Initial Consultation document

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(16) 1. Introduction

Norfolk County Council, as Minerals and Waste Planning Authority, has a statutory duty to produce and maintain an up-to-date Minerals and Waste Local Plan which forms the basis for determining any relevant planning applications that are lodged with the authority. The provision of a steady and adequate supply of minerals and the management of waste constitute essential infrastructure to support the economic development of the county.

Existing adopted Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Document

The existing adopted Norfolk Minerals and Waste Plan consists of three documents which cover the period to the end of 2026:

The Norfolk Core Strategy and Minerals and Waste Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) (the 'Core Strategy) was adopted by Norfolk County Council in 2011. It contains a vision, strategic objectives and policies to be used in the determination of planning applications for minerals extraction and associated development and waste management facilities in Norfolk.

The Norfolk Minerals Site Specific Allocations DPD and the Norfolk Waste Site Specific Allocations DPD were adopted in 2013. The Minerals Site Specific Allocations DPD was subsequently amended by the adoption of the Single Issue Silica Sand Review in December 2017.

The Norfolk Minerals Site Specific Allocations DPD (including the Silica Sand Review) allocated one specific sites for carstone extraction, 26 specific sites for sand and gravel extraction, two specific sites for silica sand extraction and four areas of search for future silica sand extraction. Ten of the sites allocated for sand and gravel extraction have subsequently received planning permission.

The Norfolk Waste Site Specific Allocations DPD allocated 29 sites for waste management facilities. However, none of the allocated sites have been delivered since the adoption of the Waste SSA, whilst unallocated sites have been approved.

These adopted minerals and waste planning policy documents are accompanied by a Policies Map which illustrates geographically the application of the policies contained in the adopted planning policy documents.

The existing adopted minerals and waste planning policy documents are available to view on Norfolk County Council's website at: www.norfolk.gov.uk/nmwdf on the 'Adopted Policy Documents' page.

Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review (M&WLPR)

The M&WLPR will extend the Plan period to the end of 2036 and also be one Local Plan instead of three separate DPDs.

The M&WLPR includes a vision and strategic objectives for waste management and minerals development for the Plan period to 2036.

The M&WLPR includes revised figures for the quantities of waste that need to be planned for over the Plan period to 2036. An annual growth rate of 1% has been used to forecast arisings of Local Authority Collected Waste in line with forecast household growth. An annual growth rate of 1.5% has been used to forecast both commercial and industrial, and construction and demolition waste arisings, in line with forecast economic growth. An annual reduction of 6.6% has been forecast for hazardous waste arisings, based on the most recent time series data for hazardous waste arisings in Norfolk, in accordance with national guidance.

As, none of the allocated sites for waste management have been delivered since the adoption of the Waste SSA, whilst unallocated sites have been approved, we consider that it would be more appropriate for the M&WLPR contain criteria based policies to determine planning applications for waste management facilities instead of allocating specific sites.

The M&WLPR therefore includes a spatial strategy for new waste management facilities, a policy detailing the land uses considered to be potentially suitable for waste management facilities and criteria based policies for the determination of planning applications for waste management facilities for the following types of waste: inert (construction, demolition and excavation waste), non-hazardous, hazardous waste and waste water. It also includes criteria based policies for the determination of planning applications for the following types of waste management facilities: inert waste recycling, waste transfer and treatment, composting, anaerobic digestion, household waste recycling centres, residual waste treatment, landfill and water recycling centres. Specific policies also cover the design of waste management facilities, landfill mining and safeguarding waste management facilities and water recycling centres.

The M&WLPR includes the revised quantities of sand and gravel, carstone and silica sand that need to be planned for during the period to 2036 in order to provide a steady and adequate supply of minerals. Based on the average sales data and other relevant local information, the M&WLPR proposes to plan for the extraction of 750,000 tonnes per annum of silica sand, 126,500 tpa of carstone extraction and 1,980,000 tpa of sand and gravel extraction.

The M&WLPR contains a spatial strategy for minerals development. Policies relevant to the determination of applications for minerals development include: borrow pits for highway schemes, agricultural reservoirs, protection of core river valleys, cumulative impacts and phasing of workings, progressing working and restoration, aftercare, concrete batching and asphalt plants and energy minerals. Specific policies also cover safeguarding mineral resources, mineral sites and infrastructure.

The M&WLPR also includes policies relevant to both minerals and waste management development covering the following issues: the presumption in favour of sustainable development, development management criteria, transport, climate change mitigation and adaption, The Brecks protected habitats and species, and agricultural soils.

Mineral extraction sites proposed in the Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review

Since the adoption of the Minerals SSA, the allocated carstone site and silica sand sites have not yet come forward for planning permission and the M&WLPR continues to include the one proposed carstone extraction site and the two sites proposed for silica sand extraction. In addition, Sibelco UK have proposed a new preferred area for silica sand extraction (an area of known mineral resources with a willing landowner where planning permission might reasonably be anticipated) which is being considered as part of the M&WLPR. The Minerals SSA also defined four areas of search for future silica sand extraction in West Norfolk; the M&WLPR continues to include these areas of search.

Since the adoption of the Minerals SSA, ten of the 26 allocated sites for sand and gravel extraction have received planning permission. Of the 16 remaining allocated sites, three are no longer proposed to be developed for mineral extraction. The remaining 13 allocated sites are being reassessed for their suitability for future sand and gravel as part of this M&WLPR. In addition to the 13 currently allocated sites, a further 24 sites have been proposed in response to a 'call for mineral extraction sites' carried out for the purpose of the M&WLPR.

The assessments of both the currently allocated mineral extraction sites without planning permission and those proposed in response to the 'call for sites' are included in the this Initial Consultation document. Not all of the sites will be needed for mineral extraction over the Plan period to 2036. There is no guarantee that currently allocated sites for mineral extraction will continue to be allocated in the M&WLPR if more suitable sites have been proposed as part of the review. Landowner willingness for a site to be included in the M&WLPR has been provided for all of the proposed sites.

You are invited to read the following document and comment on the issues raised. It would be helpful to the process if comments made can be backed up by supporting information where possible as the Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review will be subject to Examination in Public by a Planning Inspector appointed on behalf of the Secretary of State. The consultation process is detailed in the following section.

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