Preferred Options consultation document

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North Norfolk sites

(8) MIN 69 - land north of Holt Road, Aylmerton

Site Characteristics

  • The 16.86 hectare site is within the parish of Aylmerton
  • The estimated sand and gravel resource at the site is 2,000,000 tonnes
  • The proposer of the site has given a potential start date of 2019 and estimated the extraction rate to be 100,000 tonnes per annum. Based on this information approximately 1,800,000 tonnes could be extracted within the plan period.
  • The site is proposed by Norfolk Gravels trading as Carter Concrete Ltd as an extension to an existing site.
  • The site is currently in agricultural use and the Agricultural Land Classification scheme classifies the land as being a mixture of non-agricultural and grade 3.
  • The site is 3.5km from Cromer and 7.9km from Holt, which are the nearest towns.

A reduced extraction area is proposed of 11.9 hectares, which excludes land to the south (nearest to the A148), the north-eastern corner and land on the south-east and south-west boundaries.

M69.1 Amenity: The nearest residential property is 85m from the site boundary. There are eight sensitive receptors within 250m of the site boundary and three of these are within 100m of the site boundary. The settlement of Beeston Regis is 624m away. However, a reduced extraction area is proposed, and the nearest residential property is 182m from the extraction area. There are 7 sensitive receptors within 250m of the boundary of the extraction area and none of these are within 100m of the site boundary. Even without mitigation, adverse dust impacts from sand and gravel sites are uncommon beyond 250m from the nearest dust generating activities. The greatest impacts will be within 100 metres of a source, if uncontrolled. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include noise and dust assessments and mitigation measures to deal appropriately with any amenity impacts.

M69.2 Highway access: The site would access the existing adjacent plant site via an internal haul route and then use the existing site access along the C786 Briton's Lane to the A148 Holt Road, which is a designated lorry route. The site is not within an AQMA. As a proposed extension to an existing site, the number of vehicle movements is expected to remain the same but continue for a longer period. The estimated number of HGV movements is 30 to 40 per day. The Highway Authority has concerns that Briton's Lane is substandard and narrow and that the junction onto the A148 is also substandard. Therefore, road improvements to Briton's Lane would be required, including a right-hand turn lane at the junction between Briton's Lane and the A148, to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority.

M69.3 Historic environment: The historic landscape character of the site is Twentieth Century agriculture with enclosure. The site is within a wider historic landscape character of Twentieth century agriculture with enclosure and boundary loss, agriculture with 18th to 19th century piecemeal enclosure, common and heath. The wider historic landscape character also includes modern built-up areas of houses and small farm clusters, informal parkland, leisure/recreation, mineral extraction and woodland (carr woodland and 18th to 20th century plantation woodland).

M69.4 The nearest Listed Buildings are the Grade II Abbey Farmhouse, which is 1.37km away and the Grade II* Church of St John the Baptist which is 1.32km away. There are 9 Listed Buildings within 2km of the site. The only Scheduled Monument within 2km of the site is Beeston Regis Priory, which is 1.18km away. There are four Conservation Areas within 2km of the site, they are Sheringham (1.85km away), West Runton (1.02km away), Beeston Regis (1.17km away) and Upper Sheringham (1.69km away). Felbrigg Hall, a Registered Historic Park is 1.76km from the site. No adverse effects on the historic environment are expected from the proposed mineral extraction.

M69.5 Archaeology: There are no Historic Environment records within the site boundary, however the lack of HE records may just be due to a lack of investigations. The site is in a wider landscape with a number of finds and features, most as a result of medieval iron working activity, and WW2 defences immediately to the north. Therefore, there is the potential that unknown archaeology exists on the site and an assessment of the significance of archaeological remains will be required at the planning application stage, in order to protect and mitigate the impact of mineral extraction in this site. The archaeology assessment may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching

M69.6 Landscape: The site is located within the Norfolk Coast AONB. The site is a gently sloping arable field on the south side of the Cromer Ridge, and is adjacent to an active permitted sand and gravel extraction site. The site is within the landscape character area described as 'Wooded with parkland – Holt to Cromer'. The site is bounded by woodland except for a relatively small section of the eastern boundary. The site contains a small depression which may be the remains of a small scale historic mineral working. The southern boundary of the site is bounded by the A148, although views are screened by woodland.

M69.7 The site would form an extension to the existing quarry site, which has been operational since the 1940s and has an Interim Development Order (IDO) planning permission (which does not expire until 2042), with few conditions and limited control over restoration (notwithstanding an ongoing Renewal of Minerals Permission application to update the conditions). In addition, the current site contains a concrete production plant with a permanent planning permission.

M69.8 The whole of the site lies within the Norfolk Coast AONB and the NPPF states that local planning authorities should "as far as practicable, provide for the maintenance of landbanks of non-energy minerals from outside Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty" however, the current site is well screened from public views and the extension site would be similarly screened, so the local landscape impacts are not considered to be significant.

M69.9 A very high-quality restoration proposal for both the existing site, and MIN 69, could offer the possibility of developing a large new area of heathland with greatly improved public access. Taking into account the following factors, it is considered that there are exceptional circumstances for allowing this mineral development within the AONB:

  • The presence of the existing site with its permanent concrete plant an associated employment
  • The limited local landscape and amenity harm
  • The opportunity to facility a much-improved working and restoration scheme for the existing site and a high-quality biodiversity led restoration for site MIN 69.

M69.10 Some trees are proposed to be removed along the boundary between MIN 69 and the existing adjacent site in order to enable a coherent restoration scheme for the two sites. The number of trees removed must be minimised and an Arboricultural Impact Assessment would be required at the planning application stage to identify the impact of the development on existing trees and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required.

M69.11 There is a Public Right of Way adjacent to the western boundary of the site (Beeston Regis BR10). There is a PRoW running through the site (north to south) (Aylmerton FP2). There is a PRoW within the site (Aylmerton FP1). There is a PRoW crossing the NE corner of the site (Aylmerton FP3). These PRoWs may need to be diverted during mineral extraction operations and reinstated as part of the restoration of the site.

M69.12 Ecology: The site is 0.65km from Sheringham and Beeston Regis Commons SSSI which is part of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC. The SSSI citation states that the site is an area of acidic heathland containing area of species-rich calcareous spring fen on sloping ground. 'Mixed mire' vegetation has developed in seepage zones. These spring fen areas contain many wetland plants that are now locally uncommon. Dry heathland surrounds the fens and supports several species of breeding birds and reptiles. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore the hydrology of the SSSI would not be adversely affected. Due to the distance of the proposed extraction site from the SSSI, the SSSI would not be adversely affected by dust deposition.

M69.13 Briton's Lane Gravel Pit SSSI is adjacent to the site boundary. The SSSI citation details the geological interest in the site and states that this pit provides excellent exposures in the Pleistocene Briton's Lane Gravels of the Cromer Ridge. The SSSI covers the whole of the existing mineral extraction site. There is the potential for the geological SSSI to be affected by the proposed mineral extraction site where the existing and proposed sites join along the site boundaries. Therefore, the area where mineral extraction in the existing and proposed site joins and is integrated should be minimised so that the SSSI is not adversely affected by the proposed mineral extraction.

M69.14 Felbrigg Woods SSSI is 1.43km from the site boundary. The SSSI citation states that the Great Wood is one of only two known sites for acid Beech stands in Norfolk. The ancient trees within the woodland and old deer park carry an interesting and diverse lichen flora. The site is also of considerable entomological and ornithological interest. The wood supports a wide range of breeding birds. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore the SSSI would not be adversely affected.

M69.15 Beeston Cliffs SSSI is 1.81km from the site boundary. The SSSI citation details the geological interest in the site and states that this is the type site for the Beestonian Stage of the Pleistocene and therefore is nationally important. A nationally rare plant, Purple Broomrape, is present in unimproved calcareous grassland on the cliff-top. The SSSI would not be adversely affected by the proposed mineral extraction site.

M69.16 Weybourne Cliffs SSSI is 2.86km from the site boundary. The SSSI citation details the geological interest in the site with outstanding Pleistocene sections of national importance and marine and vertebrate fossils. Additional biological interest is provided by colonies of sand martins in the cliff-face and of fulmars on the cliff ledges. The SSSI would not be adversely affected by the proposed mineral extraction site.

M69.17 The nearest County Wildlife Site is CWS 1147 'Roman Camp and Beeston Regis Heath' which is 230m from the site boundary. The CWS consists of a variety of habitats including broad-leaved coppice with standards woodland, dry dwarf shrub heath and unimproved acidic grassland. Due to the distance from the CWS there would be no impacts from dust deposition. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore the County Wildlife Site would not be adversely affected.

M69.18 The nearest ancient woodland site is Great Wood, a Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) and Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) which is 1.71km from the site boundary. Due to the distance from the ancient woodland there would be no impacts from dust deposition. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore the ancient woodland would not be adversely affected.

M69.19 Geodiversity: The site consists of the Briton's Lane sand and gravel member, overlying Wroxham Crag Formation-sand and gravel. The Briton's Lane sands and gravels are known to contain priority features such as palaesols and erratics in the adjacent existing quarry, and therefore they may occur on this site. The existing quarry is also the type-site for the Briton's Lane Formation. 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. Potential impacts to geodiversity would need to be assessed and appropriate mitigation identified as part of any future application.

M69.20 Flood Risk: The site is in Flood Zone 1 (lowest risk) for flooding from rivers. The site has a low risk of surface water flooding, with one location of surface water pooling in a 1 in 30-year rainfall event, and two locations of surface water pooling in a 1 in 100-year rainfall event. Sand and gravel extraction is considered to be a 'water compatible' land use which is suitable in all flood zones. The site is not in an Internal Drainage Board area.

M69.21 Hydrogeology: The site is located over a Secondary A aquifer (superficial deposits) and a principal aquifer (bedrock). Part of the site is within groundwater Source Protection Zone 2. The rest of the site is not within a groundwater SPZ. The site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore no effect on water resources is expected.

M69.22 Water Framework Directive: The site is approximately 1km from unnamed streams within the catchment of Scarrow Beck, which is the nearest Water Framework Directive waterbody. The groundwater level in this area is several metres below ground level and therefore overland flows are not expected from the site towards Scarrow Beck. MIN 69 and the existing adjacent processing plant, which the sand and gravel would be transported to by internal haul route, are both a considerable distance north of Scarrow Beck. Therefore, the sand and gravel to be processed would not be transported across Scarrow Beck. Due to the distance of the site from the Scarrow Beck it is not expected that there would be a pathway for silt ingress into Scarrow Beck from any future sand and gravel extraction within site MIN 69.

M69.23 Utilities infrastructure: There are no Anglian Water sewerage assets within the site. There is water main along the site boundary. Anglian Water would require the standard protected easement widths for the water main and for any requests for alteration or removal to be conducted in accordance with the Water Industry Act 1991. There is no electricity transmission infrastructure within the site. There are no high-pressure gas pipelines within the site.

M69.24 Safeguarding aerodromes: The site is not within an aerodrome safeguarding zone.

M69.25 Restoration: The site would be a steeply sided valley restored to dry acid heathland with some woodland / scrub natural regeneration on the upper slopes with re-established public rights of way.

M69.26 Conclusion: Site MIN 69 is considered suitable to allocate for sand and gravel extraction. Development will be subject to compliance with the relevant Minerals and Waste Local Plan Policies and Specific Site Allocation Policy MIN 69.

Specific Site Allocation Policy MIN 69 (land north of Holt Road, Aylmerton):

The site is allocated as a specific site for sand and gravel extraction. Development will be subject to compliance with the Minerals and Waste Local Plan policies and all the following requirements:

  • Submission of noise and dust assessments and a programme of mitigation measures to deal appropriately with any amenity impacts;
  • The site must be worked 'dry' (i.e. above the water table), there should be no discharges into ground water, and site drainage should be via a settlement lagoon. It must be demonstrated that the mineral extraction operation would not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC;
  • The current highways access along Briton's Lane to the A148 must continue to be used, with improvements to Briton's Lane and the A148 junction being upgraded with a right-turn lane to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority;
  • A sufficient stand-off distance around the water main that crosses the site or diversion of the water main at the developers costs and to the satisfaction of Anglian Water;
  • Submission of a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required;
  • An appropriate archaeological assessment must be prepared in consultation with Norfolk County Council; this may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching. The archaeological assessment will be used by Norfolk County Council/Historic Environment Service to agree appropriate mitigation measures;
  • Submission of a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment to identify potential landscape impacts, with particular reference to the Norfolk Coast AONB, together with suitable mitigation measures to address the impacts;
  • Submission of an Arboricultural Impact Assessment to identify the impact of the development on existing trees and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required;
  • Advanced planting (or allowing current trees and hedges to thicken up) along the southern and eastern boundaries of land in the applicant's ownership (some of which would be outside the area of MIN 69) will be necessary to screen the site from public viewpoints, including views from the A148;
  • Existing woodland areas on land adjacent to the A148 and along the eastern boundary of site MIN 69 (as shown indicatively on the Policies Map) must be retained in order to screen the site from the A148;
  • The north-eastern corner of MIN 69 (as shown indicatively on the Policies Map) must be retained as a buffer zone to protect the setting and ecology of the adjacent woodland owned by the National Trust;
  • Submission of a very high-quality working and restoration scheme 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 to maximise the benefits on restoration. Excessively steep 'walls' on the quarry boundary (a feature of the existing site) should be avoided, with gentler gradients necessary;
  • The restoration must be heathland-led (with some woodland), with a range of different habitats and micro-habitats being included (e.g. a variety of slope angles and aspects), to maximise the potential for plants, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and mammals. No importation of waste materials to assist with restoration will be permitted;
  • Provision of improved public access on restoration. Footpaths should only be diverted when necessary (e.g. for public safety reasons), and during both the operational stage and on restoration the footpaths should be of appropriate gradients to facilitate relatively easy access. Interpretation boards showing details of the glacial and peri-glacial geology of the site (the reason for the designation of the Briton's Lane Gravel Pit SSSI), heathland ecology and the AONB should be placed at suitable points in the site;
  • A section of the Cromer Ridge should be 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 (by arrangement) is welcomed and facilitated by Carter Concrete – should continue, with the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership being contacted in the event of interesting finds being made by the site operators; and
  • A formal aftercare period for at least 25 years after extraction has ceased must be secured through a section 106 legal agreement. These aftercare arrangements will need to include regular clearance of scrub vegetation to maintain heathland habitat and footpath maintenance.


(5) MIN 71 - land west of Norwich Road, Holt

Site Characteristics

  • The 22.63 hectare site is within the parish of Holt
  • The estimated sand and gravel resource at the site is 1,100,000 tonnes
  • The proposer of the site has given a potential start date of 2030 (after extraction has ceased at the adjacent operational site) and estimated the extraction rate to be 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes per annum. Based on this information approximately 700,000 tonnes could be extracted within the plan period.
  • The site is proposed by Norfolk Gravels trading as Carter Concrete Ltd as a new site.
  • The site is currently in agricultural use and the Agricultural Land Classification scheme classifies the land as being Grade 3
  • The site is 0.1km from Holt which is the nearest town.

M71.1 Amenity: The nearest residential property is 11m from the site boundary. There are 82 sensitive receptors within 250m of the site boundary and 17 of these are within 100m of the site boundary. Most of these properties are in the settlement of Holt, which is 26m away. Even without mitigation, adverse dust impacts from sand and gravel sites are uncommon beyond 250m from the nearest dust generating activities. The greatest impacts will be within 100 metres of a source, if uncontrolled. The operational area of the site would need to be set back approximately 100 metres from the nearest residential properties. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include noise and dust assessments and mitigation measures to deal appropriately with any amenity impacts.

M71.2 Highway access: The site could use the existing adjacent site access onto the C267 Hunworth Road and then travel north to join the B1149 Holt Road, which are both designated lorry routes, at the existing junction. However, as the site is proposed to be operated by a different company to that operating the adjacent site, a separate access may need to be formed to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority. The site is not within an AQMA. The estimated number of HGV movements are 20 to 30 per day.

M71.3 Historic environment: The historic landscape character of the site is Twentieth Century agriculture with boundary loss. The site is within a wider historic landscape character of Twentieth century agriculture with enclosure and boundary loss, agriculture with 18th to 19th century piecemeal enclosure, common, heath, historic religious institution, modern built-up areas of houses, small farm clusters and industry. The wider historic landscape character also includes leisure/recreation, mineral extraction, a water reservoir and woodland (ancient woodland and 18th to 20th century plantation woodland).

M71.4 The nearest Listed Building is Bacon's House, which is 610m away. There are 142 Listed Buildings within 2km of the site. Over 100 of these are within the Holt Conservation Area, which is 460m from the site. The site is within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area. Letheringsett Conservation Area is 1.18km from the site. Hunworth Conservation Area is 1.93km from the site. The only Scheduled Monument within 2km of the site is the 'Habitation site on Edgefield Heath' which is 900m away. There are no Registered Historic Parks and Gardens within 2km of the site. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required.

M71.5 Archaeology: There are no Historic Environment records within the site boundary, however the lack of HE records may just be due to a lack of investigations. The site is in a wider landscape with a number of finds and features, including a WW1 and WW2 military training site on Holt Lowes to the east. Therefore, there is the potential that unknown archaeology exists on the site and an assessment of the significance of archaeological remains will be required at the planning application stage, in order to protect and mitigate the impact of mineral extraction in this site. The archaeology assessment may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching.

M71.6 Landscape: The site is not within the AONB or a Core River Valley. The site is within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area. The NPPF states that local planning authorities should "as far as practicable, provide for the maintenance of landbanks of non-energy minerals from outside Conservation Areas". The site is a single large arable field which was formed by the historic removal of hedgerows. The site is within the landscape character area described as 'Wooded with parkland – Holt to Cromer'. The surrounding landscape features smaller fields bounded by hedgerows. There is an active permitted mineral working to the south of the site. To the north are the outskirts of the town of Holt, across the B1149.

M71.7 The hedgerows around the boundary of the site are sparse in some places, allowing views into the site. There are clear views of the northern part of the site from the Hunworth Road and the land to the west is visible in an open view from Thornage. There is a group of residential properties adjacent to the north-west boundary of the site and another to the north-east corner of the site, which also have views of the site. The site would require screening, in the form of advance planting of boundary hedges and woodland, and the operational area of the site would need to be set back approximately 100 metres from these properties and the adjacent Public Right of Way to the north, for the site to be acceptable in landscape terms. Appropriately graded screen bunds would also be required on extraction area boundaries during the period of site operations. Appropriate boundary treatments in the form of hedge and woodland planting would also improve screening of the site from the Holt Road and on the approach from Thornage.

M71.8 There is a Public Right of Way adjacent to the northern boundary of the site (Holt RB22).

M71.9 Ecology: The site is 0.62 km from Holt Lowes SSSI, which is part of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC. The SSSI citation states that this is an area of dry sandy heathland that grades into flushes slopes along the valley of the River Glaven. There is an excellent example of a mixed valley-mire in a small tributary valley that bisects the heath. The mixed mire communities are diverse and reflect the variations in alkalinity and nutrient availability in the drainage waters. Several uncommon plants and invertebrates are present. Holt Lowes SSSI is a groundwater-dependent wetland. The potential exists for impacts from mineral extraction at MIN 71, if uncontrolled. An assessment of potential hydrogeological impacts, together with appropriate mitigation would be required as part of any planning application. Site MIN 71 could only be worked if it would not affect groundwater flows, so it must be worked dry (above the water table). In the absence of detailed hydrological information, it is considered that only the top (of three) layers of sand could be worked safely (approximately 1.1 million tonnes of mineral). Site drainage should also be via a settlement lagoon to avoid adverse effects from surface water runoff. Any planning application would need to demonstrate that there would be no adverse effects on the integrity of the SAC. Due to the precautionary principle in relation to the Habitats Regulations, if effects to the SAC are judged as uncertain then development should not take place. Due to the proximity of the proposed site to the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC, mitigation measures would be required to the proposed mineral extraction operation and impacts are uncertain. It is therefore not possible, at the screening stage of the HRA of the M&WLPR, to conclude that there would be no likely significant effects from mineral extraction at site MIN 71.

M71.10 The nearest County Wildlife Sites (all within 500m of the proposed site) are: CWS 2121 'Common Hills Plantation', CWS 1098 'Edgefield Heath', CWS 2006 'Spout Common', CWS 2281 'Holt County Park' and CWS 1093 'Disused railway'. CWS 2281 'Holt Country Park' is 270m from the site boundary and is an extensive area of woodland over former heath and older woodland, with diverse rides and a large pond. CWS 2121 'Common Hills Plantation' is 220m from the site boundary and is a woodland with planted beech, sycamore and oak, while a smaller portion of the wood is largely semi-natural. CWS 1098 'Edgefield Heath' is 250m from the site boundary and is a coniferous plantation and secondary woodland with remnants of heath and valley mire. There are also two blocks of mixed broadleaved woodland. CWS 2006 'Spout Common' is 460m from the site boundary and comprises grassland and scrub with some areas of more mature woodland around the edges. Springs from the valley sides feed a small stream with flows into the River Glaven. The potential exists for impacts on these County Wildlife Sites, from mineral extraction at MIN 71, if uncontrolled. An assessment of potential impacts, including from dust deposition and hydrogeology, together with appropriate mitigation would be required as part of any planning application.

M71.11 CWS 1093 'Disused railway' is 500m from the site boundary and is a species rich unimproved, neutral/acid grassland along a stretch of disused railway line which crosses the River Glaven. Due to this distance, no impacts on this CWS are expected.

M71.12 The nearest ancient woodland sites are Common Hill Wood, which is a Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) and is 0.22km from the sites boundary, and Pereers Wood, a PAWS which is 0.88km from the site boundary. The potential exists for impacts from mineral extraction at MIN 71, if uncontrolled. An assessment of potential impacts, including from dust deposition and hydrogeology, together with appropriate mitigation would be required as part of any planning application.

M71.13 Geodiversity: The site consists of the Briton's Lane sand and gravel member, overlying Chalk formations. The Briton's Lane sands and gravels are known to contain priority features such as palaesols and erratics in other locations, and therefore they may occur on this site. Potential impacts to geodiversity would need to be assessed and appropriate mitigation identified as part of any future application. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a 'watching brief' during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered.

M71.14 Flood Risk: The site is in Flood Zone 1 (lowest risk) for flooding from rivers. The site has a low risk of surface water flooding, with two small locations of surface water pooling in a 1 in 100-year rainfall event which expand in a 1 in 1000 year rainfall event. Sand and gravel extraction is considered to be a 'water compatible' land use which is suitable in all flood zones. The site is not in an Internal Drainage Board area.

M71.15 Hydrogeology: The site is located over a Secondary A aquifer (superficial deposits) and a principal aquifer (bedrock). The northern half of the site is within groundwater Source Protection Zone 3. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment to identify any potential impacts to groundwater and appropriate mitigation measures.

M71.16 Water Framework Directive: The site is 1.2km from the River Glaven and 0.6km from a tributary of the River Glaven, which is the nearest Water Framework Directive waterbody. The groundwater level in this area is several metres below ground level and therefore overland flows are not expected from the site towards the River Glaven. MIN 71 and the existing adjacent processing plant, which the sand and gravel would be likely to be transported to by internal haul route, are both a considerable distance north east of the River Glaven. Therefore, the sand and gravel to be processed would not be transported across the River Glaven. Due to the distance of the site from the River Glaven it is not expected that there would be a pathway for silt ingress into the River Glaven from any future sand and gravel extraction within site MIN 71.

M71.17 Utilities infrastructure: There are no Anglian Water sewerage assets or water assets within the site boundary. There is no electricity transmission infrastructure within the site. There are no high-pressure gas pipelines within the site.

M71.18 Safeguarding aerodromes: The site is not within an aerodrome safeguarding zone.

M71.19 Restoration: No details on proposed restoration of the site have been provided, but it is assumed that the site will mainly be restored to agriculture. The preferred restoration for the site would be to a nature conservation afteruse and include deciduous woodland and acid grassland.

M71.20 Conclusion: The site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation because:

  • Due to the proximity of the site to Holt Lowes SSSI (part of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC), there is the potential for unacceptable adverse effects on the SSSI from the proposed mineral extraction.
  • Whilst it may be technically possible to design a site where there would not be any adverse effects on the SSSI or SAC, this uncertainty is a significant constraint to the development of the site and therefore the site is considered to be less deliverable than other sites that have been proposed for extraction.
  • The site is located within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area and there are clear views of the site from public viewpoints. Whilst it may be possible to mitigate adverse landscape impacts through advance planting and reduction of the operational site area, there are more acceptable alternative sites for sand and gravel extraction proposed in the Plan in accordance with paragraph 205 (a) of the NPPF.


(9) MIN 115 - land at Lord Anson's Wood, near North Walsham

Site Characteristics

  • The 16.88 hectare site is within the parish of North Walsham
  • The estimated sand and gravel resource at the site is 1,100,000 tonnes
  • The proposer of the site has estimated the extraction rate to be 60,000 tonnes per annum but has not given a potential start date for extraction. Based on this information the full mineral resource at the site could be extracted within 19 years. If mineral extraction started in 2019, then 1,080,000 tonnes could be extracted within the plan period.
  • The site is proposed by R G Carter Ltd as a new site.
  • The site is currently a plantation woodland.
  • The Agricultural Land Classification scheme classifies the land as being non-agricultural.
  • The site is 1.1km from North Walsham and 5.9km from Aylsham, which are the nearest towns.

M115.1 Amenity: The nearest residential property is 352m from the site boundary. The settlement of North Walsham is 926m away. Even without mitigation, adverse dust impacts from sand and gravel sites are uncommon beyond 250m from the nearest dust generating activities. Therefore, no adverse amenity impacts are expected from the proposed mineral extraction.

M115.2 Highway access: The proposed site access would be to the B1150 Norwich Road to the east, which is a designated lorry route. The haul route would potentially follow an existing track through the woodland before reaching the B1150. The Highway Authority considers that a suitable highway access could be formed to the B115, but it would need to include appropriate visibility sprays and be at a location on the B1150 with appropriate levels of forward visibility. Depending upon the results of a Transport Assessment, a right-turn lane may be needed. The site is not within an AQMA. The proposer of the site estimates that 6 to 8 HGV movements per day would be required.

M115.3 Historic environment: The historic landscape character of the site is 18th to 20th Century plantation woodland. The site is within a wider historic landscape character of 18th to 20th century plantation woodland, 20th century agriculture with enclosure and boundary loss (with and without a relict element), agriculture with 18th to 19th century piecemeal enclosure and heath. The wider historic landscape character also includes enclosed wetland meadow, a water reservoir, duck decoy pond, horticulture nursery and modern built up areas of small farm clusters.

M115.4 The nearest Listed Building is the Grade II Thatched cottage which is 810m away. There are 11 Listed Buildings within 2km of the site. The nearest Scheduled Monument is 'Cross 300m NW of Tollbar Cottages', which is 850m from the site. There are three Scheduled Monuments within 2km of the site. North Walsham Conservation Area is 1.97km from the site. There are no Registered Historic Parks and Gardens within 2km of the site. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required.

M115.5 Archaeology: The site contains a HE record for a WW2 aircraft crash site (B24 Liberator); no other HE records are noted however this may just be due to lack of investigations. The aircraft crash site is legally protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act (1986). The site is in a wider landscape with a number of finds and features with medieval iron working activity, and a battlefield site immediately to the east. Therefore, there is the potential that unknown archaeology exists on the site and an assessment of the significance of archaeological remains will be required at the planning application stage, in order to protect and mitigate the impact of mineral extraction in this site. The archaeology assessment may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching.

M115.6 Landscape: The site is not located within the AONB, a Core River Valley or any other designated landscape feature. The site is within the landscape character area described as 'Wooded with parkland – Wickmere and Swanton Abbott'. The site is an area of largely coniferous woodland, although there is some scrubby regrowth. Surrounding the site are areas of broadleaved woodland and further areas of conifer plantation, and the site is within a wider Parkland setting.

M115.7 The surrounding landscape setting along the access road is characterised by mature hedgerows field boundary mature oak trees and woodland edge of mixed coniferous and deciduous species. It is imperative that these existing landscape features are retained and enhanced.

M115.8 Retention of woodland buffer zones is proposed along northern and eastern boundaries with substantial areas of woodland surrounding the site on southern and western boundaries. The retention of woodland buffer zones would form a key requirement for this site to be satisfactory in landscape terms and visual impact terms.

M115.9 There are no Public Rights of Way within or adjacent to the site. There is a PROW close to the northern boundary of the site (north Walsham FP9). The haul road from the site to the B1150 would cross a PROW (Swanton Abbott FP11)

M115.10 Ecology: The site is more than 5km from any SPA, SAC or Ramsar site. Therefore, there would be no likely significant effects on these sites.

M115.11 Bryant's Heath, Felmingham SSSI is 0.7km from the site boundary. The SSSI citation states that the SSSI is an area of dry acidic heathland. The site encompasses a mix of dry heath, wet heath and fen communities. Rich plant communities have developed in the flushed areas and include several plants that are now uncommon in East Anglia. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore the SSSI would not be adversely affected.

Westwick Lakes SSSI is 0.45km from the site boundary. The SSSI citation states that Westwick Lakes form a compact group of five secluded man-made lakes. The Perch Lake group is of a type rarely found in East Anglia and closely resembles nutrient-poor lakes found in the upland areas. The acidic waters support an unusual aquatic flora and plankton fauna. The other lakes are more typical with abundant water weeds. Large flocks of wildfowl overwinter in the lakes. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and is located up-gradient of the SSSI. Therefore the SSSI would not be adversely affected.

M115.12 The nearest County Wildlife Sites are: CWS 1170 'Lord Anson's Wood' is adjacent to the site boundary and is an area of mature semi-natural woodland and of conifer plantation with broadleaved woodland regeneration. A potential impact could be dust deposition from extraction, if uncontrolled. Therefore, a dust assessment and identification of appropriate mitigation measures will be required as part of the planning application process, to ensure that the CWS are not adversely affected.

M115.13 CWS 1171 'North Walsham Wood' is 330m from the site boundary and is a mainly mature oak dominated semi-natural, broadleaved woodland with an understory of silver birch; there are also two areas of Scot's pine plantation. CWS 1172 'Weaver's Way' is 450m from the site boundary and is a stretch of dismantled railway comprising a mixture of recent semi-natural broadleaved woodland and species poor semi-improved neutral, well-drained grassland with scrub. The proposed mineral extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore these County Wildlife Sites would not be adversely affected.

M115.14 There are no ancient woodland sites within 3km of the site.

M115.15 Geodiversity: This site consists of the Briton's Lane sand and gravel member, overlying Wroxham Crag Formation-sand and gravel. The Briton's Lane sands and gravels are known to contain priority features such as palaesols and erratics in other locations, and therefore they may occur on this site. Potential impacts to geodiversity would need to be assessed and appropriate mitigation identified as part of any future application. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a 'watching brief' during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered.

M115.16 Flood Risk: The site is in Flood Zone 1 (lowest risk) for flooding from rivers. The site has a low probability of surface water flooding with one very small location of surface water pooling in a 1 in 1000 year rainfall event. Sand and gravel extraction is considered to be a 'water compatible' land use which is suitable in all flood zones. The site is not in an Internal Drainage Board area.

M115.17 Hydrogeology: The site is located over a Secondary A aquifer (superficial deposits) and a principal aquifer (bedrock). However, there are no groundwater Source Protection Zones within the proposed site. The site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore no effect on water resources is expected.

M115.18 Water Framework Directive: The site is over 1km from watercourses within the catchment of the Tributary of the Bure and the King's Beck, which are the nearest Water Framework Directive waterbodies. The groundwater level in this area is many metres below ground level and therefore overland flows are not expected from the site towards the Tributary of the Bure or the King's Beck. If mineral is extracted from MIN 115 it is expected to be processed on site. Therefore the sand and gravel to be processed would not be transported across the Tributary of the Bure and the King's Beck. Due to the distance of the site from the Tributary of the Bure and the King's Beck it is not expected that there would be a pathway for silt ingress into the Tributary of the Bure or the King's Beck from any future sand and gravel extraction within site MIN 115.

M115.19 Utilities infrastructure: There are no Anglian Water sewerage assets or water assets within the site. There is no electricity transmission infrastructure within the site. There are no high pressure gas pipelines within the site.

M115.20 Safeguarding aerodromes: The site is not within an aerodrome safeguarding zone.

M115.21 Restoration: No details on proposed restoration of the site have been provided. The preferred restoration for the site would be a mix of deciduous woodland and heathland, with public access.

M115.22 Conclusion: Site MIN 115 is considered suitable to allocate for sand and gravel extraction. Development will be subject to compliance with the relevant Minerals and Waste Local Plan Policies and Specific Site Allocation Policy MIN 115.

(2) Specific Site Allocation Policy MIN 115 (land at Lord Anson's Wood, near North Walsham):

The site is allocated as a specific site for sand and gravel extraction. Development will be subject to compliance with the Minerals and Waste Local Plan policies and all the following requirements:

  • Provision of an off-highway haul road from the site to access the B1150 to the east. A junction to the B1150 to be formed with appropriate visibility splays and levels of forward visibility to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority. Depending on the results of a Transport Assessment, a right-turn lane may be required;
  • Submission of a full biodiversity survey and report, including bat and badger surveys. Depending on the results of the survey, mitigation measures may be necessary to ensure that there would be no adverse impacts on protected species;
  • Submission of an Arboricultural Impact Assessment to identify the impact of the development on existing trees and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required;
  • An appropriately wide screen of trees to be left around the site to minimise amenity impacts on users of the footpath passing close to the north-west corner of Lord Ansons's Wood;
  • The site would need to be worked 'dry' (above the water table) to ensure there would be no adverse impacts on Westwick Lakes SSSI;
  • Submission of a progressive restoration to a mix of deciduous woodland and heathland with public access;
  • An appropriate archaeological assessment must be prepared in consultation with Norfolk County Council; this may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching. The archaeological assessment would need to include potential impacts on the wartime military crash site and the Peasants' Revolt battle site. The archaeological assessment will be used by Norfolk County Council/Historic Environment Service to agree appropriate mitigation measures; and
  • Provision of opportunities during working for any geodiversity assets to studied, and if compatible with the landscape and ecology objectives an open face to be included within any restoration scheme for future scientific study.


(4) MIN 207 - land at Pinkney Field, Briston

Site Characteristics

  • The 12.5 hectare site is within the parish of Edgefield
  • The estimated sand and gravel resource at the site is 400,000 tonnes
  • The proposer of the site has given a potential start date of 2019 or 2020 and estimated the extraction rate to be 75,000 tonnes per annum. Based on this information the full mineral resource at the site could be extracted within 6 years which would be within the plan period.
  • The site is proposed by Frimstone Ltd as an extension to an existing site.
  • The site is currently in agricultural use and the Agricultural Land Classification scheme classifies the land as being Grade 3
  • The site is 3.7km from Holt which is the nearest town.

M207.1 Amenity: The nearest residential property is 280m from the site boundary. The settlement of Hunworth is 692m away. Even without mitigation, adverse dust impacts from sand and gravel sites are uncommon beyond 250m from the nearest dust generating activities. The greatest impacts will be within 100 metres of a source, if uncontrolled. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include noise and dust assessments and mitigation measures to deal appropriately with any amenity impacts.

M207.2 Highway access: The site would use the existing site off-highway haul route which crosses Edgefield Road C468 and joins the B1354 Norwich Road, which is a designated lorry route, at an existing access shortly after West End and Horseshoe Lane. The site is not within an AQMA. As a proposed extension to an existing site, the number of vehicle movements is expected to remain the same but continue for a longer period. The estimated number of HGV movements is 30 to 40 per day. The proposed highway access is considered to be suitable by the Highway Authority.

M207.3 Historic environment: The historic landscape character of the site is Twentieth Century agriculture with boundary loss. The site is within a wider historic landscape character of Twentieth century agriculture with enclosure and boundary loss (with and without a relict element), agriculture with 18th to 19th century piecemeal enclosure, and pre-18th century enclosure. The wider historic landscape character also includes leisure/recreation, water meadow, modern built-up areas of small farm clusters and houses, and 19th to 20th century plantation woodland.

M207.4 The nearest Listed Building is the Grade II* 'Remains of the church of St Peter and St Paul' which is 750m away. There are 36 Listed Buildings within 2km of the site. 13 of these are within the Hunworth Conservation Area, which is 0.73km from the site. The site is within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area. The site is 1.59km from Edgefield Conservation Area. There are 2 Scheduled Monuments within 2km of the site. The nearest Scheduled Monument is 'Castle Hill medieval ringwork, Hunworth', which is 0.88km away. There are no Registered Historic Parks and Gardens within 2km of the site. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required.

M207.5 Archaeology: There are no Historic Environment records within the site boundary, however the lack of HE records may just be due to a lack of investigations. The site immediately to the west has been investigated and no finds or features were identified. There are isolated multi-period finds in the wider landscape. Therefore, there is the potential that unknown archaeology exists on the site and an assessment of the significance of archaeological remains will be required at the planning application stage, in order to protect and mitigate the impact of mineral extraction in this site. The archaeology assessment may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching.

M207.6 Landscape: The site is not located within the AONB or a Core River Valley but is within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area. The site falls within two landscape character areas; the western part is within 'Wooded with parkland – Holt to Cromer' and the eastern part is within 'Tributary Farmland – Hempstead, Bodham, Aylmerton and Wickmere'. The western boundary of site MIN 207 is adjacent to an existing mineral extraction site, which is currently being restored to an agricultural reservoir in the north and will be restored to agricultural grassland in the south with some additional woodland planting. The NPPF states that local planning authorities should "as far as practicable, provide for the maintenance of landbanks of non-energy minerals from outside Conservation Areas" however, the purpose of the mineral extraction is to enable the formation of an agricultural reservoir and the site would be well screened from public views, so the local landscape impacts are not considered to be significant during the period of mineral extraction. Following mineral extraction, the western part of site MIN 207 would be restored to an agricultural reservoir and the eastern part would be restored to agricultural grassland. There is currently planning permission for two agricultural reservoirs to be formed on the adjacent western field, with associated mineral extraction. The agricultural reservoir to be formed within site MIN 207 would replace the proposed second agricultural reservoir in the adjacent field. Therefore, the landscape change on restoration would be similar to that already permitted on the adjacent land because there would be an agricultural reservoir formed on each site, instead of two agricultural reservoirs within one site as currently permitted.

M207.7 Woodland borders part of the northern boundary and screens the site from Hunworth. The eastern and southern boundaries border agricultural fields; however the rolling nature of the landscape, together with isolated woodland copses and hedgerows aid with screening from the Hunworth Road and the Edgefield Road, such that there are few very limited views of the site. Mill House, off the Hunworth Road, is approximately 350m east of the site boundary. Due to the orientation of the property, as well as intervening woodland, hedgerows, and the topography, Mill House would not have a view of the site.

M207.8 There are no Public Rights of Way within or adjacent to the site.

M207.9 Ecology: The site is 2.57km from Holt Lowes SSSI which is part of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC. The SSSI citation states that this is an area of dry sandy heathland that grades into flushes slopes along the valley of the River Glaven. There is an excellent example of a mixed valley-mire in a small tributary valley that bisects the heath. The mixed mire communities are diverse and reflect the variations in alkalinity and nutrient availability in the drainage waters. Several uncommon plants and invertebrates are present. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and is located up-gradient of the SSSI. Therefore, the SSSI and SAC would not be adversely affected.

M207.10 There are no County Wildlife Site within 1km of the site boundary.

M207.11 The nearest ancient woodland site is Lowes Farm Wood, a Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS), which is 1.27km from the site boundary. Due to the distance from the ancient woodland site there would be no impacts from dust deposition. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore the ancient woodland would not be adversely affected.

M207.12 Geodiversity: The site consists of the Briton's Lane sand and gravel member, Lowestoft Formation - diamicton, overlying Chalk Formations. The Briton's Lane sands and gravels are known to contain priority features such as palaesols and erratics in other locations, and therefore they may occur on this site. Potential impacts to geodiversity would need to be assessed and appropriate mitigation identified as part of any future application. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a 'watching brief' during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered.

M207.13 Flood Risk: The site is in Flood Zone 1 (lowest risk) for flooding from rivers. No areas of the site are at risk of surface water flooding. The site is not in an Internal Drainage Board area.

M207.14 Hydrogeology: The site is partially located over a Secondary A aquifer and partially over a Secondary (undifferentiated) aquifer (superficial deposits). The site is also located over a principal aquifer (bedrock). However, there are no groundwater Source Protection Zones within the proposed site. The site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore no effect on water resources is expected.

M207.15 Water Framework Directive: The site is approximately 600 metres from the River Glaven, which is the nearest Water Framework Directive waterbody. The groundwater level in this area is several metres below ground level and therefore overland flows are not expected from the site towards the River Glaven. MIN 207 and the existing adjacent processing plant, which the sand and gravel would be transported to by internal haul route, are both a considerable distance south of the River Glaven. Therefore, the sand and gravel to be processed would not be transported across the River Glaven. Due to the distance of the site from the River Glaven it is not expected that there would be a pathway for silt ingress into the River Glaven from any future sand and gravel extraction within site MIN 207.

M207.16 Utilities infrastructure: There are no Anglian Water sewerage assets or water assets within the site. There is no electricity transmission infrastructure within the site. There are no high pressure gas pipelines within the site.

M207.17 Safeguarding aerodromes: The site is not within an aerodrome safeguarding zone.

M207.18 Restoration: The site is proposed to be restored to an agricultural reservoir, with the unworked part of the site restored to agricultural grassland. The reservoir would be a replacement for the permitted southern reservoir on the existing adjacent mineral extraction site to the southwest, which would instead be restored to agricultural grassland.

M207.19 Conclusion: Site MIN 207 is considered suitable to allocate for sand and gravel extraction. Development will be subject to compliance with the relevant Minerals and Waste Local Plan Policies and Specific Site Allocation Policy MIN 207.

Specific Site Allocation Policy MIN 207 (land at Pinkney Field, Briston):

The site is allocated as a specific site for sand and gravel extraction. Development will be subject to compliance with the Minerals and Waste Local Plan policies and all the following requirements:

  • Submission of noise and dust assessments and a programme of mitigation measures to deal appropriately with any amenity impacts;
  • Submission of a restoration scheme to an agricultural reservoir and agricultural grassland to provide biodiversity gains;
  • Highway access to be via the existing off-highway haul route to the B1354 Norwich Road;
  • Provision of opportunities during working for any geodiversity assets to studied, and if compatible with the landscape and ecology objectives an open face to be included within any restoration scheme for future scientific study;
  • A Landscape and Visual Impact assessment to identify potential landscape impacts, with particular reference to the Glaven Valley Conservation Area, together with suitable mitigation measures to address the impacts;
  • Submission of a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required; and
  • An appropriate archaeological assessment must be prepared in consultation with Norfolk County Council; this may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching. The archaeological assessment will be used by Norfolk County Council/Historic Environment Service to agree appropriate mitigation measures.


(4) MIN 208 - land south of Holt Road, East Beckham

Site Characteristics

  • The 16.56 hectare site is within the parish of East Beckham
  • The estimated sand and gravel resource at the site is 1,320,000 tonnes
  • The proposer of the site has given a potential start date of 2031 and estimated the extraction rate to be 100,000 tonnes per annum. Based on this information the full mineral resource at the site could be extracted within fourteen years, therefore approximately 600,000 tonnes could be extracted within the plan period.
  • The site is proposed by Gresham Gravel Ltd as an extension to an existing site.
  • The site is currently in agricultural use and part of the site includes a solar farm. The Agricultural Land Classification scheme classifies the land as being 3a and 3b.
  • The site is 5.5km from Cromer and 5.9km from Holt, which are the nearest towns.

M208.1 Amenity: The nearest residential property is 197m from the site boundary. There are three sensitive receptors within 250m of the site boundary. The settlement of East Beckham is 560m away. Even without mitigation, adverse dust impacts from sand and gravel sites are uncommon beyond 250m from the nearest dust generating activities. The greatest impacts will be within 100 metres of a source, if uncontrolled. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include noise and dust assessments and mitigation measures to deal appropriately with any amenity impacts.

M208.2 Highway access: The site would use the existing site access onto the A148 Holt Road, which is a designated lorry route. The site is not within an AQMA. As a proposed extension to an existing site, the number of vehicle movements is expected to remain the same but continue for a longer period. The estimated number of HGV movements is 40 two-way movements per day. The proposed highway access is considered to be suitable by the Highway Authority.

M208.3 Historic environment: The historic landscape character of the site is Twentieth Century agriculture with boundary loss and agriculture with 18th to 19th Century piecemeal enclosure. The site is within a wider historic landscape character of Twentieth Century agriculture with enclosure and boundary loss and agriculture with 18th to 19th Century piecemeal enclosure. The wider historic landscape character also includes heath, a water reservoir, carr woodland and 18th to 20th Century plantation woodland.

M208.4 The nearest Listed Building is Grade II Hall Farmhouse which is 270m away. There are 14 Listed buildings within 2km of the site, 9 of these are within the Upper Sheringham Conservation Area which is 250m from the site. The only Scheduled Monument within 2km of the site is the 'Oval barrow and bowl barrow known as Howe's Hill' which is 1.6km away. Sheringham Hall, a Registered Historic Park is 1.02km from the site. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required.

M208.5 Archaeology: There are Historic Environment records of prehistoric flint finds and a medieval hollow way within the site boundary. The site is in a wider landscape with a significant number of finds and features from multiple periods. Therefore, there is the potential that unknown archaeology exists on the site and an assessment of the significance of archaeological remains will be required at the planning application stage, in order to protect and mitigate the impact of mineral extraction in this site. The archaeology assessment may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching.

M208.6 Landscape: The site is not located within the AONB, a Core River Valley or any other designated landscape feature. It is approximately 210 metres from the boundary of the Norfolk Coast AONB. The site is currently an agricultural field, and part of the field contains a solar farm. The site is within the landscape character area described as 'Tributary Farmland - Hempstead, Bodham, Aylmerton and Wickmere'.

M208.7 The site is a south-western extension to an active permitted sand and gravel working which is just south of the A148. MIN 208 is a southerly sloping site adjacent to a solar farm to the west. The village of West Beckham is approximately 670 metres southwest of the site boundary. The site is well screened from public roads, although a long view can be seen from the A149 to the north and from Sheringham Road and The Street, West Beckham to the west. Views can be seen from the Public Right of Way on the southern boundary of the site. The site is generally well screened and views from property would be confined to East Beckham Hall and possibly from the upstairs of Mill House. Therefore, suitable screening of the site would be required to mitigate any landscape impacts.

M208.8 There is a Public Right of Way adjacent to the southern boundary of the site (East Beckham FP2).

M208.9 Ecology: The site is 1.45km from Sheringham and Beeston Regis Commons SSSI, which is part of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC. The SSSI citation states that the site is an area of acidic heathland containing area of species-rich calcareous spring fen on sloping ground. 'Mixed mire' vegetation has developed in seepage zones. These spring fen areas contain many wetland plants that are now locally uncommon. Dry heathland surrounds the fens and supports several species of breeding birds and reptiles. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry (above the water table) and is located in a different hydrological catchment to the SSSI and SAC. Therefore, there would be no adverse impacts on the SSSI and SAC.

M208.10 Weybourne Cliffs SSSI is 2.64km from the site. The SSSI citation details the geological interest in the site with outstanding Pleistocene sections of national importance and marine and vertebrate fossils. Additional biological interest is provided by colonies of sand martins in the cliff-face and of fulmars on the cliff ledges. The SSSI would not be adversely affected by the proposed mineral extraction site.

M208.11 The nearest County Wildlife Sites are: CWS 1146 'Pretty Corner and the Plains' is 400m from the site boundary and is a complex mosaic of semi-natural broadleaved woodland habitats with small areas of neutral, unimproved grassland and patches of dry heath. CWS 2077 'Sheringham Old Wood' is 480m from the site boundary and is mainly coniferous and mixed plantations with small remnant fragments of broadleaved semi-natural woodland, heathland and acidic grassland. CWS 1145 'Gibbet and Marlpit Plantations' is 270m from the site boundary and is an area of acid, oak dominated woodland. Due to the distance from the County Wildlife Sites there would be no impacts from dust deposition. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry and therefore the CWSs would not be adversely affected.

M208.12 The nearest ancient woodland site is a Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) and Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) (unnamed) in Upper Sheringham, which is 1.05km from the site boundary. Due to the distance from the ancient woodland there would be no impact from dust deposition. The proposed extraction site would be worked dry and therefore the ancient woodland would not be adversely affected.

M208.13 Geodiversity: The site consists of Head deposits-clay, silt, sand & gravel which are priority features due to their method of formation, Briton's Lane sand and gravel member, overlying Wroxham Crag Formation-sand and gravel. The Briton's Lane sands and gravels are known to contain priority features such as palaesols and erratics in other locations, and therefore they may occur on this site. Potential impacts to geodiversity would need to be assessed and appropriate mitigation identified as part of any future application. It would be useful to retain some open faces for scientific study during operational stages, and ideally after restoration, and have a 'watching brief' during the extraction phase in case features of potential geodiversity interest are uncovered.

M208.14 Flood Risk: The site is in Flood Zone 1 (lowest risk) for flooding from rivers. The site has a low risk of surface water flooding, with two small areas of surface water pooling in a 1 in 1000-year rainfall event. Sand and gravel is considered to be a 'water compatible' land use which is suitable in all flood zones. The site is not in an Internal Drainage Board area.

M208.15 Hydrogeology: The site is partially located over a Secondary A aquifer and partially over a Secondary (undifferentiated) aquifer (superficial deposits). The site is also located over a principal aquifer (bedrock). The site is within groundwater Source Protection Zone 2. The site would be worked dry (above the water table) and therefore no effect on water resources is expected.

M208.16 Water Framework Directive: The site is approximately 100 metres from an unnamed stream within the catchment of Scarrow Beck, which is the nearest Water Framework Directive waterbody. The groundwater level in this area is several metres below ground level and therefore overland flows are not expected from the site towards the Beck. MIN 208 and the existing adjacent processing plant, which the sand and gravel would be transported to by internal haul route, are both a considerable distance north of the Scarrow Beck. Therefore, the sand and gravel to be processed would not be transported across Scarrow Beck. Due to the distance of the site from Scarrow Beck it is not expected that there would be a pathway for silt ingress into the Scarrow Beck from any future sand and gravel extraction within site MIN 208.

M208.17 Utilities infrastructure: There are no Anglian Water sewerage assets within the site. There are five water mains within the site and Anglian Water would require the standard protected easement widths for the water main and for any requests for alteration or removal to be conducted in accordance with the Water Industry Act 1991. There is no electricity transmission infrastructure within the site. There are no high-pressure gas pipelines within the site.

M208.18 Safeguarding aerodromes: The site is not within an aerodrome safeguarding zone.

M208.19 Restoration: The site is proposed to be restored to a mosaic of native woodland, scrub, acid grasslands and exposed faces.

M208.20 Conclusion: Site MIN 208 is considered suitable to allocate for sand and gravel extraction. Development will be subject to compliance with the relevant Minerals and Waste Local Plan Policies and Specific Site Allocation Policy MIN 208.

Specific Site Allocation Policy MIN 208 (land south of Holt Road, East Beckham):

The site is allocated as a specific site for sand and gravel extraction. Development will be subject to compliance with the Minerals and Waste Local Plan policies and all the following requirements:

  • Submission of noise and dust assessments and a programme of mitigation measures to deal appropriately with any amenity impacts;
  • Submission of a progressive restoration scheme to a nature conservation afteruse to provide landscape and biodiversity gains;
  • Provision of opportunities during working for any geodiversity assets to studied, and if compatible with the landscape and ecology objectives an open face to be included within any restoration scheme for future scientific study;
  • Submission of a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required;
  • An appropriate archaeological assessment must be prepared in consultation with Norfolk County Council; this may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching. The archaeological assessment will be used by Norfolk County Council/Historic Environment Service to agree appropriate mitigation measures;
  • Submission of a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment to identify any potential landscape or visual intrusion impacts and appropriate mitigation measures to address these, which will form part of the working scheme;
  • The site will need to be phased with the adjacent permitted site so that only one site is worked for extraction at a time;
  • The site will need to be worked without dewatering, unless a Hydrogeological Risk Assessment identifies either no unacceptable hydrogeological impacts or appropriate mitigation is identified to ensure no acceptable impact to hydrogeology;
  • A sufficient stand-off distance around the water mains that cross the site or diversion of the water mains at the developers costs and to the satisfaction of Anglian Water; and
  • The existing processing plant site and highway access to be used.


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