Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Pre-Submission Publication
7.1 Norfolk's 'Local Transport Plan 4 Strategy 2021-2036' has seven objectives:
- Embracing the future – adapt to and use new technology to achieve better outcomes
- Delivering a sustainable Norfolk – working in partnership with others to help shape the County's development plans and proposals
- Enhancing connectivity – key connections into and across the county must be improved to provide better, faster and more reliable journeys. However, this must be done in a way that puts transport firmly onto a net zero carbon trajectory.
- Enhancing Norfolk's quality of life – put a clear priority on carbon reduction and alongside this, give priority to tackling air quality and to improve quality of place, conserving and enhancing our built and historic environments.
- Increasing accessibility – working in partnership with bus companies, train operators, local communities, service providers and those who plan service provision is key to increasing accessibility
- Improving transport safety – work in partnership to achieve casualty reductions on the transport network using the Safe Systems approach
- A well-managed and maintained transport network – focus core funding streams towards ensure that the most important parts of the network are kept in good repair. In urban areas and market towns the strategy is to identify sustainable and active transport corridors to focus maintenance and network management.
7.2 Norfolk County Council is working in partnership with local authorities to create a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Norfolk. The purpose of the LCWIP is to create a proposed cycling and walking network across the county, to identify and prioritise improvement schemes which can be delivered over the short, medium and long term. This will enable more people to consider cycling and walking as safe, direct and attractive forms of transport. Cycling and walking infrastructure plans will play an important part in the delivery of the Local Transport Strategy for Norfolk.
7.3 Most current minerals and waste sites in Norfolk are served by Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) using the local road network, although Sibelco's silica sand complex at Leziate exports around three-quarters of the processed silica sand by rail.
7.4 The movement of HGVs to and from minerals and waste sites can have significant effects on roads, other road users and the local community. Alternatives to road freight, such as rail and water-borne freight distribution of minerals and waste will be strongly encouraged, but in Norfolk the majority of bulk materials are likely to continue being transported by road as this is currently the most feasible mode of transport.
7.5 Much of Norfolk's road network is made up of minor rural roads that are generally unsuitable for large vehicles and heavy traffic flows. The impact of HGV traffic on unsuitable roads can be significant in terms of physical damage. A large proportion of Norfolk's unclassified road network is of unsuitable construction and alignment to cater for significant HGV traffic and in additional there can be localised amenity impacts from HGV traffic.
7.6 One of the aims of the Highway Authority is to keep commercial vehicles away from areas where their presence would result in danger/unacceptable disruption to the highway or cause irreparable damage.
7.7 National Highways is responsible for managing the trunk roads in Norfolk (the A11, A47 and A12). The County Council has, of many years, designated every non-trunk road in Norfolk as a category within the Route Hierarchy. In declining order of appropriateness, the Route Hierarchy is: Principal Roads (generally A roads), Main Distributor Roads (generally B roads), Local Access Roads, HGV access Roads, Tourist Access Roads (generally C roads) and Other Roads (normally C or unclassified roads). The intention of the policy is that new minerals and waste sites should ensure that HGVs take the shortest practicable route (avoiding inappropriate junctions and travel through settlements where possible) to the nearest Principal Road or Main Distributor Road.
7.8 An assessment of the impacts of transporting minerals and associated products to and from quarries, and the movement of waste is a key consideration in determining the acceptability of development proposals. Norfolk County Council, as the Local Highway Authority, has published aims and guidance notes for the Local Highway Authority requirements in Development Management in 'Safe, Sustainable Development' (November 2019).
7.9 Road improvements by, or on behalf of a developer, may be required to mitigate any potential adverse transport impacts. Any improvements must be in accordance with the standard for HGV routes in Norfolk County Council's latest guidance on the Route Hierarchy. In cases where a highways improvement scheme has been identified by the County Highway Authority or National Highways, developers will be required to make an appropriate financial contribution to the scheme.
7.10 When determining planning applications for minerals and waste development, it may be necessary to use planning conditions to impose restrictions on the number of vehicle movements and to secure acceptable routing of HGVs when this is considered necessary to minimise highways and amenity impacts from HGV transport.
(4) Policy MW2: Transport
All proposals for minerals development or waste management facilities must assess the potential for non-HGV transportation of materials to and from the facilities, principally by rail or water and take up these sustainable transport opportunities where available.
The County Council will consider minerals and waste development proposals to be satisfactory in terms of access where anticipated HGV movements, taking into account cumulative impacts and any mitigation measures proposed, do not generate:
- Unacceptable risks to the safety of road users and pedestrians;
- Unacceptable impacts on the capacity and/or efficiency of the highway network (including the trunk road network);
- Unacceptable impacts on air quality (particularly in relation to any potential breaches of National Air Quality Objectives and impacts on any Air Quality Management Areas);
- Unacceptable physical impacts on the highway network (e.g. road or kerbside damage).
Planning applications for new minerals development or waste management facilities, or proposals that generate an increase in traffic movements or traffic impact, must be accompanied by a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment that demonstrates:
- The provision of parking areas and suitable highway access and egress in accordance with published highway design guidance;
- A suitable route to the nearest major road (trunk road or principal road or main distributor road), which may need to be incorporated in a formal Routing Agreement;
- Consideration of other road users, including cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians; and
- Appropriate measures to reduce car travel to the site by workers and visitors and encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport.