within an area which has been intensively worked for minerals. The area is defined as moderately tranquil by the CPRE and is identified as an area of dark landscape on the county map. There are intermittent views from footpaths in the area but these could be screened relatively easily and the existing woodland blocks form a landscape feature. Restoration to open water could result in an over concentration of such features in this area, however small areas of the site could be worked without significant impact if a suitable restoration scheme could be agreed. Working the whole site may affect the setting of the scheduled remains of Blackborough Priory, English Heritage have indicated that only workings at the eastern end of the site would be acceptable.

Ecology: Restoration to open water would need to be avoided, so a mixture of wetland/fen/reedbed, grassland/meadow and wet woodland would be ideal. There are no outstanding ecological issues that could not be dealt with during the application process. There may be impacts on protected sites from silt ingress and runoff, this would need to be assessed and mitigation measures put in place.

Highways: The East Winch Road would require improvements, and contributions to these would need to be made by developers of the site, and the improvements made, before commencement on any new East Winch site. A Traffic Assessment would be required to identify any capacity/safety issues at the East Winch Road/A47 if this site is to be allocated .

Amenity: Concerns have been made regarding the impacts of noise, dust and vibration on nearby properties; this would need to be assessed in any application and suitable mitigation put in place.

Water resources/quality: Parts of this site are within Flood risk Zone 3 and would require a Flood Risk Assessment to ensure any adverse impacts are identified and suitably mitigated. The site overlies a buried channel with a confining layer of Nar Valley Clay, pressure created in the channel beds cause artesian flows to nearby boreholes and the Environment Agency would oppose sand and gravel extraction in this area unless it could be demonstrated that the risk to the underlying Nar Valley aquifer through breaches of the confining clay layer as well as extraction directly into the Sandringham sands aquifer have been fully considered and mitigated against. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Anglian Water have indicated that part of the site lies within the safeguarded zone of a Sewage Treatment Works and that a sewer is close to the site boundary and they would wish to be consulted in any future application.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially important and finite geodiversity features. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments:

Conclusion: Working a smaller area at the eastern end of the site may be acceptable subject to suitable highway improvements, phasing and restoration scheme being agreed; A Hydrogeological Impact Assessment would also be necessary and suitable mitigation to protect groundwater resources and to prevent damage by runoff and silt ingress to the nearby protected sites. All of the above depends on evidence of a viable reserve in the eastern part of the site being provided; therefore this site is not suitable for allocation in the current plan.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 32

Parish

WEST DEREHAM

Location of site

Land at Grange Farm Crimplesham/ West Dereham

Submitted by

Frimstone Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) and aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

950,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

9.0

Background information: There is no current mineral or waste planning permission on the site but there is an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction to the north separated by the C543, Main road. Planning permission for most of the site area was granted in May 2009, so it is only the remaining area left as MIN 32 (see plan). The site has also been submitted as a waste allocation (WAS 56).

Landscape: The site comprises a parcel of open arable land which slopes to the south west. The site located in a wider area of farmland with scattered plantation blocks. The site is visible from the village of West Dereham, and from some properties on the edge of Crimplesham. There are also concerns regarding the impact on the setting of a scheduled ancient monument to the east of Grange Farm. The site is in an area of moderately tranquil landscape as defined on the CPRE map and as an area of dark landscape on the county map. The open nature of the site and its surroundings would make screening any working difficult and it is therefore considered to be unsuitable in landscape terms.

Ecology: The site will require surveys to identify any populations of protected species and suitable mitigation will need to be put in place in to protect any populations. There are no other outstanding ecology issues that could not be addressed in any future application.

Highways: Provided that material is removed from the site via conveyor to the existing site for processing and onward transportation there are no outstanding highway issues that could not be addressed in any future application.

Amenity: Concerns were raised as to possible noise, dust, and night lighting affecting nearby properties, an assessment would be required as part of any future application and adverse impacts would require suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: As the groundwater levels over most of the site are expected to be high, mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering; any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater level and quality.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially important geodiversity features of national importance. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments: Major archaeological work would be required on this site.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation due to landscape impacts.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 34

Parish

METHWOLD

Location of site

Land at Methwold Warren

Submitted by

Frimstone Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

1,250,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

21.4

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. The site lies north of an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction and immediately northeast of an active permitted landfill site. It is proposed that the site would be and extension of the existing mineral working to the south. The site is also a current planning application as of March 2010.

Landscape: The site is part of a wider area of forestry and agricultural land within the Brecks, and is largely a coniferous plantation. There are limited views of the northern edge of the site from Warren Road, but these could be mitigated by screening. The site is in an area of relative tranquillity as defined by the CPRE and is identified as a dark landscape on the county map. It is proposed that any restoration scheme would be designed in consultation with Natural England, and this is likely to prove acceptable.

Ecology: A task 2 Appropriate Assessment has indicated that there are likely to be significant impacts from mineral extraction on the woodlark population within the Zone of Influence surrounding the site, and that mitigation could not be adequately ensured by planning conditions. However restoration, working with Natural England could result in a scheme which would enhance the SSSI.

Highways: The road from the existing quarry to the B1112 Lodge Road would require significant improvement works for which a contribution would be needed and works carried out prior to the commencement on the site.

Amenity: Concerns have been made regarding the impacts of noise, dust and vibration on nearby properties; this would need to be assessed in any application and suitable mitigation put in place.

Water resources/quality: The site lies within Source Protection Zones 2 and 3 and the Environment Agency would need to be consulted as part of any application process. Anglian Water have indicated that the site is crossed by a water main, this would require protection or diversion at the developer’s expense.

Geodiversity: There is a potential for impacts on nationally significant geodiversity assets. Mitigation would include a watching brief during the operational phases and retention of some open faces as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments: It is likely that there are significant archaeological features on site. An archaeological assessment would also be required, to evaluate the archaeological features on site and what protection they would require, followed by more detailed evaluation if necessary

Conclusion: Given the significant impact on a qualifying feature of the Breckland SPA, and other constraints, it is felt that there are more acceptable locations for sand and gravel extraction and as a result this site is not considered to be suitable for allocation.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (31) MIN 39

Parish

LEZIATE and EAST WINCH

Location of site

Land at Wicken East, East Winch Road, Ashwicken, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Sibelco Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (silica sand)

Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

57.2

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. The site lies immediately to the east of an active pit with planning permission for silica sand extraction.

Landscape: The site comprises undulating arable land which slopes down to the Middleton Stop Drain, the site is subdivided by hedgerows and groups of trees, which form landscape features which would be lost be working the site. The site is identified as being moderately tranquil by the CPRE and is in an area of dark landscape on the county map. There may be views of the site from some upstairs windows of properties on Church Lane, and the site could impact on the setting of the listed Church of All Saints, although it may be possible to acceptably screen this. Restoration is likely to be to a mix of open water and woodland.

Ecology: Providing that the Rookery woodland, and the boundary hedgerows and trees are safeguarded with a suitable buffer then the ecological impacts could be minimised. It would be necessary to carry out surveys for protected species and nesting birds prior to development and suitable mitigation put in place. A high quality restoration scheme with blocks of woodland and some open water in areas closer to the valley floor could provide greater biodiversity on the site and an ecological gain in the long term.

Highways: There are no acceptable HGV routes direct from the site to the A47 and the junctions to the A47 would require assessment to identify any Capacity/safety impacts. However if the material was transported by conveyor to the existing Leziate processing site, the existing road and rail links could be used.

Amenity: Concerns have been made regarding the impacts of noise, dust and vibration on nearby properties; this would need to be assessed in any application and suitable mitigation put in place.

Water resources/quality: Part of the site is within Flood Risk zone 3 and will require a Flood Risk Assessment to identify any potential adverse impacts. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA) will be required to identify any impacts on nearby waterbodies/ groundwater resources and suitable mitigation including the impacts on groundwater dependent protected sites such as East Winch Common SSSI.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potential geodiversity features of local significance. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments: Part of this site is crossed by a high pressure gas transmission pipeline which would require a suitable standoff zone surrounding it and additional works to protect the stability of the pipeline, by for example constructing suitable crossing points for heavy plant; or diversion at the developer’s expense and National Grid’s agreement. The site is also crossed by powerlines and the National Grid have indicated that a statutory clearance area will be required.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation as an area of search. Further modification and amendment to the site proposal is likely to be necessary as part of any future application; however it is felt that the site is acceptable in principle subject to conditions including:

  • An approved scheme of working and restoration which addressed landscape, ecology, geodiversity issues.
  • A noise and dust assessment which identified any potential impacts and appropriate mitigation to address these.
  • A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment which identified any potential impacts to groundwater and appropriate mitigation to address these.
  • A routing agreement to transport material by conveyor or internal haul route to the existing processing works.
  • An agreement with the distribution network operator and the mineral operator on safeguarding the gas transmission pipeline and any powerlines affected.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (22) MIN 40

Parish

EAST WINCH

Location of site

Land to the east of Grandcourt Farm

Submitted by

Sibelco Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (silica sand)

Estimated reserves

3,000,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

52.7

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permission at this site. The site lies immediately to the east of an unworked area of land with planning permission for silica sand extraction. It is proposed that the site forms an extension to the existing pit to the east.

Landscape: The site comprises open gently undulating arable land divided by hedgerows and groups of trees. The site is adjacent to the current Leziate Quarry, and MIN 40 would form a natural extension. The site borders East Winch to the east and two isolated properties to the west and south. Parts of the area probably could be worked and screened satisfactorily but phasing with permitted sites to the North and west would need to be arranged.

Ecology: The surrounding area is of high wildlife value; there would be a need to carry out surveys to assess the size of population of protected species and ensure suitable mitigation if necessary; also there would be a need to carry out a tree survey to establish the location of any veteran trees. The site offers the potential for a high quality restoration to heathland, or a heathland/ arable/woodland network if a suitable scheme can be agreed.

Highways: If the site needed direct access to A47, this would probably be unacceptable to the Highways Agency; an alternative route through East Winch would also be unacceptable. However should the material be conveyored to the existing Leziate quarry site (for processing and onward transportation), the existing road and rail links at Leziate could be used.

Amenity: The potential for health impacts (development of Silicosis) caused by exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) related to certain operations was highlighted by many respondents. Information from the HSE states that ‘Silicosis is a disease that has only been seen in workers from industries where there is a significant exposure to silica dust, such as in quarries, foundries, the potteries etc. No cases of silicosis have been documented among members of the general public in Great Britain, indicating that environmental exposures to silica dust are not sufficiently high to cause this occupational disease.’ High risk operations that have been identified are stone masonry, milling, and drilling which are not operations normally carried out in Norfolk quarries due to the nature of the resource. Milling does occur, but in enclosed processing buildings with appropriate HSE monitoring.

Concerns were also raised about air quality and in particular fine particulate dusts referred to generically as PM10. These are particles with a diameter of less than 10 µm; the principal sources are vehicle emissions, pollen, aerosols, chemicals, sea salt and dusts. These fine particles are a health concern because they can be inhaled directly into the lungs. The particle sizes of quarried sand in the UK are generally larger than 70 µm.

Concerns were raised as to the impacts of noise, dust and vibration etc, this would require an assessment, if impacts are identified suitable mitigation measures would need to be put in place.

Water resources/quality: The site is located on a principal aquifer and the Environment Agency would be likely to object to the proposal if, permanent de-watering of the perched Carstone aquifer is proposed. A Hydrological Impact Assessment (HIA) would be required as part of any planning application to quantify impacts and suitable mitigation. A water supply main crosses the site and site boundaries should be amended to exclude the area where the main is located; alternatively the diversion/protection of the main should be carried out at the developer’s expense.

Geodiversity: It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interested are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments:

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation subject to conditions including:

  • An approved scheme of working and restoration which addresses issues of phasing, landscape, geodiversity and ecology;
  • A dust and noise assessment to identify any potential impacts on nearby properties and appropriate mitigation to address any of these impacts;
  • A Hydrological Impact Assessment to identify any potential impacts on groundwater and appropriate mitigation to address any of these impacts, and;
  • The use of a conveyor and/or internal haul routes to the current processing site.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (8) MIN 41A

Parish

CONGHAM and ROYDON and CASTLE RISING

Location of site

Land at Hall Farm, Roydon, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Sibelco

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (silica sand)

Estimated reserves

5.8 million tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

80

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on this site.

Landscape: The site comprises and attractive area of undulating farmland. It is fairly open but contains some significant belts of woodland. The proposed site lies in an area of attractive rural landscape, close to the AONB and is overlooked from surrounding roads and footpaths. The site area has been significantly amended since the last consultation, and revised landscape comments will be requested as part of this consultation. Previously the landscape impacts of the larger area of search had been considered unacceptable.

Ecology: Restoration should ideally be to heathland to gain the most biodiversity benefit; it would increase the overall area of habitat and provide connections to surrounding sites. The site is in close proximity to Roydon Common SSSI which is part of the European designated Roydon Common and Dersingham Bog Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and is internationally designated as Roydon Common Ramsar site.

Highways: There is a need for a right-turn lane onto the A148, unless the site can be accessed via Hall Lane. In that case the junction of Hall lane with the A148 would need to be upgraded.

Amenity: There are a number of properties nearby that could be affected by impacts from the working of this site; it would therefore be necessary for noise, dust and vibration to be assessed and suitable mitigation provided.

Water resources/quality: The Sandringham Sands underlie this area which is a principal aquifer and are in hydraulic continuity with the superficial deposits. Groundwater levels are consistently close to the surface, and as Roydon Common SSSI is a valley mire, dependent on groundwater the Environment Agency has stated it would object in principal to mineral extraction on this site, if it would require dewatering. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment will be required and evidence provided that any adverse impacts can be fully mitigated.

Geodiversity: None noted.

Other comments: Concerns were raised regarding possible health risks from the working of the site. There is no evidence to show that the winning of silica sand poses a health risk around or within quarries. The processing of certain forms of silica (e.g. milling) can pose risks, but this processing takes place in enclosed buildings with appropriate protection measures for workers.

Conclusion: MIN 41 is considered unsuitable for allocation due to the potential risk to a European and internationally designated site (Roydon Common). To address risks identified during the plan preparation process a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would need to be carried out to identify any potential impacts on groundwater and groundwater dependent features and appropriate mitigation to address any impacts, before any parts of the site could be reconsidered.

Subject to acceptable findings in any HRA and appropriate mitigation, there is the potential for parts of the site to be considered for Silica Sand extraction subject to conditions including:

  • A noise and dust assessment to identify any potential impacts and appropriate mitigation to address any impacts;
  • A traffic assessment to identify any potential impacts on the highway network and appropriate mitigation and/or improvements;
  • Agreed contributions for any highway improvements required, and;
  • A scheme of working which identifies any potential impacts to the designated sites and species, landscape and ecology, and provides appropriate mitigation.
  • This site should be phased with existing silica sand workings and there would a preference for this to be worked in phase after MIN 40 and MIN 39, with an initial allocation to meet the need for silica sand to the end of the plan period.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (16) MIN 42

Parish

BAWSEY, GRIMSTON and LEZIATE

Location of site

Land at Church Farm and Pott Row Woods, Ashwicken, Kings Lynn

Submitted by

Mineral Services Ltd/Sibelco ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (silica sand)

Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

113.7

Background information: No current minerals or waste planning permissions at this site. This is a large site which includes heath and woodland. It is divided into two separate areas, the largest located on a roughly south west –north east

Landscape: There are a number of landscape constraints which are pertinent to parts of the site, the northern and eastern areas of the site are judged to be the most sensitive in landscape terms. Only the area to the north of Chilver House is likely to be acceptable in landscape terms based on the current proposals.

Ecology: There are opportunities to create a restoration scheme which would create a high quality ecological network linking a number of nearby SSSI’s and CWS’s. There are however also a number of constraints that would need to be addressed by any subsequent planning application. A principal constraint is the effect on groundwater of any dewatering of the site on surrounding protected European and internationally designated sites, specifically Roydon Common and Dersingham Bog SAC and Roydon Common Ramsar site. The Gaywood river flows through the centre of the site and would need to be protected with a suitable buffer and from any effects of groundwater drawdown. Surveys would also be required to ascertain populations of protected species and ensure that suitable mitigation measures are put in place.

Highways: Further investigation would be required to ensure a safe access can be formed; the majority of the site appears to be remote from the highway network, and the proposed means of access is unclear. The junction of C56 Leziate Drove with B1146 may need improvements.

Amenity: A footpath runs through part of the site which forms a link to avoid using the B1145, it will necessary to provide suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: Part of the site is crossed by an 18 inch water main, either the site boundary would need to be amended to exclude the water main; or protection or diversion of the water main would need to be undertaken at the developers expense to the satisfaction of Anglian Water. The site is in an area with a high water table located on the Sandringham Sands principal aquifer, and it is thought that dewatering would be necessary to the working of the site. The Environment Agency would object to any dewatering of a principal aquifer, also the site is surrounded by a number of protected sites which would be sensitive to any change in groundwater levels and flows. The developer would be required to provide an acceptable Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA), and suitable mitigation measures as result of any findings of adverse impacts, before the EA would consider lifting its objection. Part of the site is also within Flood Risk Zone 3 and a Flood risk assessment would be required.

Geodiversity: Although the site is not likely to be of national significance; it would be useful to have a watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interest are uncovered. Retention of some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: There is concern that the site contains a number of archaeological features of national and possibly inter-national importance and further investigation would be required to establish what features are on-site and what protection they would require.

Conclusion: It is not proposed to allocate this site, as although the site is large it also has significant constraints. Some of these constraints are so significant that they raise concerns regarding the certainty of deliverability that is a key plank of the allocations process, in particular the potential for harm to be caused to a European and internationally designated site. It is possible that a smaller area could be acceptable, and could address concerns particularly in relation to the impacts on designated sites. To address risks identified during the plan preparation process, a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would need to be carried out to identify any potential impacts on groundwater and groundwater dependent features and appropriate mitigation to address any impacts, before any parts of the site could be reconsidered.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (7) MIN 45A

Parish

EAST RUDHAM

Location of site

Coxford Abbey Quarry, Syderstone, Fakenham

Submitted by

Longwater Gravel Co Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), concrete batching plant, aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

4,000,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

56

Background information: There is no current mineral or waste planning permission at this site; however there is an active pit for sand and gravel south of Coxford Wood and immediately adjoining the central area of the site. The site plan now splits the site into three distinct extensions to the existing working; one to the North, one to the east and a southern extension.

Landscape: The wider site covers a large area and has a number of different landscape types within it. The northern part of the site is mainly coniferous woodland with some deciduous trees around the edges. The area marked as ancient woodland has been largely replanted as coniferous plantation. The southern most part of the site is a mixture of arable and coniferous plantations. Surveys would be required to establish if any features remain of the ancient woodland to the north. Any features identified would need to be given suitable protection and a suitable approved high quality progressive restoration scheme would need to be put in place as part of any future application for extraction on these extensions to be acceptable.

Ecology: A full ecological survey will be required to identify any populations of protected species with in the site and suitable mitigation. A high quality restoration scheme which increases long term biodiversity would be necessary to make the site acceptable in ecological terms.

Highways: The site is well-located in relation to the highway network. The existing quarry access to the B1454 should be utilised.

Amenity: There are potential impacts to users of the public rights of way that either cross or run close to areas of the proposed site, these would need to be assessed and appropriate mitigation outlined as part of any application.

Water resources/quality: Amendments to the site area have now removed the parts of the potential site which lay within the safeguarded zone of a Sewage Treatment Works; however a sewer is close to the site boundary and Anglian Water would wish to be consulted in any future application. The site is close to Syderstone Common which is a SSSI, and the habitat for a European designated species, this may be adversely impacted by dewatering.

Geodiversity: It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: It is considered that MIN 45 is suitable for allocation, subject to conditions including:

  • A scheme of working and high quality restoration which addresses landscape, geodiversity and ecology issues;
  • A scheme of working and restoration which is acceptable to Anglian Water;
  • A Hydrological Impact Assessment must be carried out, and subject to its findings, mitigation carried out to address any adverse impacts indentified.
  • A survey to identify any features that remain of the ancient woodland and appropriate mitigation for any features identified;
  • A survey to identify any protected species and/or habitats on site and appropriate mitigation; and
  • A noise and dust assessment to identify any potential impacts on users of the PRoWs that run on or close to the site and suitable mitigation.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 57

Parish

STOKE FERRY

Location of site

Browns Fen, Oxborough Road, Stoke Ferry

Submitted by

The Landscape Partnership on behalf of John Brown and Sons

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction

Estimated reserves

120,000 tonnes sand, 50,000 tonnes topsoil, 40,000 tonnes peat

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

Background information: There is no current mineral or waste planning permissions on this site but there is an active pit with planning permission for peat and sand extraction about 400m to the north of the site.

Landscape: The site comprises former arable land which is currently set a side. It is bounded by woodland and wetland to the north, farmland to the east and a high conifer hedge acts as the boundary to the south and west. It lies within an area characterised by farmland with blocks of woodland. The site can be viewed from a property to the north and a more distant property to the north east; it is difficult to see how the site could be effectively screened from these properties. A bridleway runs along the southern boundary of the site and would require screening. A potential nature conservation led restoration to wet fen would provide an improved landscape value; however even with this the landscape impacts during the working phase especially on the nearby properties make this proposal unacceptable in landscape terms.

Ecology: The site is close to Broughton fen which is both a County Wildlife site and a SSSI, and is home to a European protected species. There is concern that any dewatering/excavation could affect the hydrology of the Fen site. A nature conservation led restoration has opportunities to improve the biodiversity and ecological value of the area; however full assessments would be required to ensure impacts from the operational phase were capable of being fully mitigated.

Highways: The Oxborough Road may not suitable for volumes of HGV traffic, significant highway improvements would be necessary on the stretch of road linking to the A134, and an HGV ban would need to be implemented to prevent HGV from routing through the village of Oxborough.

Amenity: Concerns have been made regarding the impacts of noise, dust, light pollution and vibration on nearby properties both from operation of the site and from the resultant HGV traffic; this would need to be assessed in any application and suitable mitigation put in place.

Water resources/quality: The site is located on a principal chalk aquifer, and is in close proximity to Broughton Fen, a Hydrological Impact Assessment would be required as part of an application, and the Environment Agency have indicated that they would raise an objection to this site unless it could be shown that mitigation measures would effectively protect the fen from any impact on changes in the groundwater levels.

Geodiversity: This site could potentially contain geodiversity features of interest. It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: There is currently archaeological evaluation taking place, if features are discovered it may be necessary to put in place suitable mitigation/protection.

Conclusion: This site has a number of constraints and it is felt that the impacts on landscape, ecology and the highway make this site unsuitable for allocation.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 58

Parish

EAST WINCH

Location of site

West Bilney Pit, East Winch, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mr W George

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

8.0

Background information: This is a worked and restored site, although there is no current mineral or waste planning permission. A previous proposal to extend the site was rejected on appeal. The site has also been submitted as a waste allocation (WAS 39).

Landscape: The site comprises a former quarry which is now well vegetated which lies within an area of farmland and woodland, there are a number of properties to the east of the site which would be impacted by the re-working of the site, as would users of a concessionary path; therefore the site is not considered to be acceptable on landscape grounds.

Ecology: Restoration to mixed deciduous woodland could provide a connection to surrounding woodland and would provide improved biodiversity. Surveys would be required to establish the populations of protected species within the site and ensure suitable mitigation is put in place.

Highways: A scheme to improve East Winch Road has been developed, so contributions would be sought and these improvements would need to be in place before extraction could commence. Further work might be necessary on Common Road/A47 junction, The Highways Agency has indicated that assessments would be required prior to allocation.

Amenity: Concerns have been raised as to noise, dust and vibration, an assessment would be required to quantify the potential impacts and suitable mitigation would need to be in place to minimise these.

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency have indicated that they would raise an objection to the working of the site if dewatering was required if the substantial risk to groundwater quality and resources had not been properly assessed and fully mitigated for.

Geodiversity: Although the site is not likely to be of national significance; it would be useful to have a watching brief during extraction in case potential features of interest are uncovered. Retention of some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: Concerns were raised highlighting the level of HGV use on local roads both from a highway safety point of view and also from the impact of silt ingress from roads into protected sites.

Conclusion: The site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation on landscape grounds, which was also the reason for the dismissal of the previous appeal with which this proposal has much in common.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 59

Parish

MIDDLETON

Location of site

Off Mill Drove, Blackborough End, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mr W George

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (building sand, aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

75,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

7.1

Background information: The site comprises a carstone quarry which was worked for many years under an old permission and the restored site is steep sided with a fairly flat quarry floor. A small area in the middle of the site is permitted for building sand extraction. The site has also been submitted as a waste allocation (WAS 41).

Landscape: The site is well screened from public viewpoints except for one point along Mill Drove, additionally the working will be on the floor of the quarry which also help screen visual intrusion. There is a need for a carefully designed and implemented restoration scheme to ensure that restoration is acceptable in landscape terms.

Ecology: There would be a need to carry out surveys for protected species prior to commencement and to ensure appropriate mitigation is put in place to protect any populations established. There are no outstanding ecological issues that could not be addressed during the application process. A high quality restoration scheme with an open face for sand martins and a heathland element would improve the biodiversity of the site. The impacts of silt ingress to neighbouring SSSIs will need to assessed and suitable mitigation put in place if necessary.

Highways: There are no outstanding highway issues that could not be addressed through the application process. The construction of East Winch Road needs improvement and contributions to these would need to be made and the improvement works carried out prior to commencement on any new East Winch site. A Traffic Assessment would be required to identify any capacity/safety issues at the East Winch Road/A47 junction if this site is to be allocated.

Amenity: The impacts on amenity of the resultant HGV traffic particularly in terms of noise, dust and highway safety concerns will need to be assessed and suitable mitigation put in place as part of the application process. On the site, lighting and noise impacts will need to be assessed and any resultant impacts to nearby properties suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: The carstone deposits on this site form part of a principal aquifer, as such any developer will be required to produce a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA) to identify potential risks to the groundwater and suitable mitigation, especially the risk of drawing in contaminated water from under Blackborough End landfill. If mineral extraction on site requires dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. Anglian Water has indicated that a water main lies close to the site boundary and suitable mitigation will be required to protect this.

Geodiversity: The site is adjacent to Blackborough End Geological SSSI, working of the site is likely to lead to impacts on this nationally significant feature, it is considered that this can be mitigated successfully by permitting access for recording and sampling during the active phase, and retaining faces for future scientific study as part of the restoration phase.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: It is felt that given the potential for significant impacts mentioned, such as groundwater quality, and noise etc; there are more acceptable sites for sand extraction and as such this site is not considered suitable for allocation.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 74A

Parish

TOTTENHILL

Location of site

Turf field, Watlington, near King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mr Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Mr JF Pope

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

185,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

5.44

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions on this site but an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel is located south of the site.

Landscape: Although the boundaries of the site have been significantly amended it is felt that the site will still be visually intrusive in the landscape and the open, sloping nature of the site will make it difficult to screen, bunding and screening belts will in themselves be intrusive. There would be views into the site from properties on Tottenhill Row which is a conservation area. Therefore the landscape impacts would still make this site unacceptable.

Ecology: There is the potential for the drainage of Setchey SSSI to be affected and a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment will be required to identify any impacts and suggest possible mitigation. Surveys would be required to establish the populations of any protected species and suitable mitigation would need to be put in place. There is the potential for a high quality restoration scheme to bring improvements to biodiversity.

Highways: There are no outstanding transport issues provided that the existing quarry access can be used via off-highway routes and would be supported as a preferred option in transport terms.

Amenity: There are significant concerns regarding possible noise, dust and vibration affecting nearby properties, an assessment would be required as part of any future application and adverse impacts would require suitable mitigation, which may well prove difficult on this open site.

Water resources/quality: The site consists of sands and gravels, over mudstone which is classified as a secondary aquifer of high vulnerability. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource and nearby protected sites have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially important geodiversity features of national importance. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: It is considered that this site is unsuitable for allocation as a result of unacceptable landscape impacts.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (4) MIN 75A

Parish

WATLINGTON

Location of site

Home Farm, Watlington, near King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mr Stephen M Daw on behalf of Mr JF Pope

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

335,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

7.1

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions on this site, however there is an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction to the east.

Landscape: The site is well screened from public viewpoints, there is one property with a view of the site which would be screened by advanced planting and bunding. It is likely that the site itself could be worked with a low landscape impact. The proposal for a dedicated haulage route is likely to have the most significant landscape impacts and would require an approved screening scheme to make it acceptable.

Ecology: A high quality restoration scheme which provided a low level restoration with hedgerows and tree belts to improve biodiversity could be acceptable ecologically.

Highways: Providing that all traffic could be routed via the off road haul route, and crossings/accesses to the highway network constructed to acceptable standards, this site may be acceptable.

Amenity: The site close to a property and an assessment would need to be carried out to ensure any noise, dust and vibration impacts from the site and the HGV traffic generated from the site can be suitably mitigated before the site could be considered acceptable.

Water resources/quality: The site consists of sands and gravels, over mudstone which is classified as a secondary aquifer of high vulnerability. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource and nearby protected sites have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially important geodiversity features of national importance. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation subject to conditions including:

  • A scheme of working and restoration which addresses ecology,geodiversity, and landscape issues, with particular reference to the haulage route to the existing processing works;
  • A noise and dust assessment which identifies any potential impacts on properties and local road users from both the site itself and related HGV traffic and appropriate mitigation to address any impacts identified;
  • A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment which identifies any potential impacts on groundwater and appropriate mitigation to address any impacts identified.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (6) MIN 76A

Parish

TOTTENHILL

Location of site

West Field, Watlington, Near King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mr Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Mr JF Pope

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

285,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

6.7

Background information: There is no current mineral or waste planning permission on the site, but there is an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel to the east of the site. A previous planning application on the site was dismissed at appeal in 2002.

Landscape: The proposal on the site has been significantly amended since the last consultation. It is considered that the site could be worked with acceptable landscape impacts provided that a suitable screening scheme is put in place.

Ecology: The site would be acceptable in ecological terms provided that a high quality restoration that improves biodiversity is agreed as part of any future planning application.

Highways: The revised proposal indicates that the existing plant site at Tottenhill Quarry will be used for processing and the processed aggregate will leave from the existing quarry access. This is likely to be acceptable in highways terms so long as a conveyor is used to transport the aggregate to the processing plant.

Amenity: There are concerns regarding possible noise, dust and vibration affecting nearby properties, an assessment would be required as part of any future application and adverse impacts would require suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: The site consists of sands and gravels, over mudstone which is classified as a secondary aquifer of high vulnerability. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource and nearby protected sites have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially important geodiversity features of national importance. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments: An archaeological evaluation would be required and it is likely that fieldwork would be required as there is a likelihood of features being discovered.

Conclusion: It is considered that MIN 76A is suitable for allocation in this plan, subject to conditions including:

  • a suitable approved screening and restoration scheme which addresses landscape, ecology and geodiversity issues;
  • An archaeological evaluation of the site would be required and additional fieldwork may also be needed if features are identified;
  • A noise and dust assessment which identifies potential impacts and appropriate mitigation which can be put in place to address any impacts identified; and
  • A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment which identifies any potential impacts on groundwater and appropriate mitigation to address any impacts identified.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (4) MIN 77A

Parish

TOTTENHILL

Location of site

Run’s Wood, Watlington, near King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mr Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Mr JF Pope

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

545,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

11.3ha

Background information: There is no current mineral or waste planning permission on the site but there is an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction immediately to the east of the site.

Landscape: The site comprises mixed woodland, which is mainly broadleaf species. It lies within an area of mixed farmland and plantations. There are existing mineral workings both to the north(a processing plant) and east(an active working). Although the site boundaries have been amended from those in the 2009 Further Issues and Options consultation it is still felt that working this site would involve an unacceptable landscape impact, in particular the loss of large areas of woodland.

Ecology: The site is potentially a habitat for a number of protected species, and it is felt that the loss of an established wood could not be mitigated against. Therefore this site is considered to unacceptable in ecological terms.

Highways: The revised proposal indicates that the existing plant site at Tottenhill Quarry will be used for processing and the processed aggregate will leave from the existing quarry access. This is likely to be acceptable in highways terms so long as a conveyor is used to transport the aggregate to the processing plant.

Amenity: There are concerns regarding possible noise, dust and vibration affecting nearby properties, an assessment would be required as part of any future application and adverse impacts would require suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: The site consists of sands and gravels, over mudstone which is classified as a secondary aquifer of high vulnerability. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource and nearby protected sites have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially important geodiversity features of national importance. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments: An archaeological evaluation would be required and it is likely that fieldwork would be required as there is a likelihood of features being discovered.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation, as a result of unacceptable landscape and ecology impacts.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 93

Parish

PENTNEY and EAST WINCH

Location of site

Church Farm, Pentney, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Savills on behalf of Mr and Mrs O Cunnington

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

1,000,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

19.0

Background information: There is no current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. A former sand and gravel working lies to the west.

Landscape: The site is in two distinct units with the Bilney Road acting as a demarcation line to the east the site consists of a mix of paddocks, arable land and back land; and to the west is open arable land. The area is defined as relatively tranquil and is identified as a dark landscape on the county map. There would be landscape impacts for the wider countryside in working this site and it would affect the setting of the Grade I listed Pentney Church; in addition to visual intrusion impacting nearby properties. Some of these impacts could be mitigated to by a suitable screening scheme.

Ecology: Surveys would be required for nesting birds. There are no outstanding ecological issues that could not be dealt with through the application process. A suitable restoration scheme to arable land with wide field margins and possibly additional woodland to adjoin Hoveringham Wood would improve the ecological value of the site.

Highways: The local highway is unsuitable for HGV traffic without substantial improvements (which may require third party land and/or demolition of buildings). Neither potential route to the A47 is acceptable.

Amenity: There were concerns raised regarding potential impacts from noise, dust, and vibration etc for nearby properties this will need to be assessed as part of any application and suitable mitigation measures put in place.

Water resources/quality: The site is in Flood Zone 3 and would require a Flood Risk Assessment to ensure no adverse impacts.

The Environment Agency would oppose sand and gravel extraction in this area unless it could be demonstrated through a Hydrogeological Impact Assessment that the risk to the underlying aquifer through breaches of the confining clay layer has been fully considered and mitigated against as well as potential impacts on the nearby SSSIs and Pentney Lakes. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. The geology in the western part of the site is part of the Sandringham sands aquifer and the Environment Agency would object to any extraction in this area.

Anglian Water have noted that the site falls within the 400m safeguarding zone of a sewage treatment and they would need to be consulted regarding any scheme of working, and may raise an objection.

Geodiversity: Working this site could reveal river terrace and Pleistocene terrace sediments. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments: There are high tension electricity transmission lines crossing the site; National Grid have advised that they would seek to retain these in-situ, and that statutory safety clearance zones would apply to these lines, which may impact on the area of the site that could be worked. There are likely to be features of archaeological value within the site and a programme of evaluation will be required as part of any planning application together with suitable protection for features identified.

Conclusion: The site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation principally due to highway, amenity and groundwater impacts.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (5) MIN 94

Parish

CASTLE RISING and ROYDON and GRIMSTON

Location of site

Land at Warren Farm and Spot Farm, Sandy Lane, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mineral Services Ltd/Sibelco Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (silica sand)

Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

113.6

Background information: There are no current minerals or waste planning permissions on this site

Landscape: The site comprises a large area of undulating arable farmland, it lies between areas of woodland to the southeast and the heathland of Roydon Common SAC to the east. The northern part of the site is very open to views; the central part can also be viewed externally to the site although not to the same degree. This openness would make the site difficult to screen. The site is generally remote from settlement and is in an area of dark landscape as shown on the county map, however there could be impacts on the isolated properties around Spot Farm and Warren Farm which would need to be assessed and mitigated for if necessary. Restoration could lead to an improvement in landscape terms for the site.

Ecology: There is an opportunity via a high quality restoration scheme to greatly improve the ecological interest of the site and provide connection corridors to surrounding protected sites. The site is in close proximity to Roydon Common SSSI which is part of the European designated Roydon Common and Dersingham Bog Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and is internationally designated as Roydon Common Ramsar site.

Highways: The site is adjacent to the A149. There are no highways concerns, subject to a ‘left in, left out’ access/egress, onto the suitable highway network (Designated Lorry Routes)

Amenity: There were concerns raised that working the site would lead to temporary closures of footpaths, that would disrupt the footpath network and make access to some areas more difficult.

Water resources/quality: The Sandringham Sands underlie this area which is a principal aquifier and are in hydraulic continuity with the superficial deposits. Groundwater levels are consistently close to the surface, and as Roydon Common SAC is a valley mire, dependent on groundwater the Environment Agency object to mineral extraction on this site, if it would require dewatering.

Geodiversity: The site includes part of a geological SSSI which would need to be protected, however there would be opportunities within any operational phase to expand the SSSI.

Other comments: The proposals show the demolition of a listed building, English Heritage raised an objection to this, and an alternative that would leave the listed building as an ‘island’. They also raised concerns regarding the effect that any working would have on the setting of this and the listed church. An assessment would be required to determine the effects on the listed buildings and whether suitable mitigation could be put in place. An archaeological assessment would also be required, to evaluate the archaeological features on site and what protection they would require.

There were also concerns raised regarding possible health risks from the working of the site. There is no evidence to show that the winning of silica sand poses a health risk around or within quarries. The processing of certain forms of silica (e.g. milling) can pose risks, but this processing takes place in enclosed buildings with appropriate protection measures for workers.

Conclusion: It is not proposed to allocate this site, as although the site is large it also has significant constraints. Some of these constraints are so significant that they raise concerns regarding the certainty of deliverability that is a key plank of the allocations process, in particular the potential for harm to be caused to a European and internationally designated site (Roydon Common).

A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would need to be carried out to identify any potential impacts on groundwater and groundwater dependent features and appropriate mitigation to address any impacts, to address risks identified during the plan preparation process before any parts of the site could be reconsidered. The southern part of the site would also have a significant unacceptable impact on the setting of Bawsey Church and listed buildings in the site; and English Heritage are likely to sustain their objection to the allocation of this site.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 95

Parish

RUNCTON HOLME

Location of site

Land at Wallington, Runcton Holme, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mr and Mrs J Plaxton

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

239.0

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions on this site.

Landscape: The site comprises a large area west of the A10; approximately one-third of the site is historic parkland with the remainder a mix of woodland blocks and arable fields; which lies within a wider area of farmland. The A10 runs along the eastern boundary with the settlement of Runcton Holme to the north-west, with properties running along the northern and western boundaries for some distance following School Road and Downham Road. The site is in an area defined as moderately tranquil by the CPRE, and it is identified as a dark landscape on the county map. It would not be acceptable in landscape terms to develop the whole site, as it contains a significant area of historic parkland which is of national importance. There may be opportunities for smaller areas outside of the parkland to be developed although impacts on the parkland and nearby properties would need to be considered. A significant part of the site was identified as being unsuitable for an allocation however even with this area excluded there are significant concerns regarding impacts on the setting of the listed Wallington Hall and other listed buildings close to the Hall; also the settings of two listed churches to the north west and north east could be impacted by workings on the site. There are doubts regarding the effectiveness of any buffer zones in protecting the settings of the listed buildings; a full assessment would be required for any future application on part of the site.

Ecology: The site contains or is adjacent to a number of sites of high wildlife value, which could be significantly impacted by extraction on the site. Excavation of the whole site would have considerable adverse impacts on the existing ecological network and is unacceptable. A full ecological survey would be required for development on any part of the site, with the risks to habitats and protected species identified as well as suitable mitigation/protection.

Highways: The highways access to the site could be acceptable, subject to construction of a dedicated right-turn lane from the A10, and a satisfactory access.

Amenity: Concerns have been made regarding the impacts of noise, dust, light pollution and vibration on nearby properties both from operation of the site and from the resultant HGV traffic; this would need to be assessed in any application and suitable mitigation put in place.

Water resources/quality: As the groundwater levels over most of the site are expected to be high, mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering; any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater level and quality. Of special importance would be any impacts on the mesotrophic lakes, located on the site and the western boundary, have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified. Anglian Water has indicated that water mains cross parts of the site and will require amendments to the boundaries to protect these or protection/diversion at the developer’s expense.

Geodiversity: This site could potentially contain geodiversity features of district significance. It would be useful to have watching brief during extraction in case potential features are uncovered and retaining some open faces as part of the restoration would aid scientific study.

Other comments: None noted

Conclusion: The site as a whole is unsuitable for allocation on Landscape and Ecology grounds. While smaller areas may be potentially acceptable there is insufficient evidence in the current proposal to come to any firm conclusion on any particular area, therefore this site is not allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (4) MIN 101A

Parish

TOTTENHILL

Location of site

Watlington, Near King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Mr Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Mr JF Pope

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

140,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

2.24

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions on the site but there is an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction to the west of the site.

Landscape: The site comprises a slightly domed arable field lying within an area of flat farmland along the Fenland edge. The site lies between the A10 and the A134; there would be views of the site from the A134 which could be screened by a well designed working scheme. A high quality restoration scheme could provide an enhancement to the landscape.

Ecology: The location of the site close to Setchey SSSI gives opportunities on restoration of improving biodiversity and habitats. Surveys will be required to ensure any impacts on protected species are mitigated; and subject to the findings of an HRA that working the site will not affect the hydrology of the protected site.

Highways: The proposed access to the site has been amended, it is proposed to move the access further down the A134 from the roundabout with the A10, the new access to be approximately 600m from the junction, subject to further details in a future planning application this is deemed to be acceptable in principle.

Amenity: The site is at some distance from properties and provided that an assessment is carried out to ensure any noise, dust and vibration impacts from the HGV traffic from the site are suitably mitigated that this site could be acceptable.

Water resources/quality: The site consists of sands and gravels, over mudstone which is classified as a secondary aquifer of high vulnerability. As mineral extraction on site will probably require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource and nearby protected sites have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially important geodiversity features of national importance. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments:

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation; subject to conditions including:

  • The provision of a suitable approved highways access;
  • A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment which identifies potential impacts to groundwater and appropriate mitigation which can be put in place to address any impacts.
  • A survey to identify nearby protected species and mitigation which would need to be put in place to address any identified adverse impacts,
  • a suitable approved scheme of working and restoration which addresses landscape, ecology and geodiversity; and
  • A noise and dust assessment which identifies impacts and appropriate mitigation which can be put in place to address any impacts identified.

Site allocated.

Withdrawn
Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 113SITE WITHDRAWN

Parish

BAWSEY

Location of site

Leziate Heath, Land North of B1145

Submitted by

Cruso & Wilkin Surveyors on behalf of Owen Cunnington

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (silica sand)

Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

17.8

Background information: No current minerals or waste planning permission on this site.

Landscape: The site is a mix of flat grassland and former arable on very light soils. It is bounded by woodland to the north and the King’s Lynn road to the south. Views from nearby houses are screened by existing woodland. The site is in an area moderate tranquillity and is defined as a dark landscape on the county map. A working at this site would be intrusive in the wider landscape unless screened in a sensitive manner, also there may be disturbance to nearby properties, the resultant bunding likely to be necessary to mitigate this disturbance is itself likely to impact on the open character of the site. Therefore the site is not considered to be acceptable in landscape terms.

Ecology: The site has the opportunity to provide an improvement in biodiversity and provide links to nearby protected sites on restoration; however there would be a need to carry out surveys to establish the size of any populations of protected species and whether the site is being used as a foraging route for bats, for example. The site is within 2km of Roydon Common SSSI which is part of the European designated Roydon Common and Dersingham Bog Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and is internationally designated as Roydon Common Ramsar site.

Highways: Access to the B1145 Gayton road would need to be carefully located due to the proximity of other junctions along this stretch of the B1145 and the presence of dips in the road; a dedicated right-turn lane should be provided. Further work to confirm the achievability of these improvement works would be necessary from the proposer, in the form of a Traffic Assessment supporting any future application.

Amenity: None noted.

Water resources/quality: The site is crossed by an 18 inch water main, either the site boundary would need to be amended to exclude the water main; or protection or diversion of the water main would need to be undertaken at the developers expense to the satisfaction of Anglian Water. The site is in an area with a high water table located on the Sandringham Sands principal aquifer, and it is thought that dewatering would be necessary to the working of the site. The Environment Agency would object to any dewatering of a principal aquifer. In addition, the site is surrounded by a number of protected sites which would be sensitive to any change in groundwater levels and flows: the site is less than 2km from Roydon Common SSSI, which is a European and internationally designated site. The developer would be required to provide an acceptable Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA), and suitable mitigation measures as result of any findings of adverse impacts, before the EA would consider lifting its objection.

Geodiversity: None noted.

Other comments: An archaeological evaluation would need to be carried out by any developer of the site.

Conclusion: This site is considered unsuitable for allocation due to landscape impacts; there are also a number of other significant constraints; in particular the potential for harm to be caused to a European and internationally designated site (Roydon Common).

To address risks identified during the plan preparation process, a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would need to be carried out to identify any potential impacts on groundwater and groundwater dependent features and appropriate mitigation to address any impacts, before any parts of the site could be reconsidered.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 114A

Parish

CRIMPLESHAM

Location of site

Manor Farm, Main Road, Crimplesham

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates Ltd.

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (clay)

Estimated reserves

500,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

4.8

Background information: No current minerals or waste planning permission on this site but Crimplesham Quarry is nearby. There is no need for the County Council to maintain a clay landbank in the county – it is believed that the currently permitted sites meet the demand.

Landscape: The site comprises open arable farmland, which slopes down to the south and west. The site is located within a wider area of arable land with scattered plantations. The surrounding landscape is very open, and it would be difficult to screen any working on the site or the haulage route; for these reasons it is felt that the site would have unacceptable landscape impacts.

Ecology: Surveys would be required to ascertain whether there are populations of any protected species on the site; however it would appear that there is little ecological interest in the site currently based on the available evidence and a high quality restoration scheme could provide improved biodiversity on the site.

Highways: Subject to access from the existing Crimplesham Quarry onto the C543 Main road via MIN 32, the site appears to be able to be accessed satisfactorily. The site is well located in relation to the route hierarchy.

Amenity: Concerns were raised as to possible noise, dust and vibration affecting nearby properties, an assessment would be required as part of any future application and adverse impacts would require suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: The site consists of Gault clay, overlying Carstone which is considered to be a principal aquifer, it would be necessary for any developer of the site to carry out a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA) and appropriate mitigation for any impacts to groundwater . The Environment Agency would also require a layer of Gault Clay to be left overlying the Carstone deposits.

Anglian Water have also indicated that there are water pipelines within the boundary of the site, suitable courses of action would be revision or the site boundary, or protection/diversion of the pipeline at the developers expense.

Geodiversity: None noted.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation principally due to unacceptable landscape impacts.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 119

Parish

EAST WINCH

Location of site

Land off Fosters End Drove, East Winch, King’s Lynn

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Middleton Aggregates

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand)

Estimated reserves

475,000 tonnes(sand)

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

5.64

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste permission at this site. An active pit lies to the north west. The sand at the site is recognised as being a particular type and grade suitable as a component in Marshall asphalt, a specialist material used in aircraft runway construction

Landscape: The site comprises an open arable field which slopes down gently to the south east. The site is set in a wider area of well wooded undulating plateau land above the valley of the river Nar. There is an existing mineral working to the north which visually detracts from the wider rural landscape. There are views into the site from Fosters End Drove, which is a bridleway to the north, and from the site is overlooked by three properties. It is considered that views from upstairs windows could not be effectively screened and therefore it is considered to be unacceptable in landscape terms.

Ecology: There would be a need to carry out a phase 1 ecology survey as part of any future planning application, to identify any Biodiversity Action Plan target species. No detailed restoration proposals have been submitted. However, there are opportunities with a well designed restoration scheme to provide long term ecology gains.

Highways: Access to the site will be by crossing Fosters End Drove at a suitable point and then by off-highway haul route to the existing plant site. Onward transportation will gain access to the highway network from the existing quarry access. It will be necessary to consider as part of any future application the need for phasing of operations to ensure that there is no increase in traffic joining the A47 at the East Winch Road.

Amenity: This is a new site and has not been subject to consultation.

Water resources/quality: This is a new site and has not been subject to consultation; however it is considered from discussions with the Environment Agency that the sand on the site is likely to be underlain by a clay channel containing an aquifer of Nar Valley gravels, breaches that have occurred in nearby mineral workings have resulted in artesian flows which have proved difficult to cap. The Environment Agency have indicated that they are likely to raise an objection in principle to this site as a result of the risk to a groundwater feature. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required and mitigation provided to the satisfaction of the Environment Agency before they are likely to remove their objection.

Geodiversity: This is a new site and has not been subject to consultation.

Other comments: This is a new site and has not been subject to consultation.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unacceptable based on the risk to a groundwater feature and landscape impacts.

Site not allocated.

No Comments 7.1.5 North Norfolk mineral site allocations

Site ref no.

View Comments (4) MIN 16

Parish

HOLT

Location of site

Land off B1149, Holt

Submitted by

Cemex UK

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), concrete batching plant, aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

1,036,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

18.27

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction lies immediately across the road to the south west (including the former MIN 82 site, where it has been resolved to grant planning permission, subject to the signing of a Section 106 agreement to cover highway matters)

Landscape: This site is in a sensitive location in the Glaven Valley Conservation Area and close to Holt Country Park and Holt itself. Whilst it is accepted that the site is relatively well-screened from public views there are concerns about setting up a new mineral operation which would have a significant impact in this sensitive landscape. For these reasons the site is not thought to be suitable for allocation

Ecology: The site itself is an agricultural field of relatively low ecological interest but it adjoins Edgefield Heath County Wildlife Site to the south and virtually adjoins Holt Lowes SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC) to the south-east. The Appropriate Assessment concluded that there would be a Likely Significant Effect on Holt Lowes SSSI, with dewatering and dust deposition the likely sources of harm. Both Natural England and the Environment Agency object to this site on grounds of potential harm to Holt Lowes SSSI. Even though restoration to heathland and woodland to extend Holt Country Park would offer considerable opportunities for ecological and landscape enhancement, with the potential for extending Holt Lowes SSSI, it is concluded that the likely harm to Holt Lowes SSSI means that the site should not be allocated

Highways: This site is well-located in relation to the strategic highway network although improvements to the B1149/Holt Road junction improvement would be necessary

Amenity: The site is located close to the edge of Holt itself. Although there is some screening vegetation between the site and the closest dwellings, a wider buffer zone with screen planting would be necessary, along with standard planning conditions controlling noise, dust and hours of working

Water resources/quality: As noted above, the Environment Agency and Natural England (amongst others) object to this site on grounds of potential harm to Holt Lowes SSSI, principally through hydrological changes

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: A number of objections have been made to MIN 16, principally on the potential impact to Holt Lowes SSSI and Holt Country Park, with further concerns about highways and amenity impacts on local residents

Conclusion: The Appropriate Assessment finding of a Likely Significant Effect on Holt Lowes SSSI caused by dust and hydrological changes, allied to the harm to landscape and the impact on the Glaven Valley Conservation Area, means that this site will not be allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (17) MIN 43A

Parish

EDGEFIELD & HEMPSTEAD

Location of site

Pond Hills, Edgefield

Submitted by

Mineral Services Ltd on behalf of the Stody Estate Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction(sand and gravel)

Estimated reserves

500,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

16.3

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site

Landscape: The site lies within an attractive area of undulated and well wooded countryside, and it is, for the most part, well screened by existing vegetation, although some of screening along Plumstead Road and Pond Hills Road is thinner and less effective. The area surrounding the site to the north and west is located in the Glaven Valley Conservation Area, although the site itself is not so designated. Although the site does have some landscape constraints – it is on higher ground than land to the south and is thus visible from longer distances – these could probably be overcome through suitable advanced planting, a thoughtfully-planned operation, a progressive restoration scheme and a sensitively-designed new haul road to the B1149

Ecology: The surrounding area (to the north, east and west) is well-wooded and it is recognised that it is of considerable ecological value (including a County Wildlife Site); imposing suitable stand-off zones from the woodland to the north and east would be necessary. However, the site itself is currently laid to crops, and is thus of more limited ecological value. Screen planting on the site boundaries with Plumstead Road and Pond Hills Road with a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees would add ecological interest (in addition to providing the necessary amenity screening), and restoration of the site itself to mixed heathland and woodland, perhaps with some agriculture, would have potential for significant ecology gains

Highways: A new haul road from the site direct to Norwich Road (see site plan) would be needed; the Plumstead Road/Norwich Road junction would not be acceptable as a means of access. Norwich Road is a Main Distributor Route, and therefore suitable in principle for HGVs. The haul road would need to avoid damaging the remnant of Edgefield Great Wood to the south of Plumstead Road and a routing agreement would be necessary to avoid any HGVs using Plumstead Road or Pond Hills Lane

Amenity: The site is relatively remote from dwellings, with the nearest property (to the north in Pond Hills Wood) unlikely to be affected adversely due to the thick belt of existing trees and undulating ground between them. It is accepted that the circular walking route referred to by many objectors, which passes the site, is popular and lightly trafficked by vehicles, but it is felt that a carefully designed scheme of working and landscaping, allied with a direct haul road to Norwich Road, would not lead to unacceptable amenity impacts. There may also be the potential for some public access across the site on restoration. In conclusion, given the relatively small size of the site and the fact that the Stody Estate’s agent has confirmed that mineral would be removed from the site for processing elsewhere, thus obviating the need for on-site processing plant (except for possibly a small mobile dry screener), it is likely that the overall amenity impacts will not be unsatisfactory

Water resources/quality: The site is over a major aquifer, but the proposer has confirmed that the site would be worked ‘dry’ (i.e. above the water table). The Appropriate Assessment result for MIN 43 shows that there would not be any adverse impact on Holt Lowes SSSI/SAC so long as the site was worked dry

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: A great many representations opposing the allocation of the site have been made, with the main grounds being loss of tranquillity, amenity impacts on local residents and tourists, harm to ecology and landscape and unacceptable highways impacts

Conclusion: It is acknowledged that MIN 43 is in an attractive area, with the surrounding woodland and general landscape setting much valued by local residents and tourists alike, and that working the site would reduce the tranquillity of the immediate area. Whilst the strength of these views and the widespread local concerns is not in doubt, it is felt that with appropriate mitigation, the situation need not be an “either/or” matter – the local lanes could continue to be used as part of the valued circular walk, and local ecology would not be significantly affected. MIN 43 is small site, and much of the working would take place below ground level, and with appropriate advanced planting, bunding and other standard planning conditions (e.g. on noise and hours of working), it is concluded that the landscape and amenity impacts could be mitigated to a satisfactory level. In recognition of the particular nature of the location, the Stody Estate’s agent has confirmed that no large-scale aggregate processing – probably the noisiest activity on a minerals site – would take place on site, which would reduce noise considerably.

Officers’ knowledge and experience of sites with some similar characteristics to MIN 43 – sites with low background noise levels, near or in woodland and with well-used footpaths nearby – can, with appropriate mitigation measures, be worked with surprisingly little noise and landscape impact, particularly when progressive working and restoration is followed. Although each site is different, of course, the conclusion is that MIN 43 could be worked without affecting the landscape, ecology and amenity of those who use the area for recreation purposes to an unacceptable degree.

However, with the reduced need for sand and gravel in the county, there is a need to avoid over-allocating sites in the local area. With a number of existing operational and permitted sites – including part of the Stody site (MIN 44) – and MIN 69 (Aylmerton) and MIN 71 (Holt) all proposed to be allocated, and all within about 8 miles of each other, allocating MIN 43 would lead to an excessive local landbank. As a small site, the benefits available on restoration are proportionately smaller than for a larger sites.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (7) MIN 44A

Parish

STODY & EDGEFIELD

Location of site

Breck Farm, Stody

Submitted by

Mineral Services Ltd on behalf of the Stody Estate Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction, aggregate processing, concrete batching (possible)

Estimated reserves

600-700,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

27.02

Background information: A planning application for sand and gravel extraction (approximately 750,000 tonnes) in connection with the construction of two large agricultural reservoirs on part of the site was granted permission in October 2010. The Stody Estate has stated that they would like to continue to promote the remainder of MIN 44 (now called MIN 44A), with an estimated tonnage of 600-700,000

Landscape: The site lies within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area. A well-designed site would not be visually intrusive and if the permitted haul route to the south of the site is used, it would not be intrusive in landscape terms. Although is an area of attractive tranquil landscape, with a suitable restoration scheme it is considered that this site is appropriate to be allocated

Ecology: As part of an agricultural field, there is relatively little ecological interest on the site, although there is an area of woodland to the north-west of the site and the approved permission allows for new tree and hedge planting and areas of grassland as part of the restoration. Opportunities to restore some of the site to mixed heath and woodland would be ecologically beneficial

Highways: The site is well located in relation to the strategic highway network, subject to the approved off-highway haul route being used

Amenity: The closest dwellings to the site are various farmhouses (one to the south and one to the west), which are within the Stody estate. The village of Briston is approximately 800m to the south-west, and a right-of-way just touches the south-western part of the site. The site is likely to generate some amenity impacts, particularly noise, dust from the working itself, and some noise and disturbance from HGVs travelling to and from the site. However, it was concluded that, subject to a number of planning conditions, the amenity impacts will be satisfactory on the now-permitted part of MIN 44, and there is no reason for concluding that MIN 44A will be significantly different

Water resources/quality: No concerns expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: North Norfolk District Council and other objectors have raised concerns about the proximity of the site to the Major Hazard Zone associated with three large LPG tanks at Lawn Farm. However, the Health and Safety Executive has raised no objection to the site. Other objections have been made on highways, amenity and landscape grounds

Conclusion: On the basis that the planning application for part of MIN 44 was approved, the site is suitable in principle for allocation. However, the planning permission for part of MIN 44 allows for 12 years’ extraction, therefore lasting until October 2022, so if allocated, MIN 44A would run well into the period beyond 2026 (assuming 70,000 tonnes annual extraction). In addition, with a number of existing operational and permitted sites and MIN 69 (Aylmerton) and MIN 71 (Holt) all proposed to be allocated, and all within about 8 miles of each other, allocating MIN 44A would lead to an excessive local landbank.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 52

Parish

KETTLESTONE

Location of site

Land north of Langor Bridge, Fakenham

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Frimstone Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction

(sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

450,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

16.41

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site

Landscape: The site lies within an attractive area of rolling landscape and there are concerns about the impact of a new mineral working in this area, particularly in respect of its impact on the quiet enjoyment of the countryside by users of the public right-of-way. The site also lies mostly within the River Wensum’s Core River Valley designation. Irrespective of Frimstone’s declared intention not to process any materials on site (apart from occasional dry-grading), it is considered that the potential impact of the working on this attractive areas of countryside would be unacceptable

Ecology: There may be potential for impact on River Wensum SSSI/SAC and also CWSs (see below) and the Environment Agency, Natural England and Norfolk Wildlife Trust have all raised concerns. But if operations could be controlled satisfactorily, the site could be acceptable in ecology terms if restoration to arable with hedgerows and wide field margins was practised

Highways: This site is well located in relation to the local highway network (the A1067). However, of the two potential access routes proposed by Frimstone, the southern option – running adjacent to the River Wensum SAC to the C317 – is unacceptable on ecological grounds. The second option – shown on the site plan – is likely to be able to achieve a satisfactory visibility splay, but improvements may be necessary to the section of road between the site access and the A1067 (road widening or passing bays)

Amenity: There are no nearby residential properties, so amenity impacts are thought to be unlikely

Water resources/quality: Frimstone has stated that it would prepare a Pollution Risk Management Plan, recognising the sensitivities of the River Wensum SAC, and that they would not de-water the site (counter to normal practice in sites extracting into the water table). However, given the proximity of the site to the River Wensum, and the fact that the River Wensum SAC/SSSI is currently (December 2010) in an “unfavourable” ecological condition (partly due to excessive levels of siltation), it is felt that the risks this site poses are unacceptable

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: The Environment Agency and Natural England have worked jointly to prepare a Restoration Strategy for the River Wensum to try to improve its ecological condition: http://gov.uk/static/documents/Leisure/RWRS_Factsheet_Sept09.pdf. North Norfolk District Council and Kettlestone Parish Council are in agreement that the site is unacceptable, citing landscape, ecology and highways concerns

Conclusion: MIN 52 has relatively minor highways constraints, which could probably be overcome through a detailed planning application. However, it is concluded that the harm to the landscape/ amenity and the potential risks of harm to the River Wensum SAC (notwithstanding Frimstone’s proposed mitigation measures) are such that the site is not suitable for allocation.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (6) MIN 69

Parish

AYLMERTON

Location of site

Holt Road, Aylmerton

Submitted by

Carter Concrete Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

3,200,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

16.86

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. However, an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction lies immediately to the north- west of the proposed allocation site (also owned by Carter Concrete), along with a permanent concrete plant. The permission for this site was granted in the 1940s, with limited control over operation and restoration, and the current restoration of the site is felt by the County Council to not be sympathetic to its location in the AONB

Landscape: The site lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) so in landscape terms this is a significant constraint; paragraph 22 of PPS7 states that major new mineral working in the AONB is normally unacceptable, unless there are exceptional circumstances. However, despite the harm to the local landscape caused by the existing site, it is acknowledged that the existing site is surprisingly well ‘hidden’ from wider public views – there are even no direct views into the site from the footpath on the south-east boundary of the site (the boundary with MIN 69), because the footpath is set back a few metres from the cliff edge and screened by trees and shrubs. Due to the depth of working which would be necessary, it is likely that, as for the current site, MIN 69 would also not be significantly visible from wider public views (e.g. from the south), apart from footpath users.

Natural England, the Norfolk Coast Partnership and North Norfolk District Council are in general agreement that the only justification for allowing the landscape harm caused by working MIN 69 to be acceptable would be if a very high quality restoration is proposed, taking in the current site and MIN 69, leading to landscape, ecology and public access gains

Ecology: The site is near Sheringham and Beeston Regis Common SSSI and SAC, Briton’s Lane Gravel Pit SSSI, and numerous County Wildlife Sites. Consequently, a full ecological survey of the site would be required. On restoration, there is significant potential to create target BAP habitats of heathland (perhaps with some woodland also) with good quality public access. Indeed, given the cumulative size of MIN 69 and the current permitted site, and the underlying substrate (dry sand and gravel) being perfect for heathland development, a well-designed restoration scheme incorporating both sites could deliver a very significant area of new heathland, with a range of micro-habitats suitable for a wide assemblage of plants, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and mammals.

The Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment concluded that, with appropriate mitigation measures (e.g. dust suppression), there would be No Likely Significant Effect (NLSE) on the Sheringham & Beeston Regis Common SSSI/SAC

Highways: This site is well-located in relation to the strategic highway network and there are no significant access difficulties, subject to the existing access onto Briton’s Lane being used and the junction of Briton’s Lane with the A148 being upgraded to include a right-turn lane

Amenity: Working MIN 69 would affect views from the three public rights-of-way in the area and would affect the users’ quiet enjoyment of the countryside; most of these rights-of-way would need to be diverted temporarily during the operational period of the site. The possibility of a comprehensive working and restoration scheme for MIN 69 and the current (poorly-restored) site together, leading to an improvement in the local landscape, (and improved public access) would be a significant advantage.

A small collection of properties – including the recently-closed Wood Dene school – lie to the south of the site (across the A148), but with a satisfactory (planted) stand-off zone and standard planning conditions limiting noise, dust and hours of working, any impacts should not be unacceptable. Through the use of ‘interpretation’ (information) boards, there would be opportunities to inform users of the footpaths about the interesting geology, geomorphology and ecology of the site, both during the operational and restoration phases

Water resources/quality: The site would be worked ‘dry’, so no concerns have been expressed by the Environment Agency

Geodiversity: Briton’s Lane Gravel Pit SSSI is designated for its glacial and glacio-fluvial sediments (part of Cromer Ridge) and could be impacted adversely by insensitive extraction. However, MIN 69 would be a very valuable site for geological study and if a section of the Cromer Ridge could be retained it could lead to the extension of the geological SSSI. Given the site’s importance, a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase would be essential

Other comments: The National Trust owns land to the north-east of MIN 69. It has asked that the site be reduced at this north-east corner to provide a buffer against the future working detrimentally affecting visual character by causing that part of the woodland to dry out with a loss of trees and vegetation. An Anglian Water 4-inch water main passes along the southern boundary of MIN 69 (along the line of the A148), but as this main falls within the ‘stand-off’ zone it would not be impacted on

Conclusion: Significant new minerals sites in the AONB are normally unacceptable. However, it is felt that the particular circumstances of MIN 69 – principally the opportunity to achieve a high-quality biodiversity- and public access-led restoration on the current operational site in addition to MIN 69, as well as the sustainability advantages of allowing continued on-site extraction of material for the permanent on-site concrete plant and the relative lack of other disadvantages – outweigh the landscape harm. Recent information prepared by Carter Concrete on the proposed phasing of the working and restoration scheme of both MIN 69 and the current quarry, and submitted following meetings with the County Council, Natural England, North Norfolk District Council and the Norfolk Coast Partnership, is a useful first step, but this will need to be supported by more detailed information (submitted as part of Carter Concrete’s consultation response to this document) on:

  1. how effective management of the phased restoration process to create resilient long term habitats of value which help to meet local biodiversity targets could be secured. This will require some more detailed information from an ecologist with heathland restoration expertise;
  2. how realistic and manageable arrangements for public access and understanding that are consistent with safety and biodiversity interests could be developed; and
  3. how management arrangement for both habitats and access that can be maintained with a realistic, resourceable level of management through an agreed mechanism. This will be important because the climax vegetation of the site is likely to be willow and birch scrub and woodland, and so a very long-term management plan (of more than 25 years’ duration) will need to be agreed to allow for scrub clearance (e.g. by grazing and/or hand), footpath maintenance and the maintenance of faces which comprise the geological SSSI.

The site will therefore be allocated subject to:

  1. the development of a very high quality working and restoration plan for MIN 69 and the existing site, showing clearly how the two sites could be worked and progressively restored together to minimise landscape and amenity harm during the operational stages and the maximise the benefits on restoration. In particular, excessively steep ‘walls’ on the quarry boundaries (a feature of the current site) should be avoided, with gentler gradients necessary;
  2. the restoration being heathland-led, with a range of different habitats and micro-habitats being included (e.g. a variety of slope aspects and angles), to maximise the potential for plants, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and mammals. No importation of waste materials to assist with restoration will be permitted;
  3. improved public access being a key consideration. During the operational stage, footpaths should only be diverted when necessary (e.g. for public safety reasons), and both during the operation stage and on restoration the footpaths should be of appropriate gradients to facilitate relatively easy access. Interpretation boards, showing details of the interesting glacial geology of the site (the reason for the designation of the Briton’s Lane Gravel Pit SSSI), heathland ecology and the AONB landscape, should be placed at suitable points in the site;
  4. a section of the Cromer Ridge being retained, if at all practicable, for geological study. The condition of the current geological SSSI (Briton’s Lane Gravel Pit) should also be maintained or, where possible, improved. The arrangements at the current site – where academic and student study of the site’s geology is (by arrangement) welcomed and facilitated by Carter Concrete – should continue, with the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership being contacted in the event of interesting finds being made by Carter Concrete workers;
  5. some advanced planting (or allowing current trees and hedges to thicken up) along the southern and eastern boundaries of MIN 69 being made;
  6. adopting a buffer zone in the north-east corner of MIN 69 (as shown in the site plan) to protect the setting and ecology of woodland owned by the National Trust;
  7. maintenance of the current highways access along Briton’s Lane to the A148, with the junction being upgraded with a right-turn lane; and
  8. a formal aftercare agreement (through a Section 106 agreement) being made for at least 25 years after extraction has ceased. These arrangements will need to include regular clearance of scrub vegetation to maintain the heathland habitat and footpath maintenance

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 71

Parish

HOLT

Location of site

Land to the West of Norwich Road, Lodge Farm, Holt

Submitted by

Bidwells on behalf of R G Carter Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction(sand and gravel)

Estimated reserves

1.1-2.5 million tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

22.73

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. However, an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction (a Cemex site) lies to the south of the site, and it has been resolved (on 18 December 2009) to grant planning permission for an extension to this site (site MIN 82), subject to the signing of a Section 106 agreement to cover highway matters

Landscape: The site lies within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area. Most of the site is well screened, but there are some longer views into the north of the site from Thornage (to the west). Subject to a suitable scheme of working, with careful design to the western boundary of the site, and restoration – to include woodland – the site is likely to be acceptable in landscape terms

Ecology: The site is located about 600 metres from Holt Lowes SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC). The Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment concluded that there would be No Likely Significant Effect on Holt Lowes SSSI, with the implementation of mitigation measures to ensure dust was controlled and as long as the site was worked dry. Restoration to agriculture but with some mixed woodland/acid grassland could be beneficial to ecology

Highways: This site is well-located in relation to the strategic highway network, although improvements to the B1149/Holt Road junction improvement would be necessary

Amenity: Various properties adjoin the site, including dwellings to the north-east (on Norwich Road) and north-west (on Thornage Road). The amenity of these properties would need to be protected through suitable stand-off zones and advanced planting

Water resources/quality: Most of the site is within Source Protection Zone 1, and the Environment Agency has objected to MIN 71 if it would “physically disturb” the aquifer. This SPZ has subsequently been deleted, so it is felt that the substance of the Agency’s objection (on the SPZ) has been overtaken by this later event. However, the borehole records show that the third of three layers of sand and gravel in the site is damp in places, so a hydrogeological risk assessment will be necessary to determine whether this third layer could be worked

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: Some representations expressing concern about the potential impact on Holt Lowes SSSI have been made, and North Norfolk District Council also objected on grounds of amenity impacts on local residents and Holt Country Park, and potential harm to Glaven Valley Conservation Area

Conclusion: The Appropriate Assessment result concluded that, with appropriate mitigation measures, it is unlikely that there would be any adverse impact on Holt Lowes SSSI, so long as the deposit was worked ‘dry’ (above the water table). Borehole results show that the top layer of sand & gravel (1.1 million tonnes) would be worked dry, but that the bottom layer (1.4 million tonnes) is ‘damp’ in places. Without sufficient clarity on whether this dampness is related to groundwater, and thus could potentially impact on Holt Lowes SSSI, it is not safe to allocate the lowest layer.

MIN 71 is therefore allocated, subject to:

  1. the results of a hydrogeological risk assessment, which will show how deep the site can be worked, and any mitigation measures necessary to enable that working to take place, with the presumption that only the top layer (1.1 million tonnes) is suitable;
  2. suitable stand-off/buffer zones at the north-east and north-west corners of the site, and along the western boundary of the site, to protect residential amenity and longer views to Thornage;
  3. appropriate low-level restoration (with no importation of material) to agriculture, incorporating some additional areas of habitat (e.g. woodland and maybe grassland);
  4. a contribution to improvements to the B1149/Holt Road junction; and
  5. a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are discovered, and appropriate scientific study is permitted during the operational stage

MIN 82 – Extension to Holt Quarry

The Planning (Regulatory) Committee resolved to grant permission for this site on 18 December 2009, subject to a Section 106 agreement for lorry routing.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 84

Parish

EAST BECKHAM

Location of site

Land at East Beckham

Submitted by

Robert Batt (the Trustees of the Gresham Estate) and Singh UK Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction(sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

3,340,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

29.8

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site. A minerals planning application for part of the site was prepared in 2006, but never formally submitted

Landscape: This proposed site lies within and attractive area of undulating countryside close to the Norfolk Coast AONB (although it is accepted that the site itself is screened from the AONB to the east by Gibbet Plantation). Whilst much of the site could be reasonably well screened, there are landscape concerns about introducing a new operation and processing plant within this sensitive landscape. East Beckham village also enjoys sweeping views up to the Cromer Ridge (which is within the AONB); these could be harmed by allowing the site to be developed. English Heritage is also concerned about the potential harm to views to and from the Grade II* Sheringham Park. The potential depth of the extraction on the site would lead to a large ‘hole’ which would be difficult to restore satisfactorily without the importation of inert material – and the site has not been proposed as an inert waste landfill site

Ecology: The site is near Sheringham and Beeston Regis Common SSSI and SAC, Felbrigg Woods SSSI and numerous County Wildlife Sites. However, as the site would be worked ‘dry’ it is considered unlikely that working the site would impact adversely on these sites. The Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment concluded that, with appropriate mitigation measures (e.g. dust suppression), there would be No Likely Significant Effect (NLSE) on the Sheringham & Beeston Regis Common SSSI/SAC. There is potential for target habitats to be created - a restoration scheme to include mixed heath and wood with public access would be desirable

Highways: The site is well located in relation to the strategic highway network, although a full improvement to the Gibbet Lane/Holt Road (A148) junction would be required

Amenity: The site is relatively remote from settlements, but Mill Cottage bed & breakfast lies about 200m north-west of the site (on the A148), with Mill Farm about 200m west of the site boundary. Appropriate screening and operating conditions should ensure that the impacts on these dwellings would not be unacceptable. However, there would be a significant adverse effect on the users of the footpath which skirts the southern boundary of the site, whose quiet enjoyment of the countryside would be compromised

Water resources/quality: The site is situated over a major aquifer and in SPZ2. However, information supplied by the proposer indicates that the water table lies beneath the workable deposit, and so the site would be worked ‘dry’. The Environment Agency has not objected to this site

Geodiversity: The site is close to the Cromer Ridge and Briton’s Lane Gravel Pit SSSI and working might impact adversely on the landform. However, if the site was worked it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: North Norfolk District Council support the site’s exclusion on landscape, highways and amenity impacts, but the site’s owner and the agent for Singh UK submitted representations in favour of allocating the site, contending that the landscape and highways impacts were not so significant that they justified rejecting the site, and that the quality of mineral was acceptable to other mineral companies (e.g. Singh UK)

Conclusion: The landscape and local amenity impacts of this site are unacceptable. In addition, there is a need to avoid over-allocating sites in the local area, and with a number of existing operational and permitted sites, and MIN 69 (Aylmerton) and MIN 71 (Holt) all proposed to be allocated, and all within about 8 miles of each other, allocating MIN 84 would lead to an excessive local landbank.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 115

Parish

WESTWICK, WORSTEAD, SWANTON ABBOTT & NORTH WALSHAM

Location of site

Westwick Estate, nr North Walsham

Submitted by

Savills on behalf of the Westwick Estate

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (mainly building sand)

Estimated reserves

15,000,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

189.5

Background information: No current mineral or waste planning permission on the site, although it is believed that there has been mineral working on parts of the site in the past

Landscape: This is a very large site comprising gently undulating woodland, which is a mixture of coniferous and deciduous species. A number of footpaths and minor roads cross the site, and even though workings could be visually screened, the noise would impact adversely on this quiet area of countryside. Restoration to heathland and woodland would be in keeping with the prevailing landscape character, and enhanced public access would be a possibility. Although there may be some possibilities on smaller areas within the site, particularly within the coniferous woodland, the site considered in its entirety is unacceptable on landscape grounds

Ecology: The site contains a CWS and is adjacent to two SSSIs, with a third located to the north of North Walsham Wood. The site would therefore act as a buffer for these statutory and non-statutory sites. There are also potentially bats present – barbastelles have been recorded in the vicinity of the site. Although restoration could bring some ecological gains, this would be at the expense of losses during the extraction phase. Natural England objects due to the potential hydrological impact on Westwick Lakes SSSI (which is in an unfavourable and declining condition) and the potential loss of a large area of broad-leaved woodland

Highways: The B1150 runs through the site, and although it is a Main Distributor Route, it is not of a particularly high standard. A dedicated right-turn lane onto the B1150 would be required and a contribution to a planned safety scheme at Captain’s Pond would potentially also be sought

Amenity: A number of properties lie just to the south of the site, on The Hill and Long Common Lane. If part of the site close to these dwellings was worked, there could be adverse amenity impacts, particularly noise and dust. In addition, one right-of-way passes through and then borders the site; the users of this footpath could also have their quiet enjoyment of the countryside impacted on adversely

Water resources/quality: No objections were received from the Environment Agency, although the potential impact to Westwick Lakes SSSI mentioned above is noted

Geodiversity: Although not a site of national significance, it would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a ‘watching brief’ during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered

Other comments: A National Grid gas pipeline passes close to the south-east corner of the site; a statutory cordon sanitaire would need to be observed. English Heritage is concerned about the potential impact on a number of scheduled monuments and listed buildings to the north, including mediaeval crosses associated with a 1381 Peasants’ Revolt battle. North Norfolk District Council and Westwick Parish Council have also objected on grounds of ecology and highways

Conclusion: Although there might be some potential on a smaller area or areas of the site, and a site close to North Walsham (a Key Centre for Development and Change) would be well-located, taken as a whole, the site would clearly be excessively large and have unacceptable impacts on landscape, public amenity and ecology, with further concerns on highways and cultural heritage.

Site not allocated.

No Comments 7.1.6 South Norfolk mineral site allocations

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 2

Parish

DEOPHAM

Location of site

Hill Farm, Hackford, Wymondham, NR18 9HF

Submitted by

Mr M J Skidmore

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction

Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

3.6

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at the site.

Landscape: The site comprises of a small field with a small disused pit within it; along its southern boundary there is a screen belt of trees and hedgerow shrubs. The site is located with a plateau landscape of large arable fields to the north; to the south of the site the landscape is a more intimate in scale with smaller fields and more hedgerows and trees.

Ecology: There are no outstanding ecology issues that could not be dealt with at the application stage. A restoration scheme to arable with wide field margins and hedgerows would be suitable.

Highways: The access road (Hall Road) is unsuitable for HGV traffic for its entire length to the B1108. Improvement works for this 800m section of highway would have to met by a developer contribution, also the improvement works would require the removal of some trees and sections of hedgerow which may have unacceptable landscape and ecology impacts.

Amenity: The site is located at some distance from properties and could be screened effectively. Impacts from HGV traffic would need to be assessed and suitable mitigation identified as part of the application process.

Water resources/quality: The site is located on a major aquifer.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially interesting geodiversity features. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments:

Conclusion: This site has the potential to be an allocated site, however due to the need for extensive highway improvements and a lack of information regarding the viability of any mineral resources and the fact that the willingness of the developer to contribute to the highway improvements on the site is unknown, it is felt that there are other more acceptable sites, with greater certainty of delivery, and therefore this site will not be allocated.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 04

Parish

WRENINGHAM

Location of site

Land to the north of High Common Farm, Wreningham

Submitted by

Savills (L&P) Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction

Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

23.3

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permission at the site. Borehole evidence has indicated that the site is underlain by clay, and a series of land drains which the site owners do not wish disturbed.

Landscape: The site comprises a large agricultural field with a stream running through it; there is also a disused railway line running through part of the site, al though there is little remaining. The site is set in gently rolling arable countryside, with large fields and large woodland blocks. There are poultry sheds to the west of the site; the B1135 runs along part of the northern boundary. The site slopes down from both north and south towards the stream that runs east to west. The site would be highly visible in the wider landscape and any bunding would block out the long range views of the wider landscape. It is considered that this site is not acceptable in landscape terms.

Ecology: The site would be acceptable provided that surveys to identify any populations of protected species and suitable mitigation are carried out, and an agreed restoration scheme.

Highways: There are no major highways issues with this site as long as acceptable junction improvements to C186 Wymondham Road are made, for which a contribution would be required from any developer of the site.

Amenity: Assessments would need to be carried out to identify any dust, noise and vibration impacts including from HGV traffic which needs to be suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: An assessment would be required to assess the impact on local ponds, and mitigation would be required for any identified impacts.

Geodiversity: Development on the site may lead to impacts on potentially interesting geodiversity features; access should be permitted during the operational phases for recording and sampling and it would be useful to retain an “open face” as part of the restoration of the site to permit scientific study.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation due to landscape impacts, the fact that it is not underlain by sand & gravel resources means that extraction is unlikely to be viable in any event.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (6) MIN 07

Parish

EARSHAM

Location of site

Land off A134, Park Farm, Earsham, Bungay

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Earsham Gravels Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), concrete batching plant, aggregate processing, aggregate bagging

Estimated reserves

1,400,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

18.8

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction lies approximately 300m to the north east.

Landscape: The site boundary for this site has been amended from the original proposal by removal of the field to the west of the track leading to Park Farm, and amending the eastern boundary to provide a greater buffer surrounding Park Farm cottages. It may be possible to mitigate these views with a well designed scheme. Two properties Camp Hill Farm and Park Farm would have a clear and elevated view over most of the site and this would be difficult to screen adequately. The proposed area is a gravel terrace located on the side of the Waveney Valley, and is currently in arable use. The site is located in an area of attractive farmland on the north side of the Waveney, although a set of two low voltage lines cross the site from north to south. The A143 runs along the southern boundary of the site; and there are some filtered views of the site and a clear view from Pheasants Walk, although it is considered that a well designed scheme could screen these views; however there are also elevated views from a section of Middle Road which would be more difficult to adequately screen. There are views of the site from a number of different viewpoints due to the sloping nature of the site some of views from the elevated positions to the north which may be difficult to screen. The site is considered to be at a sufficient distance away from the Broads Authority Executive Area that development will not have any direct impacts, however there may be indirect impacts as it does lie on one of the “gateways” into the Broads. Although the amended site boundary improves the potential landscape impacts, there are still some concerns about the elevated views from the north.

Ecology: There are no outstanding ecology issues that could not be dealt with at the application stage. There is a proposal for a restoration scheme incorporating a mix of woodland, grassland and open water which would provide an improvement in the biodiversity of the site. There may be wider impacts of any working on the ecology of the Lay which may be at least partially groundwater fed, which will need to be investigated.

Highways: The local highway network will require a programme of improvements to ensure that it is suitable for HGV traffic, the site is however well connected to the strategic network, although improvement works would be required at the point where the local and strategic highway networks connect. It would be expected that any developer would make a contribution towards these works.

Amenity: There were concerns raised about the impacts of noise, dust and vibration not only from the site itself but also from the effects of HGV traffic. These will need to be assessed and suitable mitigation put in place as part of any future detailed application. The impact of any lighting will need to be assessed and mitigated in any application.

Water resources/quality: If mineral extraction on site will require dewatering any developer will need to identify any abstraction points/wells that will be affected by a drop in groundwater levels and mitigate/compensate the owners of these abstraction points. A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment would be required to ensure that any impacts to the groundwater resource and nearby protected sites have been fully investigated and suitable mitigation identified.

Geodiversity: Development of this site would cause impacts to geodiversity features which have regional importance. The working would remove the last remaining intact remnant of the Homersfield Terrace within the Waveney valley, which is considered to be an Integrity site by Natural England and it is considered that this would cause an unacceptable impact.

A feature that would need to be specifically investigated as part of any HRA would be any impacts on the Lay which may be a groundwater dependent natural feature, formed from a periglacial collapse of the underlying chalk.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: It is considered that this site is unsuitable for allocation, for the following reasons; the impacts on the views of houses to the north would be difficult to screen, together with landscape impacts on the wider Waveney valley due to the sites location on the valley side. The removal of a finite geomorphological feature of regional significance would also be unacceptable.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 24

Parish

CAISTOR ST. EDMUND

Location of site

Land west of Stoke Road, Caistor St. Edmund

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Earsham Gravel Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

890,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

15.8

Background information: There is no current mineral or waste planning permission at the site. No processing would take place on the site- this would take place at Caistor Quarry.

Landscape: This site comprises of grazing meadows and one mown for hay; there are a number of drainage ditches, individual trees and an area of scrub. The site is in the Yare valley and the southern section starts on the valley floor and then gently rises to the south west. This is an attractive landscape although there are a number of landscape detractors already present; due to the valley floor nature of the site bunding and screening would in itself be visually intrusive in the river valley which has been the subject of a long standing policy of protection. The site would be visible to a number of properties on higher ground in Lakenham. Therefore it is felt that the site is unacceptable on landscape grounds.

Ecology: The loss of grazing meadows and their replacement with a mosaic of open water and reedbeds would result in a loss of biodiversity. The development of the site will affect the drainage into the River Yare and result in a loss of floodplain. Therefore the site is considered to be ecologically unacceptable.

Highways: This site should not be included as the local highway network is unsuitable for higher numbers of HGVs and, in addition, the network around the quarry proposed for processing is inadequate for distributing the processed material.

Amenity: The impact of increased HGV traffic in terms of noise, dust and vibration would need to be assessed, and given the local highway network may lead to unacceptable impacts which cannot be mitigated successfully.

Water resources/quality: The site is in the functional floodplain and would require a satisfactory Flood Risk Assessment, the Environment Agency have also raised objections to the site based on its impacts on the River Yare and the ecology of the area.

Geodiversity: Development of this site could lead to impacts on finite geological features.

Other comments: The site affects two scheduled cropmarks which form a belt of historic sites. The impacts on these archaeological assets and the setting of other sites in the wider landscape mean that this site is unacceptable due to archaeological impacts.

Conclusion: This site has many constraints and is considered to be unsuitable for allocation due to unacceptable impacts on:

  • Landscape;
  • Ecology;
  • Suitability of the highway network;
  • Amenity impacts;
  • Flood risk;
  • Geodiversity; and
  • Archaeological assets.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 25

Parish

HADDISCOE

Location of site

Land off B1136 Loddon Road, Manor Farm, Haddiscoe

Submitted by

Stephen M Daw Ltd on behalf of Earsham Gravels Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel); concrete batching plant and aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

1,311,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

24.8

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site.

Landscape: The site comprises two parcels of arable land. They are located to the north and south of the B1136. The smaller parcel to the south is very open and would have a significant impact on the setting of Haddiscoe Church. The site to the north slopes downwards towards the Broads and would make screening of views from distance difficult and would be visually intrusive on the setting of the Broads. Therefore this site is unacceptable in landscape terms.

Ecology: There are no outstanding ecology issues which could not be dealt with at an application stage; a restoration scheme to wet woodland, acid grassland and reedbed would provide an ecological benefit.

Highways: The site is well located in relation to the strategic highway network; however the right turn from the B1136 onto the A143 is not entirely suitable for HGVs, improvements would be needed to this junction; for which any developer of the site would be expected to contribute.

Amenity: There have been concerns raised regarding the impacts of noise,dust and vibration from the site on nearby properties, on users of the roads close to the site and especially on users of the bridleway which crosses part of the site.

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency have raised concerns regarding potential disturbance to groundwater flows and a Hydrological Impact Assessment would be required at an application stage any impacts would have to be identified and suitably mitigated.

Geodiversity: The site may contain interesting geological features and it would be useful for there to be access during the operational phases for scientific study and on restoration the incorporation of an ‘open face’ would provided a useful resource for further study.

Other comments:

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation on the grounds of the landscape impact; there are also highway, amenity and potential groundwater impacts which would also decrease the acceptability of this site.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 53

Parish

SWAINSTHORPE

Location of site

Land to the west of Swainsthorpe and north east of Kenninghall, south of Norwich

Submitted by

Savills (L&P) Ltd on behalf of EB Gowing and Sons

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of Search

Size of site (ha)

41.6

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at the site

Landscape: This site comprises a large area of arable fields to the south and west of the village of Swainsthorpe, it is bounded to the east by the railway line which is embanked for part of its length. The site is set in a wider area of rolling arable landscape. A line of pylons crosses the site from north east to south west. There are public viewpoints of the site from all sides with the most prominent views from the south. There are likely to be significant visual impacts of any development on the southern part of the site as there would be on a section to the north east; A section of the central section to the north west of the site may be acceptable. Any haul route is also likely to have a significant visual impact on the surrounding area.

Ecology: The potential loss of sections of hedgerow and parts of Bloys grove could have significant ecological losses; there is a need for a reduced site area to minimise these. Any restoration which incorporates the creation of more hedges and woodland areas would be seen as acceptable.

Highways: The only acceptable means of access to this site would be to consider off-highway haul routes to link to the site (MIN 79) to the north, however this is considered to be unlikely due to the proposed working scheme for MIN 79, MIN 80, and MIN 81. The local road network is unsuitable for HGV Traffic.

Amenity: The village of Swainsthorpe is nearby and potential noise, dust and vibration impacts will need to be assessed as part of any future planning application. Any impacts identified will need to be suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: The site is located on a major aquifer.

Geodiversity: Development on the site may lead to impacts on potential important regional geodiversity features; access should be permitted during the operational phases for recording and sampling and it would be useful to retain an “open face” as part of the restoration of the site to permit scientific study.

Other comments: National Grid have indicated that pylons cross the site and that these will need to safeguarded and statutory minimum work distances observed during extraction.

An archaeological evaluation would be required and fieldwork would be required if any features of interest are discovered.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation due to landscape and highway impacts.

Site not allocated.

Withdrawn
Site ref no.

View Comments (6) MIN 54SITE WITHDRAWN

Parish

MARLINGFORD AND COLTON

Location of site

Land to the North of Bawburgh Road, Marlingford, Norwich

Submitted by

The Lombe Estate Trust represented by Stephen M Daw Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), concrete batching plant, aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

735,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

20.6

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permission at the site. There is an active mineral working located approximately 350m to the north-east of the site; and a number of other mineral operations including a concrete batching plant are located approximately 1.5km to the north.

Landscape: The site comprises a plateau of agricultural land currently in arable use. The edges of the site slope downwards to the north and west; there is a block of woodland in the northwest corner as well as a number of individual trees within the site. The southern edge of the site is on the plateau, which continues for a short distance before dropping away quite steeply to the Bawburgh Road and then into the valley of the River Yare. The site is in rolling mainly arable countryside. The valley of the River Yare is to the south of the site. Easton College is to the northeast and the associated sports pitches are to the east. It is considered that the site could be screened satisfactorily with a well thought out advanced planting and bunding scheme. Special consideration would need to be given to the setting of Marlingford Old Hall; although the nearest edge of the site is located over 200m away on rising ground from the closest outbuilding of the Hall and is already screened to some extent by boundary hedges with some trees, which appear on the skyline, these will require additional reinforcement by advanced planting and screening bunds. A high-quality restoration scheme incorporating blocks of woodland interspersed by arable land with wide field margins would provide acceptable restoration.

Ecology: There would be a need to carry out surveys of mature trees and for any populations of protected species, identify any impacts and provide suitable mitigation. A high-quality restoration scheme incorporating blocks of woodland interspersed by arable land with wide field margins would improve the biodiversity of this site.

Highways: The proposed access route for the site would be acceptable to the Highway Authority, The Highways Agency has indicated that as part of any future planning application a traffic assessment would be required to ascertain whether there would be any significant impacts on the A47 at the proposed access point on the roundabout to the west of Easton. Any significant impacts identified would need to be mitigated.

Amenity: There have been many public concerns considering amenity impacts from the development of the site. Any future application will need to carry out an assessment of any potential impacts and identify suitable mitigation. It is considered that in general terms it should be feasible to implement mitigation measures to address any impacts. Noise impacts would need to be mitigated by careful location of the processing plant, and noise attenuation measures such as white-noise reversing signals.

Water resources/quality: There have been many public concerns raised regarding water pollution and flooding The site is located within an Source Protection Zone 1, which was designated in November 2009; and a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment (HRA) would be required as part of any application. Anglian Water and the Environment Agency have raised an objection in principle based on the proximity of the site to a public water abstraction point. However, data indicates that any working for sand and gravel would be above the watertable. Data also indicated that the mineral is separated from the aquifer by a layer of unsaturated material. This would need to be confirmed by detailed assessment but the data available provides an indication that the site could be worked without unacceptable impacts to the hydrology of the area. The Environment Agency have indicated that they would not object to a mineral working in principle if before planning permission is granted, a satisfactory risk assessment is submitted which demonstrates: 1) that there is a sufficient unsaturated zone between the base of the workings and the maximum groundwater level; and 2) adequate mitigation measures to prevent any pollutant source impacting on the protected water supply."

Geodiversity: None noted.

Other comments: An archaeological evaluation would be required and fieldwork may be required if any features of interest are discovered.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation, its location close to areas of growth in Easton, Costessey and Wymondham, and close to a major concrete processing facility making it a sustainable option for mineral extraction subject to conditions including:

  • A traffic assessment to identify any potential impacts and appropriate mitigation which would be put in place to address any impacts identified;
  • A noise and dust assessment which identifies any potential impacts and appropriate mitigation which would be put in place to address these impacts;
  • A working scheme which does not enter the watertable;
  • A Hydrogeological Risk Assessment which identifies any potential impacts particularly relating to groundwater quality and flood risk and appropriate mitigation which would be put in place to address any impacts identified;
  • A survey to identify protected species, habitats, and trees and appropriate mitigation;
  • An approved scheme of working and restoration addressing landscape, and ecology issues; and
  • An approved scheme of archaeological evaluation and appropriate fieldwork if required.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 56

Parish

LONG STRATTON AND MORNINGTHORPE

Location of site

Land to the North of the B1135 at Mill Farm, Tasburgh

Submitted by

Brett Aggregates (Eastern) Ltd represented by Stephen M Daw Ltd

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

425,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

11.6

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at the site, although part of the site was formerly permitted for sand and gravel extraction. There are two active waste management facilities approximately 300m east of the site; to which MIN 56 would be linked should the site be granted planning permission.

Landscape: The site comprises an area of attractive gently undulating arable landscape on the shoulder of the valley of the River Tas. The site can be viewed from the Bungay Road and any bunding in the valley would be visually intrusive. The site is considered to be unacceptable in landscape terms due to it location within the river valley

Ecology: The Environment Agency have raised an objection to the site based on it potential ecological impact on the River Tas.

Highways: A junction improvement would be necessary at the Hempnall Crossroads (A140 – B1527 junction); a contribution by the developer to the approved scheme would be required.

Amenity: There is one property to the north of the site and the amenity impacts of the development would need to be assessed and suitable mitigation provided.

Water resources/quality: The site is adjacent to Flood Zone 3, with a potential incursion into the functional flood plain.

Geodiversity: The site may contain interesting geological features and it would be useful for there to be access during the operational phases for scientific study and on restoration the incorporation of an ‘open face’ would provided a useful resource for further study.

Other comments: An archaeological evaluation would be required, and field work would be needed if any features were discovered.

Conclusion: The site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation due to both its landscape and ecological impacts on the River Tas.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 62

Parish

WYMONDHAM

Location of site

Strayground Lane, Wymondham

Submitted by

The Martin Smith Partnership

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), concrete batching plant, asphalt plant, aggregate rail head

Estimated reserves

18,500 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

1.1

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at the site. An active pit with planning permission for mineral extraction and inert landfill adjoins the northern boundary of the site, and a Household Waste Recycling Centre is also nearby. This site has previously been refused planning permission.

Landscape: The site comprises three light industrial buildings with close-mown grass around them. The site is at a higher level than the road which forms the western boundary and the railway line that runs along the south eastern boundary. The site is on the edge of Wymondham, a HMRC is located to the west of the site. The landscape has already been heavily degraded by industrial development, and a scheme which incorporated restoration to woodland, grassland with arable farmland would be an improvement in landscape terms.

Ecology: There is little ecological interest on the site currently, so any sensible restoration (e.g. to woodland or grassland with arable) would be supported.

Highways: Strayground Lane would not be suitable for any increase in HGV traffic, and as such there would not seem to be a suitable highway access to this site.

Amenity: Assessments would need to be carried out to identify any dust, noise and vibration impacts including from HGV traffic which would need to be suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: The site is adjacent to Flood Zone 3; any future application would need to assess any potential impacts and suitable mitigation. The Environment Agency have raised an objection on ecological grounds based on potential impacts on Bay’s River; any future application would need to assess any potential impacts and suitable mitigation.

Geodiversity: Development on the site may lead to impacts on potentially interesting geodiversity features; access should be permitted during the operational phases for recording and sampling and it would be useful to retain an “open face” as part of the restoration of the site to permit scientific study.

Other comments: The Environment Agency would require investigation into possible landfill gassing from adjacent closed landfill site.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation, as a suitable access to the highway network cannot be found, and the ecological impact on the Bay’s river.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 70

Parish

WYMONDHAM

Location of site

Bridge Industrial Estate, Silfield Road, Wymondham

Submitted by

Mr G Mitchell

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), aggregate processing, aggregate railhead

Estimated reserves

300,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

6.6

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. The northern boundary of the site lies adjacent to land allocated as employment land in the South Norfolk Local Plan. This allocation extends Bridge Industrial Estate to the north which includes a planning permission for a waste transfer station and recycling centre.

Landscape: The site comprises an area of gently rolling arable land, it is bounded by the railway line to the west, housing to the east and Bridge industrial state to the north, with rolling arable fields to the south. There are public viewpoints from all but a southerly direction. The eastern side of the site would be unacceptable due to the visual impact on the residential properties adjacent to it; parts of the western side of the site could be acceptable if a well designed screening scheme protected these views and the visual impact on the properties in the south western corner of the site.

Ecology: The site is close to a County Wildlife Site; a well designed restoration scheme with wide field margins and blocks of deciduous woodland could provide improved biodiversity, and would be acceptable ecologically.

Highways: The submission suggests there are four different access routes, however these are not shown. The U78306 and U78307 are unsuitable for increased HGV traffic, the former would mean that traffic would have to pass down residential roads to access the strategic highway network. The shortest route would mean passing under the railway bridge on the C594 Silfield Road, which would be unacceptable due to capacity issues. The U78307 is a soft road which is unsuitable for increased HGV traffic and it can only be accessed from the site by an unmanned level crossing which would be unacceptable. Therefore it is considered that a suitable access onto the highway network cannot be made from this site.

Amenity: Assessments would need to be carried out to identify any dust, noise and vibration impacts including from HGV traffic which would need to be suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: The site is adjacent to Flood Zone 3, the Environment Agency have raised an objection on ecological grounds based on potential impacts on Bay’s River; any future application would need to assess any potential impacts and suitable mitigation.

Geodiversity: Development on the site may lead to impacts on potentially interesting geodiversity features; access should be permitted during the operational phases for recording and sampling and it would be useful to retain an “open face” as part of the restoration of the site to permit scientific study.

Other comments:

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unacceptable due to the unsuitability of the access to the highway proposed, and the amenity impact if the eastern area of the site were to be developed.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (5) MIN 78

Parish

DITCHINGHAM

Location of site

Land off Norwich Road, Ditchingham

Submitted by

David L Walker Chartered

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel), aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

1,000,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

25.1

Background information: There are no current minerals or waste planning permissions at the site. A previous planning application for the site was withdrawn before determination.

Landscape: The site comprises undulating arable land interspersed with woodland belts and hedgerows. The site forms part of a wider area of undulating farmland and parkland with dispersed settlement. The site is separated from Ditchingham Park, a grade II registered landscape, by the B1332; and lies approximately 300 metres north of the Broads Authority Executive Area. There are a number of properties along Fen Lane, Pound Lane, Free Lane and Bungay Road which surround the site; there are views from a number of these properties into the site which would be difficult to screen. The use of screening bunds would themselves be intrusive within the landscape, as would the formation of a new access off the B1132 close to the entrance with the Park. Historically, there is some evidence linking properties close to the site as subsidiary properties to the Hall. Heater and Tenpenny Plantation although planted woodland may have originally been planted as part of the wider setting to the parkland as opposed to purely commercial forestry. This site is considered to have unacceptable landscape impacts.

Ecology: It is proposed that Heater Plantation, a deciduous plantation, would be removed as part of the working scheme; it is considered that this would cause unacceptable ecological harm; which could not be suitably mitigated by a restoration scheme. A survey for protected species would need to be carried out and if populations are identified suitable mitigation put in place. Therefore the site is considered unacceptable in ecological terms.

Highways: Highway improvement will be required to the B1332 in order to bring it up to the required standard for HGV traffic; however this has the potential to result in landscape impacts to the entrance to the Hall and the setting of the Park. There is also a requirement for improvement works at the roundabout formed at the junction of the B1332 and the A143 for which a contribution from the developers of the site would be required.

Amenity: Concerns have been raised regarding noise, dust and vibration, especially as a result of increased HGV traffic; an assessment will be required as part of any application which identifies any impacts and suitable mitigation.

Water resources/quality: The Environment Agency regards the extent of the dewatering that is likely to be required to be greater than that estimated by the developer; with consequent impacts on water bodies including Broom Beck and the River Waveney, it is therefore likely that the Environment Agency would raise an objection.

Geodiversity: This site may contain potentially interesting geodiversity features. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during the operational phases and ideally as part of any restoration scheme.

Other comments:

Conclusion: It is considered that this site is unsuitable for allocation, this is due to unacceptable landscape and ecology impacts; also the absence of a revised Hydrological Impact Assessment and the Environment Agency’s likely objection to the site regarding water resources.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (5) MIN 79

Parish

SWAINSTHORPE AND SWARDESTON AND STOKE HOLY CROSS

Location of site

Land north of Hickling Lane, Swardeston, near Norwich

Submitted by

David L Walker Chartered Surveyors on behalf of Lafarge Aggregates Ltd.

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

1,750,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

38.6

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site.

Landscape: The site comprises four arable fields, which slope gently down west to east, there is a tree belt containing a series of ponds on a north-south axis through the centre of the site which terminates in a small copse (Sprow’s pit) on the southern boundary of the site.An indicative working scheme has indicated a standoff area to provide the protection to this copse that would be required during extraction. Trees and shrubs have been planted along the southern boundary which helps to screen the site from users of the Public Right of Way (PRoW) which runs along this boundary and properties to the south. There is a shrub belt to the north which helps to screen the site especially from long range views; a partial line of hedging along the western boundary provides some screening for users of the PRoW along this side. Gowthorpe Manor and Barn are well screened from the site be intervening woodland. The nearest property is in the southwest corner of the site, significant planting and screening will be required plus possibly a limit of extraction to the southwest to mitigate impacts this has been shown as part of the indicative working scheme. A reinforcement of the existing boundary planting is also shown as part of the indicative scheme, plus a restoration scheme that incorporated an increase in the size of the Sprow’s pit copse would be acceptable.

Ecology: The site would be acceptable provided that surveys to identify any populations of protected species and suitable mitigation are carried out, and an agreed restoration scheme. A restoration scheme which included an increase in woodland along with wide field margins would provide improved biodiversity.

Highways: Acceptable access to the highway will be via the access at the existing quarry to the north, material to be transported to the existing processing plant by conveyor.

Amenity: There is a nearby property in the southwest corner and PRoWs on three sides of the site, an assessment of the impacts of noise, dust and vibration will need to be made and suitable mitigation implemented, although the indicative scheme already indicates that reinforced planting will be placed in these locations.

Water resources/quality: None noted.

Geodiversity: Development on the site may lead to impacts on potential important regional geodiversity features; access should be permitted during the operational phases for recording and sampling and it would be useful to retain an “open face” as part of the restoration of the site to permit scientific study.

Other comments: National Grid have indicated that pylons cross the site and that these will need to safeguarded and statutory minimum work distances observed during extraction.

An archaeological evaluation would be required and fieldwork if any features are discovered.

Conclusion: It is considered that this site is suitable for allocation, as the proposed scheme of working for the site and the adjacent sites MIN 80 and MIN 81 would entail a working scheme with progressive restoration moving from south to north towards the existing mineral processing site.

This is subject to conditions within any future application that include:

  • An appropriate agreed scheme of working and restoration;
  • A noise and dust assessment to identify any potential impacts on nearby properties or users of the ProWs and appropriate mitigation of any impacts
  • That the material extracted would be removed by conveyor for processing at the existing processing plant.
  • That the site is worked from south to north in phase with the two sites and that progressive restoration takes place.

Site Allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (6) MIN 80

Parish

SWARDESTON

Location of site

Land south of Mangreen Hall Farm, Swardeston, near Norwich

Submitted by

David L Walker Chartered Surveyors on behalf of Lafarge Aggregates Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

760,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

13.0

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. An active pit for sand and gravel extraction is located approximately 300m to the north.

Landscape: The site comprises a flat arable field; it is bounded by a native shrub belt. The site is set in a wider area of gently rolling arable countryside. A line of pylons cross the site from east to west originating from the Norwich electricity transformer station to the east of the site. The only public view point of the site would be from parts of the bridleway that runs along the western boundary. There is a possibility that there are views from the upper floors of some buildings at Mangreen Hall and Farm, although there is some screening in the form of tree belts between these;the indicative scheme shows that this would be reinforced. The listed barn at Mangreen Hall Farm is surrounded on three sides by modern agricultural buildings included to the south in the direction of the site; it is considered that any additional impacts are likely to be insignificant in comparison, as only the southern half of the site would be worked . The listed Mangreen Hall has screening to the south by trees and additional planting on the northern boundary of the site should mitigate any remaining visual impact. This site is acceptable in landscape terms if appropriate screening is provided to the west and north, a submission by the proposers of the site has indicated planting along the western hedgeline has already commenced and the indicative scheme indicates planting will take place along the northern boundary. A restoration scheme to arable fields, with increased woodland belts to the east would be acceptable.

Ecology: There are no outstanding ecology issues that could not be addressed at the application stage. Restoration to arable with wide field margins and woodland would improve biodiversity.

Highways: Acceptable access to the highway will be via the dedicated access at the existing quarry to the north of the site, material to be transported from the proposed site to the existing processing plant by conveyor.

Amenity: Noise, dust and vibration will need to be assessed as part of any future planning application. Any impacts identified will need to be suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: The site is located on a major aquifer and is in a Source Protection Zone 3; an assessment will need to be made to identify any potential impacts and suitable mitigation carried out.

Geodiversity: Development on the site may lead to impacts on potentially interesting geodiversity features; access should be permitted during the operational phases for recording and sampling and it would be useful to retain an “open face” as part of the restoration of the site to permit scientific study.

Other comments: National Grid has indicated that pylons cross the site and that these will need to safeguarded and statutory minimum work distances observed during extraction.

An archaeological evaluation would be required and fieldwork would be required if any features of interest are discovered.

Conclusion: it is considered that the site will be suitable for allocation, subject to inclusion of the following conditions

  • An approved screening scheme which protects the setting of the listed buildings to the north;
  • Use of a conveyor to transport material to the existing processing plant and the existing quarry access for onward transportation;
  • An agreed restoration scheme which meets landscape and ecology aspirations.
  • The site will need to be phased with the other sites in the area, after MIN 79; so that only one site is being worked for extraction at a time.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (7) MIN 81

Parish

STOKE HOLY CROSS

Location of site

Land south of Mangreen Lane, Swardeston, Near Norwich

Submitted by

David L Walker Chartered Surveyors on behalf of Lafarge Aggregates Ltd.

Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction

Estimated reserves

955,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

13.9

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at the site. However, land immediately to the north has an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction.

Landscape: This site comprises arable fields which are generally flat falling gently away to the south and east, and is bounded by hedges on all but the eastern boundary where there is a copse of trees. There are a number of landscape detractors surrounding the site; the main electricity substation for Norwich is located south of the site with a set of pylons crossing the site with more to the south. The A140 passes close to the eastern boundary, this is visually screened from the site but traffic noise is still audible on the site. The listed buildings of Mangreen Hall and Mangreen Hall Farm lie to the northwest of the site and western part of the site forms part of the landscape setting for these buildings. The eastern part of the site would be acceptable subject to a well designed screening scheme especially in regarded to views from the listed buildings, an indicative screening proposal shows reinforced planting on the site boundaries and a buffer area on the western most portion of the site. An agreed restoration scheme which incorporated woodland blocks would provide a landscape enhancement.

Ecology: The site would be acceptable provided that surveys to identify any populations of protected species/nesting birds and suitable mitigation are carried out, and an agreed restoration scheme. A restoration scheme which included woodland along with wide field margins would provide improved biodiversity.

Highways: Acceptable access to the highway will be via the dedicated access at the existing quarry to the north of the site, material to be transported from the proposed site to the existing processing plant by conveyor.

Amenity: Noise, dust and vibration will need to be assessed as part of any future planning application. Any impacts identified will need to be suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: None noted.

Geodiversity: Development on the site may lead to impacts on potential important regional geodiversity features; access should be permitted during the operational phases for recording and sampling and it would be useful to retain an “open face” as part of the restoration of the site to permit scientific study.

Other comments: National Grid has indicated that pylons cross the site and that these will need to safeguarded and statutory minimum work distances observed during extraction.

An archaeological evaluation would be required and fieldwork would be required if any features of interest are discovered.

Conclusion: This site will be suitable for allocation, subject to conditions including:

  • a reduced extraction area and screening which protects the setting of the listed buildings to the northwest;
  • Use of a conveyor and the existing quarry access to the highway for materials;
  • An agreed restoration scheme which meets landscape and ecology aspirations.
  • The site will need to be phased with the other sites in the area, after MIN 79 and MIN 80, so that only one site is being worked for extraction at a time.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (4) MIN 83

Parish

HECKINGHAM AND NORTON SUBCOURSE

Location of site

Extension to Norton Subcourse Quarry, Loddon Road, Hales

Submitted by

Cemex UK Operations Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

674,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

4.7

Background information: The proposed allocation is within the boundary of a planning permission for mineral extraction, but his specific area of land is excluded from being extracted. In the submission it is indicated that the site would form an extension of the existing working.

Landscape: There are no outstanding landscape issues that could not be addressed during any future application process. A restoration scheme which provided a low-level restoration would be suitable.

Ecology: There are no outstanding ecology issues that could not be dealt with during any future application process, subject to a high quality restoration scheme providing acid grassland and woodland to improve biodiversity. The site is approximately 1km from Hardley Flood SSSI which forms part of the Broadland SPA/Ramsar and the Broads SAC. If the measures detailed in the conclusion are implemented then no likely significant effect is expected to the designated site.

Highways: There are no significant highway issues provided that the current haul route is used and that a condition limits extraction to current levels so as not to increase the volume of HGV traffic.

Amenity: None noted.

Water resources/quality: The site is within Flood Zone 1 and it is on a major aquifer

Geodiversity: The site may contain potential geodiversity features of national importance; open faces should retained for scientific study during the operational phases and on restoration of the site.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation subject to conditions including:

  • The use of the existing haul route;
  • A condition to limit extraction to current levels;
  • An approved scheme of working and restoration scheme both in landscape and ecology terms and close cooperation between the operators and the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership on scientific study of the site.
  • A noise and dust assessment to identify any potential impacts on designated sites and appropriate mitigation to address these
  • A hydrological impact assessment to identify any potential impacts to groundwater and provide appropriate mitigation.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 90

Parish

NORTON SUBCOURSE

Location of site

Extension to Norton Subcourse Quarry, Loddon Road, Hales

Submitted by

Cemex UK Operations Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

510,950 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

8.1

Background information: Part of this site has a minerals planning permission but is a dormant site under the Environment Act 1995. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction adjoins the southern boundary of the site.

Landscape: The site comprises open arable land, close to the top of the ridge which runs down to Nogdam End, which is part of a wider area of landscape which forms a low ridge between Norton Subcourse and Nogdam End. There are public views of parts of the site from sections of Low Road and more complete views from the public right of way (PROW) that runs along the eastern boundary of the site. There are some properties along Low Road but they are generally well screened by vegetation. A well designed screening scheme would need to take into account these view points and longer distance views of the site from the Broads Authority Executive area; however it is felt that this could be achieved during any future application stage. It is felt that a suitable restoration scheme could be agreed for this site, although care would need to be taken to ensure that the integrity of the ridge when viewed from the north is retained, it would be advantageous from a landscape point of view if the preservation of the hedgerow trees could be incorporated into any scheme of working.

Ecology: There are opportunities for ecological improvement of the site by restoration to acid grassland and woodland, this would need to be set out in an agreed restoration scheme as part of any application. The site is approximately 1.5km from Hardley Flood SSSI which forms part of the Broadland SPA/Ramsar and the Broads SAC. If the measures detailed in the conclusion are implemented then no likely significant effect is expected to the designated site.

Highways: There are no significant highway issues provided that the current haul route is used and that a condition limits extraction to current levels so as not to increase the volume of HGV traffic.

Amenity: There would need to be an assessment of noise and dust as part of any future application, any impacts on nearby properties, and users of Low Road and the PROW would need to be suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: The site is located over a major aquifer, and any impacts will need to be assessed and suitable mitigation put in place.

Geodiversity: Development of this site is likely to lead to impacts on a nationally significant geodiversity features; a scheme of working will need to allow access for recording and sampling during the operational phase and the retention of an “open face” for scientific study as part of any restoration.

Other comments: An archaeological evaluation would be required and fieldwork would be required if any features of interest are discovered.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation subject to the following conditions being included:

  • The use of the existing haul route;
  • A condition to limit extraction to current levels;
  • An archaeological evaluation would be required and fieldwork would be required if any features of interest are discovered
  • An approved scheme of working and restoration both in landscape and ecology terms and close cooperation between the operators and the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership on scientific study of the site.
  • A noise and dust assessment to identify any potential impacts on nearby properties and designated sites and appropriate mitigation to address these.
  • A hydrological Impact Assessment will be required to identify any potential impacts on groundwater and appropriate mitigation.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (2) MIN 91

Parish

HECKINGHAM AND NORTON SUBCOURSE

Location of site

Extension to Norton Subcourse Quarry, Loddon Road, Hales

Submitted by

Cemex UK Operations Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

1,146,170

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

9.7

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions on the site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction adjoins the northern boundary. In the submission it is indicated that this site would be worked as an extension to the current working.

Landscape: The site comprises arable land separated into two fields by a line of oaks; which form an important landscape feature. The site lies within a wider area of undulating arable landscape which is defined by the CPRE as of moderate tranquillity and is a dark landscape as defined on the county map. The site could be screened from views to the south; however a scheme of working which protected the hedgerow oaks would make the site more acceptable in landscape terms.

Ecology: There are no outstanding ecology issues that could not be dealt with during any future application process, subject to a high quality restoration scheme providing acid grassland and woodland to improve biodiversity. The site is approximately 1km from Hardley Flood SSSI, which forms part of the Broadland SPA/Ramsar and Broads SAC. If the measures detailed in the conclusion are implemented then no likely significant effect is expected to the designated site.

Highways: There are no significant highway issues provided that the current haul route is used and that a condition limits extraction to current levels so as not to increase the volume of HGV traffic.

Amenity:

Water resources/quality: The site is close to Flood Zone 3, is on a major aquifer, and is within Source Protection Zone 3, any impacts will need to be assessed and suitable mitigation provided.

Geodiversity: The site may contain potential geodiversity features of national importance; open faces should retained for scientific study during the operational phases and on restoration of the site.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be suitable for allocation subject to conditions including:

  • The use of the existing haul route;
  • A condition to limit extraction volumes to current levels;
  • An approved scheme of working and restoration scheme both in landscape and ecology terms and close cooperation between the operators and the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership on scientific study of the site.
  • A noise and dust assessment to identify any potential impacts on designated sites and appropriate mitigation to address these
  • A Hydrological Impact Assessment to identify any potential impacts on groundwater and appropriate mitigation.

Site allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (3) MIN 92

Parish

HECKINGHAM

Location of site

Extension to Norton Subcourse Quarry, Loddon Road, Hales, NR14 6RY

Submitted by

Cemex UK Operations Ltd

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves

567,900 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

11.3

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site. An active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction lies to the east of the site. In the submission it is indicated that this would form and extension to the existing working.

Landscape: The site comprises an arable field which slopes down to the west and is divided by a line of hedgerow oaks; the site is also bounded by hedges with trees within in them. The site is located on the edge of the Broads and is bounded by the Broads Authority Executive area on three sides. Due to the difficulties of screening this site effectively from the Broads, it is considered that there are unacceptable landscape impacts.

Ecology: The loss of mature oaks from the site would be a significant ecological impact, which would need to be mitigated; there would be opportunities for a restoration scheme to provide improved biodiversity. The site is approximately 600 metres from Hardley Flood SSSI, which is part of the Broadland SPA/Ramsar and Broads SAC.

Highways: There are no significant access problems provided that the existing off-road haul route is used and that conditions are applied that limit the level of extraction to current levels so as not to increase the amount of HGV traffic.

Amenity: The impacts of noise, dust and vibration on nearby properties would need to be assessed and suitably mitigated as would the amenity impacts of countryside users particularly in relation to the Wherrymans Way footpath.

Water resources/quality: The site is located close to Flood Zone 3 and on a major aquifer

Geodiversity: The site may contain potential geodiversity features of national importance; open faces should retained for scientific study during the operational phases and on restoration of the site.

Other comments: None noted.

Conclusion: This site is considered to unsuitable for allocation primarily due to the landscape impacts on the Broads.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (1) MIN 112

Parish

THARSTON AND HAPTON

Location of site

Chamusca Farm, Bungay Road, Low Tharston, NR15 2YL

Submitted by

Martin Smith Partnership on behalf of Mr D G Brighton

Proposed use/s Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) Estimated reserves
Allocation / Area of Search

Area of search

Size of site (ha)

5.7

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site.

Landscape: The site comprises rolling arable farmland, crossed by hedges on the valley shoulder of the River Tas. There is a small disused quarry on the southern boundary of the site. The site is set in an attractive area of undulating farmland on the edge of the Tas Valley. The site is crossed by a series of pylons and a low voltage electricity line. There are public view points of the site from parts of Long Lane and also from a bridleway which runs along the western boundary; there are concerns that any highway improvements to Long Lane would impact on its character. There are views of the site from the opposite side of the Tas valley and particularly from Hapton Hall. This site is considered to be unacceptable in landscape terms due to its impacts on the wider Tas Valley.

Ecology: The site would be ecologically acceptable provided that surveys to identify any populations of protected species and suitable mitigation are carried out, and an agreed restoration scheme. A restoration scheme which included an increase in woodland along with wide field margins would provide improved biodiversity.

Highways: The C497 would require significant improvement works to address overrunning issues, also a roundabout planned at the junction of the A140/C497 would require a contribution from any developer of the site.

Amenity: Assessments would need to be carried out to identify any dust, noise and vibration impacts including from HGV traffic which needs to be suitably mitigated.

Water resources/quality: The site is located on a major aquifer.

Geodiversity: Development on the site may lead to impacts on potentially interesting geodiversity features; access should be permitted during the operational phases for recording and sampling and it would be useful to retain an “open face” as part of the restoration of the site to permit scientific study.

Other comments: National Grid has indicated that pylons cross the site and that these will need to safeguarded and statutory minimum work distances observed during extraction.

Conclusion: This site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation due to the landscape impacts of the site.

Site not allocated.

Site ref no.

View Comments (10) MIN 118

Parish

WYMONDHAM

Location of site

Land at Hall Farm, Wymondham

Submitted by
Proposed use/s

Mineral extraction (sand and gravel) and aggregate processing

Estimated reserves

600,000 tonnes

Allocation / Area of Search

Allocation

Size of site (ha)

26.9

Background information: There are no current mineral or waste planning permissions at this site.

Landscape: The site comprises two arable fields which are separated by Bridge road which runs north south between them. The smaller of the fields to the east of Bridge Road is proposed as the processing plant site, this is bounded by farm buildings to the north and by a wooded stream to the south. The larger extraction site to the west of Bridge Road is more open, and slopes gently down to the south west. The site is set in a wider area of farmland which slopes down to the head waters of the river Tiffey. There is an oil storage depot immediately to the west of the larger field. There are a number of viewpoints into this site in this relatively open landscape, a well designed screening scheme could mitigate the majority of any visual impacts, however screening the views from the south will be more difficult and for any future application the developer will need to provide detailed sections of any screening scheme to mitigate the visual impacts from the south.

Ecology: There would be a need for surveys on protected species, if populations are identified suitable mitigation would need to be identified. There is an opportunity to increase the biodiversity of the site on restoration and provide BAP habitats; this would need to be addressed in the restoration proposal.

Highways: The site is located on the C186 Stanfield Road, which is designated as an HGV access route, the exact location of an access onto this road would be a matter for any future planning application, however it is felt that a safe access could be made.

Amenity: This is a new site and has not been subject to consultation.

Water resources/quality: This is a new site and has not been subject to consultation.

Geodiversity: This is a new site and has not been subject to consultation.

Other comments: This site has the potential to contain archaeological features of interest, and an evaluation and assessment would be required before any future planning application. If any features are identified fieldwork may be required

Conclusion: It is considered unsuitable to allocate this site as there are other more appropriate sites which have been proposed for sand and gravel extraction, and therefore this site is not required. Although, it would be reconsidered as part the review of the minerals site specific allocations DPD, subject to detailed sections indicating that screening is effective on views from the south, to mitigate landscape impacts.

Site not allocated.

Previous Chapter || Next Chapter
Having trouble using the system? Visit our help page or contact us directly.

Powered by OpusConsult