Questions 31: Policy MP5 'Core River Valleys'

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Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 91848

Received: 20/07/2018

Respondent: Broads Authority

Representation:

Who does the assessment? Does that need to be handed in with the planning application? How will you liaise with the Broads Authority if proposals come forward in the river valleys in the Broads rather than just consult? Why is the Broads not included in the core river valleys? Is a separate policy on the Broads required? Or is it the case that the Broads is not covered by this policy as the Broads Authority Executive Area is shown on the policies map as a landscape designation and so rivers and broads within the BEA not included under core river valleys policy, potentially affording greater protection i.e. development could be acceptable in Core River Valleys? This could usefully be clarified.
In other policies you cross refer to a more detailed policy, but not in this policy. Presumably policy MW2 is of relevance and could be cross referred to?

Full text:

Today Planning Committee endorsed the response below to the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Issues and Options consultation.

I hope this is helpful and I am happy to clarify any points if needed.


Main document
* The Broads has been identified by Historic England as an area with exceptional potential for waterlogged archaeology. Any excavation within or close to the executive area will require particularly robust archaeological evaluation prior to consenting and not rely on a brief desk based evaluation and conditions.
* For the avoidance of doubt, perhaps say that this covers the entire county of Norfolk.
* Perhaps something about how it fits with our Local Plans? Something about how Authorities consulted if application in or near to area? We would like to understand how our special qualities and our policies that could be of relevance would be considered in decision making.
* Page 16, 28 - the Broads has a status equivalent to a national park.
* Page 23 - suggest A3 landscape.
* Page 28: Typographical error: 'Landscape Character Assessments have been carried by the Local Planning Authorities in for Norfolk and they consider where locally designated landscapes of importance are situated'.
* Page 39: Typographical error: 'and/or the volumes of waste in each area so low that it would be unviable for a full range of waste management facilities to exist in every area'.
* Page 41: Typographical error: 'end-of-live vehicles' - should this be 'life'?
* Page 46: Typographical error: '...have similar locational requirements due to their potential to impact on local amenity and the environmental'.
* Page 49: Typographical error: 'of waste electronic electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)'
* WP17 and MP10 and MP11 - will you provide GIS layers of these facilities and consultation zones?
* Page 61: Typographical error: 'the most recently available date'
* The areas on page 67 - the Broads is not mentioned. Presumably this is because silica sand only occurs in West Norfolk Borough?
* Page 77: Typographical error: 'will be made by on a case by case basis'.
* Page 78: Typographical error: 'Carstone is also a scare resource in Norfolk and therefore it is appropriate for the entire carstone resource to be safeguarded as part of the MSA'
* Page 78 - reference to peat. Whilst extraction is not supported in the NPPF, what about the removal of peat as part of the development related to minerals and waste? Peat has many important qualities and the Authority has a policy relating to peat. How will this be used in determining applications in the Broads? As well as that, you may wish to look at policies relating to peat in terms of its removal and how it is to be treated in relation to its properties.
* Page 81 - are there any areas in Norfolk that could be investigated for unconventional hydrocarbons/fracking?
* Appendix 4: What about moorings and river bank stabilisation and other such applications that occur in the Broads but probably not elsewhere in Norfolk?
* General comment: headers and paragraph numbering would make the document easier to read - pages of text with no breaks was difficult to read.

Question 5: MW2
* Page 26, MW2 could mention dark skies. You could refer to the CPRE Night Blight data as well as our dark skies policy and zones.
* Page 27: Dark skies are important in the Broads and elsewhere. Perhaps more could be said about lighting: directing lighting downwards and away from properties and only lighting if needed and temporary versus permanent illumination.
* Page 27: 'A baseline ecological survey will be necessary where biodiversity features are present on a proposed site. Such surveys are essential in identifying what exists on a proposed mineral or waste management site and establishing whether such features should be retained and managed'. This is a bit confusing and seems to say that a survey would be needed to see if there are biodiversity features on a proposed site to then need a survey? We recommend that all sites would require baseline ecological survey and assessment of the presence of rare and protected species.
* Page 28: 'Local recreation assets, including Public Open Space and other outdoor facilities such as country parks, are protected in District, Borough and City Local Plans'. Also protected in the Local Plan for the Broads.
* Page 29: 'whilst others designated at a local level are subject to protection through District, Borough and City Local Plans'. Also mention the Local Plan for the Broads.

Question 6: MW3
* Page 33: 'All proposals for minerals development or waste management facilities must assess and consider positively the potential for non-HGV transportation of materials to and from the facilities, principally by rail or water'. Perhaps you might want to require an assessment that looks into this and shows their considerations? As written, an applicant does not seem to be required to do anything other than think about it.
* Page 33: 'The County Council will consider minerals and waste development proposals to be satisfactory in terms of access where anticipated HGV movements, taking into account any mitigation measures proposed, do not generate'. Wonder if this could be worded in a more simple way?

Question 7: MW4
* Uses the word 'should' which is quite weak term. A stronger term similar to that uses in other policies (like will need to, must, is required to) might be better.
* Some aspects repeat MW2 - does that matter?

Question 9: MW6
* Does MW6 repeats MW2?
* See previous comment about peat. Should peat be mentioned in this policy?

Question 11: WP2
* Page 45: what is 'appropriate transport infrastructure'?
* Page 45: is the five mile requirement as the crow flies or by road/path etc?

Question 12: WP3
* Page 46: 'Policy WP3: Land uses potentially suitable for waste management facilities'. This does not seem an ideal title for the policy; the policy seems to be more about where waste management facilities can go. Not all of the areas listed in the criteria are land uses in the typical sense; they are areas to which such facilities are directed towards.
* Page 46, do criteria d, e, f apply even if the proposal is not within 5 miles of a town as talked about in the previous policy? How do WP2 and WP3 work together?

Question 16: WP7
* WP7: regarding the location, these could be away from urban areas according to some criteria in WP3. Should these be located near to larger urban areas (i.e. near to the source of the waste)?

Question 22: WP13
* Are the areas of these landfills identified and are any in the Broads?

Question 25: WP16
* Should this include reference to MW2? That seems to have relevant and detailed criteria.

Question 28: Policy MP2
* The Broads, which has a status equivalent to a national park, may need to be listed as a planning constraint

Question 29: MP3
* There is no mention of the requirement for restoration.
* In other policies you cross refer to a more detailed policy, but not in this policy. Presumably policy MW2 is of relevance and could be cross referred to?

Question 31: MP5
* Who does the assessment? Does that need to be handed in with the planning application? How will you liaise with the Broads Authority if proposals come forward in the river valleys in the Broads rather than just consult? Why is the Broads not included in the core river valleys? Is a separate policy on the Broads required? Or is it the case that the Broads is not covered by this policy as the Broads Authority Executive Area is shown on the policies map as a landscape designation and so rivers and broads within the BEA not included under core river valleys policy, potentially affording greater protection i.e. development could be acceptable in Core River Valleys? This could usefully be clarified.
* In other policies you cross refer to a more detailed policy, but not in this policy. Presumably policy MW2 is of relevance and could be cross referred to?
Question 32: MP6
* What are the criteria or is there a checklist that helps ascertain if cumulative impacts are unacceptable?

Question 33: MP7
* As well as GI, ecological networks? There is ecological network work underway for the entire county which could be of relevance.
* The last part says 'The Green infrastructure Strategy' - which strategy is this? The strategy of the district in which the proposal is located?
* There is also a Norfolk-wide habitats map that could be of relevance.

Question 34: Policy MP8
* To gain the ecological benefits outlined for many of the sites an outline aftercare strategy for a minimum of ten years, rather than five years is required prior to the determination of the planning application

Question 35: MP9
* It is not clear if the works then need to be removed and form part of the restoration works or are moth-balled. This could usefully be clarified.

Sites Document
* MIN 38 - land at Waveney Forest, Fritton - the Authority supports the conclusion that this should not be allocated for the reasons as set out in the assessment. Page 169 - the landscape character assessment is also relevant: http://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/news-and-publications/publications-and-reports/planning-publications-and-reports/landscape-character-assessments. Broads Landscape Character Assessment 2016; Land considered as heathland Landscape Character Type (LCT) within the St Olaves to Burgh Castle Landscape Character Area (LCA). Land to the north and west considered to be estuarine marshland LCT within the same LCA. Haddiscoe Island LCA beyond river. The Authority strongly requests that Norfolk County Council liaise with us regarding this site and any future policy prior to the next version of the Local Plan. Strongly support this conclusion and the reasons for it. The current commercial forest operation, whilst not ideal in terms of the HE features within it, offers a degree of continued protection to those features. Page 169 Typographical error: "although food practice for tree felling" presumably should read good practice.

* MIN65; support submission of Heritage statement

* MIN 209, 210, 211; For information, the Broads Landscape Character Assessment 2016 says that this area is LCA Outney Common and Bath Hills, Industrial / Early post-industrial LCT boarders MIN 211. The Authority strongly requests that Norfolk County Council liaise with us regarding this site and the policy prior to the next version of the Local Plan. Support removal of plant site from BA executive area. What will go in its place?

* MIN 25; Broads Landscape Character Assessment 2016; Norton Marshes to Haddiscoe Dismantled Railway LCA immediately NE. Adjacent LCT is settlement fringe which would be covered in time by the Broads settlement fringe policy. Support submission of Heritage statement.Whilst this is not within the Broads, the Authority strongly requests that Norfolk County Council liaise with us regarding this site and the policy prior to the next version of the Local Plan.

MIN 92; Broads Landscape Character Assessment 2016; Chet Valley LCA, Carr woodland LCT to west and upland LCT to the north and south. Recommended not to support this site going forward (in terms of landscape) for reasons as set out in the supporting text under 'landscape'.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92016

Received: 09/08/2018

Respondent: CPRE Norfolk

Representation:

We strongly hope that this policy will be sufficient to protect Norfolk's core river valleys from any inappropriate and environmentally/ecologically damaging site allocations.

Full text:

We strongly hope that this policy will be sufficient to protect Norfolk's core river valleys from any inappropriate and environmentally/ecologically damaging site allocations.

Support

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92081

Received: 13/08/2018

Respondent: Natural England

Representation:

Natural England welcomes this proposal to protect core river valleys, particularly with regard to the River Wensum and Nar.

Full text:

Natural England welcomes this proposal to protect core river valleys, particularly with regard to the River Wensum and Nar.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92552

Received: 08/08/2018

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation:

Whilst recognising that mineral deposits have to be worked where they occur, new developments should be restricted to higher ground avoiding river valleys where possible to reduce the risk of mineral extraction impinging on groundwater.
Various authorities are restoring sections of river valley throughout Norfolk in order to enhance the ecology and condition status of water bodies. Developments which impact the success of existing restoration schemes will hinder the water bodies' potential to reach good status. This is particularly relevant to proposed sites MIN 55, MIN 202 and MIN 58. The location of these sites is close to an ongoing project to restore the River Wensum SSSI/ SAC/ SPA. If the developments are accepted there would be scope to work in partnership with the EA to create some enhancements which could include the use of natural flood management measures such as woody debris, planted berms, floodplain reconnection and tree planting.

Full text:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Initial Consultation for the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan. We have commented on the Policies and the Allocated Sites.
Policy MW2: Development Management Criteria
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is an important piece of legislation when reviewing planning applications. Applicants will need to demonstrate their activities will not lead to deterioration, taking account of WFD objectives and River Basin Management Plans.
Biodiversity and geological conservation
Much of this section is focused on the terrestrial environment. We would like to see the potential impacts of waste extraction on aquatic ecology addressed in the document. Aquatic ecology assessments should be carried out to determine the potential impacts on fish, invertebrates and aquatic habitat. The need for WFD assessments should be reiterated here.
Developments are likely to encounter a number of protected species issues in Norfolk which they will need to address. Species records can be obtained from the Norfolk Biodiversity Information System (NBIS). This data can be used to inform desk based studies and future surveys.

Land and Soil Resources
We welcome this section but recommend that the last sentence is expanded to address soil erosion. Our proposed wording would be: The overall integrity of land and soil should be protected, with measures taken to prevent/control soil erosion where applicable, during working and long-term use of the site once it is fully restored

Flooding
We are pleased to see that flood risk is a consideration in the policy, however it is limited to pluvial and fluvial. Tidal, groundwater and reservoir flooding should be considered. Therefore we recommend removing the words 'Pluvial and fluvial' so that all sources of flood risk are considered.
Minerals and Waste sites have strong potential to offer betterment through reducing the runoff rates, thereby reducing the flow to adjoining watercourses. Each application should explore the potential for betterment in the site specific Flood Risk Assessment (FRA), particularly when it comes to restoration. Ideally the requirement for Minerals and Waste sites to provide flood risk betterment where possible should be identified in Policy MW2 and may be most appropriate in the last paragraph.
The first paragraph on page 30 discusses the need to ensure flood risk is not increased. The NPPF states that all plans should use opportunities offered by new development to reduce the causes and impacts of flooding. The PPG, paragraph 050, states that authorities and developers should seek opportunities to reduce the overall level of flood risk in the area and beyond. There is great opportunity for minerals and waste development to provide flood risk betterment both locally and downstream, particularly during the restoration phase. It would be beneficial to see something in the plan that encourages opportunities for betterment.
In order to comply with the Planning Practice Guidance, we would require any planning application to consider the following issues if a site is at risk of flooding; this includes a number of the sites that have been allocated within this Plan:
 An FRA would be needed to demonstrate the risk of flooding to those working onsite and to ensure that flood risk is not increased.
 Climate change should be considered to determine the risk to the site in the future. In areas that benefit from defences, residual risk will need to be considered and what may happen in an overtopping or breach scenario. We would expect bunds and materials to be stored outside of the floodplain, otherwise we would expect flow paths to be considered to ensure there is no increase in flood risk and bunds to have gaps in for flood water.
 We would recommend that a flood plan is prepared for the development, which should include an appropriate method of flood warning and evacuation, to ensure the safe use of the development in extreme circumstances.
 Some of the allocated sites are extensions to existing sites. In this instance, appropriate measures should already be in place to manage flood risk. The application should however consider the impacts of extending the works and any site specific issues.

Environmental Permit for Flood Risk Activities
An environmental permit for flood risk activities may be required for work in, under, over or within 8 metres (m) from a fluvial main river and from any flood defence structure or culvert or 16m from a tidal main river and from any flood defence structure or culvert.

Application forms and further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/flood-risk-activities-environmental-permits. Anyone carrying out these activities without a permit where one is required, is breaking the law.
The Local Plan should consider this when allocating development sites adjacent to a 'main river'. A permit may be required and restrictions imposed upon the work as a result in order to ensure the development does not have a detrimental impact upon the environment and flood risk.
Water Quality
This section addresses water as a resource, but does not expand upon pollution in relation to environmentally sensitive locations. We suggest the following wording could be used:
As well as flood risk, the effect of minerals and waste management development on all water bodies should be addressed in accordance with the WFD. This includes the quality and quantity of surface water and groundwater. A further consideration could be the protection of sources of drinking water, identified via designated Source Protection Zones. Development proposals must therefore prevent the pollution of surface water and groundwater by fuels, chemicals and other contaminants (e.g. sediments), and include pollution prevention planning for incidents such as fires (and the risks posed by contaminated fire-fighting water), collisions and vandalism. Minerals development must also ensure there will be no significant change to groundwater or surface water levels, including careful monitoring of any 'dewatering' operations (whereby water is pumped out of a pit to allow dry working below the water table) to ensure no adverse impacts on surrounding water availability and/or the water environment.
Point b) should be expanded to recognise the sensitive areas in Norfolk such as the Broads and SSSIs. Suggested wording would be: The quality of surface waterbodies and groundwater, with particular regard to preventing the deterioration of their existing status, and the quantity of water for resource purposes within water bodies and in environmentally sensitive areas that may be affected by water quantity and quality;

Environmental Permit for Dewatering
Dewatering for quarrying or mineral extraction purposes now falls under water abstraction licencing legislation. Any developer of a quarry or mineral extraction should contact the Environment Agency to discuss obtaining such a licence. The Environment Agency would normally expect dewatering water to be returned to the local aquifer within a short time period
Policy MW4: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption
Part F may be better suited in the flooding, water resources and water quality section on page 30. However, it is important that climate change is considered when assessing flood risk. Therefore this section could specify that: 'site specific FRAs should include an assessment of the impact of climate change on flood risk using appropriate climate change allowances'.
Policy MW5: The Brecks Protected Habitats and Species
We support this policy's statement to protect the important flora and fauna within The Brecks. The allocated sites are mostly located away from sites supporting aquatic ecological features in Norfolk such as The Broads and North Norfolk Coast, but if any come forward in future then a further policy to address these features would assist in avoiding inappropriate development at these locations.

Policy MP5: Core River Valleys
Whilst recognising that mineral deposits have to be worked where they occur, new developments should be restricted to higher ground avoiding river valleys where possible to reduce the risk of mineral extraction impinging on groundwater.
Various authorities are restoring sections of river valley throughout Norfolk in order to enhance the ecology and condition status of water bodies. Developments which impact the success of existing restoration schemes will hinder the water bodies' potential to reach good status. This is particularly relevant to proposed sites MIN 55, MIN 202 and MIN 58. The location of these sites is close to an ongoing project to restore the River Wensum SSSI/ SAC/ SPA. If the developments are accepted there would be scope to work in partnership with the EA to create some enhancements which could include the use of natural flood management measures such as woody debris, planted berms, floodplain reconnection and tree planting.

Policy MP2: Spatial strategy for mineral extraction
We agree that each designated site and sensitive receptors will have different interest features and sensitivities. Therefore, proposed developments will need to be assessed to determine their potential impacts on the features for which each site is designated. Appropriate mitigation should be applied to reduce potential impacts. These may include planting buffer zones of trees around sites to act as dust suppression, and limit noise and light pollution from the development.
Policies MP7: Progressive Working, Restoration and After-use and MP8: Aftercare
The aggregate industry has the potential to create opportunities for delivering the UK BAP targets for conserving habitats and species. Topsoil at sites post-extraction can be reinstated and used to create wildflower meadows rich in pollinating insects.
Where possible green corridors should be strategically placed to link wildlife sites, creating a larger area for biodiversity which is consistent with the Biodiversity 2020 strategy to advocate the creation bigger and less fragmented areas for wildlife.

Native crayfish Ark sites
Using mineral extraction sites can provide highly suitable, inexpensive Ark sites for the rapidly declining white clawed crayfish. Norfolk contains some of the few remaining white claw crayfish populations but these are under threat from disease and non-native crayfish. Extraction operations can create permanently filled water bodies, isolated from existing rivers containing invasive crayfish and the virulent crayfish plague. We would encourage the creation of Ark sites to be a component of aftercare, thereby the industry will be contributing to regional and national BAP targets, adding greater value to restoration strategy. There would be opportunities for working in partnership with the EA, Norfolk Rivers Trust and Buglife to establish Arks at sites post extraction.

Policy WP15: Whitlingham Water Recycling Centre
Water Recycling Centres have the potential to cause significant impact on the water environment, and inhibit the ability for water bodies to achieve 'good' status under the WFD. We therefore welcome Whitlingham Water Recycling Centre having a long term policy to ensure that further capacity is provided in line with further growth.
Allocated Sites
In this section we have provided bespoke guidance relating to ecology, groundwater protection and flood risk at certain sites. MIN 38, Land at Waveney Forest, Fritton is of considerable concern.

MIN 38, Land at Waveney Forest, Fritton
We have significant concerns regarding the allocation of this site from both a Groundwater Protection and an Ecology perspective.
Groundwater Protection at Waveney Forest
Protection of groundwater quality and potable drinking supplies are of paramount concern to us.
It is highly likely that the quarry operators at this site would need to excavate below the water table, which is very shallow at this location. As such, significant dewatering would most likely result in groundwater level drawdown outside the boundary of the quarry and would affect/derogate nearby abstractions. We are aware of some local, licenced and unlicensed, abstractions which would most likely be affected.
For additional reference there is a public water supply (Northumbrian Water/Essex & Suffolk) abstraction from Fritton Lake. This is technically classed as a surface water abstraction because it is taken from the lake, but the lake is virtually a groundwater fed body, and so it is in hydraulic continuity with the same geological strata that the quarry wishes to excavate, as are the surrounding marshes. Unfortunately, our system will not assign a source protection zone to the abstraction because it only recognises the abstraction as being from surface water. While it is probably unlikely that the Lake would be impacted to the extent that it affects the public water supply abstraction, there remains the concern of contamination from air borne and groundwater pollutant resulting from quarry activities. This would otherwise have been more rigorously assessed should a Source Protection Zone have been assigned to this abstraction.
As of January this year dewatering is now a licensable activity as a New Authorisation. If we were consulted over this application, we would take a hard line, requesting detailed risk assessments and environmental impact assessments, including implications for impact to features assessed under the Water Framework Directive. We would expect detailed calculations of impact to Fritton Marshes, flow to the Waveney, Fritton Warren South County Wildlife Site, Fritton Lake, effects to local abstractors (including an updated search for domestic sources) and the Public Water Supply.
Ecology at Waveney Forest
This site has been raised in previous plans and we remain concerned that the size of the removal of aggregate could cause negative impacts on visual amenity, character and wildlife.
Numerous protected species in the area linked to fringing wetland habitat such as water vole, otter, Norfolk hawker, grass snake. Others linked to heathland and mire habitat to be lost include adder, lizard, slow-worm, nightjar and turtle dove. The narrow-mouthed whorl snail has also been recorded in habitats fringing the Waveney.
Impacts on the quality of water from run-off and draining down of surrounding wetland habitats (marshes, Fritton Lake) are likely to be severe. There is potential to compromise projects and eel passage improvements on nearby Blocka Run.
Several County Wildlife Sites (mainly heathland) will be lost to development, and it is unclear how impacts will be offset and even whether it is possible.

Allocated Sites with Ecological Constraints
The following section outlines the constraints at certain sites, which will need to be considered at the application stage to ensure that ecology is not adversely affected.
MIN 48 The proximity of the site to Swannington Upgate Common. Potential impacts on features of interest and Swannington beck, a chalk stream with associated priority habitat and species.
MIN 96 Close proximity to Spixworth Beck, concerns over impacts on the associated habitat including coastal and floodplain grazing marsh.
MIN 45 Potential impacts to ancient woodland, and county wildlife sites, particularly the hydrology and ecology of Syderstone Common SSSI which supports a population of protected natterjack toad.
MIN 202 The proximity to ancient woodland and county wildlife sites could cause habitat fragmentation.
MIN 115 Potential loss of deciduous woodland priority habitat.
MIN 25 Potential impacts on Priority Habitats - deciduous woodland and coastal and floodplain grazing marsh.
MIN 71 Proximity to Holt Lows SSSI and potential impact on groundwater dependant habitat.

Allocated Sites with Groundwater Protection Constraints

In this section we have provided guidance on the pollution prevention measures that we would expect to be considered at these allocated sites.

MIN 200, Land west of Cuckoo Lane Carbrooke
It is unclear whether de-watering is proposed. There is mention of the proximity to Scoulten Mere Wetland SSSI. If no de-watering is to take place then there would be no impacts, however if de-watering is to take place, by inference, there may be impacts. We welcome the recommendation for a hydrogeological impact assessment to determine if de-watering is acceptable, and if not then the mineral may have to be worked wet. With this proviso we agree with the conclusions that the site is likely to be suitable for complete sands and gravel extraction. The need for hydrogeological impact assessment should be added to the list of the requirements that need addressing in the initial conclusion.
We are aware of the proposed restoration of this site. The site lies within an SPZ 2 so it is recognised that sufficient protection of groundwater is required at the site. Groundwater has been identified at the base of excavation, and de-watering is a potential issue.As such any waste management development must employ pollution prevention measures where possible. The aquifers on site must be adequately protected from potential contamination, and any waste management development will require robust risk assessment. When this site is progressed, we will be heavily involved to ensure environmental protection.

MIN 35, land at Heath Road Quidenham
The site is located approximately 2km from Swangey Fen (wetland SSSI) and also close to Banham Fens and Quidenham Meres SSSI. This is proposed to be worked dry so, we have no de-watering concerns. The site is considered suitable provided there is no working below the water table.

MIN 102, land at North Farm Snetterton
The site is adjacent to Swangey Fen SSSI and therefore we do not consider it suitable for mineral extraction. A stronger argument is required than that presented in the recommendations, which state that 'this is a significant constraint to the development of the site and therefore the site is considered less deliverable than other sites that have been proposed for extraction'. If it is taken forward as a site it would have to be worked wet because we would not grant a de-watering licence, and we would request with strict planning conditions.
As the excavated void is to be utilised for waste disposal or recovery, a robust risk assessment will be required. We would expect waste disposal here to meet all best practice techniques. Due to the sensitivity of groundwater (within an SPZ2) it will not be possible to accept reduced liner thickness or design at this site. The aquifers on site must be adequately protected from potential contamination, and if this site is progressed the Environment Agency will be heavily involved to ensure environmental protection.

MIN 201, land at Swangey Farm Snetterton
The site is adjacent to Swangey Fen SSSI and therefore we do not consider it suitable for mineral extraction. If it is taken forward as a site it would have to be worked wet because we would not grant a de-watering licence, and we would request with strict planning conditions.

MIN 6, land off East Winch Road Middleton
We agree that a hydrogeological impact/risk assessment is needed for working beneath the water table. It may be necessary to apply constraints such as a limiting or precluding de-watering at the site, which will be dependent on the results of the hydrogeological risk assessment. The assessment should include impacts on protected rights (water features and other lawful users) and the risk of pulling in contaminated groundwater due to the proximity of black borough end Landfill. The issue of contaminated groundwater being mobilised from Blackborough End landfill is not addressed in the current assessment report.

MIN 204, land off Lodge Road Feltwell
It is not clear whether de-watering is proposed. Planning requirements in the initial conclusion should include the need for 'an appropriate hydrogeological risk assessment'.

MIN 40, land east of Grandcourt Farm East Winch
We agree with the need for an appropriate hydrogeological risk assessment as set out in the initial conclusions. This should also consider the proposed restoration scheme as well as the de-watering phase. Restoration and de-watering phases should consider thepossibility of a perched aquifer in the Carstone Formation. We would not accept any passive de-watering of this aquifer.

SIL 01: This is potentially a high risk site with a County Wildlife site situated within it. However we agree with the recommendation to allocate

Further Guidance
Sites MIN 40, MIN 19, MIN 205, MIN 201, MIN 35, MIN 51, MIN 13, and MIN 32 propose low level restoration using inert material to restore the site. Whilst these sites do not lie within an SPZ we would expect groundwater to be sufficiently protected. This would involve a robust waste acceptance criteria. We would expect diligence is maintained to ensure non-inert wastes are not accepted at this site. If deposition will be sub-water table, as at sites MIN 200 and MIN 102, the applicant should refer to the EA technical guidance note 30_18 'Compliance with the Landfill Directive when depositing inert waste into water'.

At sites MIN 12, MIN 08 and MIN 45, the the excavated void is to be utilised for waste disposal or recovery, so a robust risk assessment will be required. We would expect waste disposal here to meet all best practice techniques. Due to the sensitivity of groundwater (within an SPZ3) it will not be possible to accept reduced liner thickness or design at this site. The aquifers on site must be adequately protected from potential contamination, and if this site is progressed we will be heavily involved to ensure environmental protection.

At sites MIN 6, MIN 204, MIN 23 and MIN 116 it is not stipulated if these sites are to be utilised for waste disposal or recovery. If either of the options are progressed a robust risk assessment will be required. We would expect waste disposal here to meet all best practice techniques. Whilst the site does not lie within an SPZ we would expect groundwater to be sufficiently protected.

Allocated Sites with Flood Risk Constraints

MIN 102, Land at North Farm, south of the River Thet, Snetterton
As stated on p133, the majority of site MIN 102 is situated within flood zone 1, however there is a small percentage of the site within flood zones 2 and 3 which align the River Thet. There is also a small percentage shown at risk of surface water as shown on the risk of flooding from surface water flood map.
Although the site is currently considered to be unsuitable for allocation, should this change a FRA would be needed to demonstrate the risk of flooding to those working onsite and to ensure that flood risk is not increased. The impact of climate change on flood risk will also need to be considered.

MIN 76, land at West Field, Watlington Road
The plan incorrectly states that MIN 76 is situated in Flood Zone 1. The North West corner of the site is situated in Flood Zones 2 and 3, as shown on our Flood Map for Planning. This should be updated to ensure flood risk is addressed and mitigation measures considered.

Policy MP13: Areas of Search for silica sand extraction
Policy MP13 does not address the need for an FRA, although the requirement to follow the sequential approach to flood risk has been listed. An FRA is vital if the planning authority is to make informed planning decisions. In the absence of an FRA, the flood risk resulting from the proposed development are unknown.

Planning Advice Service
We trust the advice we have given is useful and will contribute to the soundness of the emerging local plan. We will continue to provide further advice and comments at future statutory stages of the emerging local plan. Should you wish us to review any draft policies and text as well as technical documents and background studies, such as strategic flood risk assessments or water cycle studies which may be used to support your plan, we can offer this as part of our planning advice service.
This service will ensure that your evidence documents fully support the local plan and ensure that environmental issues are addressed in an effective and timely way contributing to sustainable development. As part of the planning advice service we will provide you with a single point of contact who will co-ordinate access to our technical specialists, who will be able to provide bespoke advice and help you prepare any supporting documents. We will be pleased to provide you with an estimated cost for any work we would undertake as part of the service.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 93028

Received: 10/08/2018

Respondent: Brett Group

Agent: Heaton Planning Ltd

Representation:

Policy MP5 seeks protection to the Core River Valleys that is over and above the protection offered in the NPPF to sites of national landscape and biodiversity importance. The policy should be caveated with 'So far as is practicable minerals development will be permitted ...' removing the word 'only'.

Full text:

Representations submitted on behalf of the Brett Group.
Section 3 - The process so far
Section 3 sets out the methodology for site assessments - including landscape, ecology, highways etc.
For Historic Environment and Archaeology:
* Details of known assets
* Proposals for protection / mitigation
* Support from Norfolk County Council's Historic Environment Service and whether this is dependent on appropriate protection / mitigation.
For Sustainability Appraisal:
* Ensures that potential environmental effects are given full consideration alongside social and environmental issues.
* Sustainability appraisal an integral element of the preparation of the MWLP review ... informing in a comprehensive way of the likely impacts of proposed planning policies and specific sites / preferred areas and areas of search.
What is not clear from the methodology is the balance applied to the impacts alongside the economic and social benefits. The revised NPPF (2018) is clear at Chapter 2 that achieving sustainable development means that the planning system has three overarching objectives, economic, social and environmental, which are interdependent and need to be pursued in mutually supportive ways (so that opportunities can be taken to secure net gains across each of the different objectives). Para 32 of NPPF (2018) states:
Local plans and spatial development strategies should be informed throughout their preparation by a sustainability appraisal that meets the relevant legal requirements. This should demonstrate how the plan has addressed the relevant economic, social and environmental objectives (including opportunities for net gains). Significant adverse impacts on these objectives should be avoided and, where possible, alternative options which reduce or eliminate such impacts should be pursued. Where significant adverse impacts are unavoidable, suitable mitigation measures should be proposed (or, where this is not possible, compensatory measures should be considered).
The methodology does not clearly provide a balance of the impacts - a number of sites clearly have numerous environmental sensitivities but do not constitute an objection on their own right. There should be some consideration of the cumulative impact of such effects.

Section 6 - The Strategy - Vision and Objectives
Question 1: 'Minerals and Waste Local Plan Vision'
We have the following comments and suggestions to make:
Minerals and Waste Local Plan Vision to 2036:
3rd para - All mineral workings will be covered by progressive restoration schemes
This is not in accordance with para 205 of the NPPF (2018) which recommends restoration should be at the earliest opportunity. It is not always possible to put in place a progressive restoration scheme, we recommend the wording is amended to be in accordance with NPPF.
7th para - Minerals development and waste management facilities will be located, designed and operated without adverse impacts on the amenity of local communities, the natural, built and historic environment, the landscape and townscape of Norfolk.
This is unreasonable, it would be very difficult for a mineral operation not to have some form of adverse impact, it is the degree of impact which is important. Para 204(f) of the NPPF (2018) seeks to ensure that permitted operations do not have an unacceptable adverse impact. This is reiterated within para 205 (c) of the NPPF (2018). We recommend the wording is amended to be in accordance with NPPF.

Draft Minerals Strategic Objectives
Question 3: 'Minerals Strategic Objectives'
We have the following comments to make:
MSO4 - requiring the justification for the potential sterilisation of minerals from competing development interests is supported.
MSO6 - the adverse impacts should be amended to unacceptable adverse impacts to conform with NPPF.
MSO7 - para 204(g) of the NPPF (2018) recognises that some noisy short term activities, which may otherwise be regarded as unacceptable, are unavoidable to facilitate minerals extraction. MSO7 should be reworded to conform with NPPF.
MSO8 - could you provide some clarification on 'providing for sustainable patterns of minerals transportation'. As is stated on page 29 of the consultation document the majority of minerals and waste sites in Norfolk are served by Heavy Goods Vehicles, with the majority of bulk materials likely to continue being transported by road as this is currently the most feasible mode of transport. We do not believe Objective MS08 is deliverable.
MSO9 - a mineral operator cannot always guarantee a positive contribution to natural, built and historic environment, particularly when the operator does not own the land with the landowner seeking different aspirations. The objective should be to seek to positively contribute.
MSO10 - we do not consider this objective to be deliverable as an operator cannot be in a position to increase public access for every restoration scheme. The objective should be to seek to increase public access.

Section 7 - Presumption in favour of sustainable development
Question 4: Policy MW1
Policy MW1 - 1st bullet should be unacceptably adverse, to conform with NPPF and reflect the advice within Section 8 of the Consultation Document, page 25, 4th paragraph.

Section 8 - Development management criteria
Question 5: Policy MW2
Policy MW2 is supported - the policy is in line with NPPF, in particular the final requirement on restoration recognising that environmental enhancements sought where appropriate. However, this is contrary to the earlier Vision and Objectives. The Vision and Objectives should be amended to seek conformity throughout the plan and with NPPF.

Section 12 - Agricultural soils
Question 9: Policy MW6
Policy MW6 is supported. The final bullet point of Policy MW6 state, 'the benefit of restoring the land to another after-use can be shown to outweigh the loss of the agricultural use of the land.' This is supported and in accordance with NPPF. However, this approach needs to be reflected in strategic objective MSO9 which requires landscape and biodiversity improvements, this cannot always be the case, MSO9 should be amended to reflect Policy MW6.

Section 15 - Land uses potentially suitable for waste management facilities
Question 12: Policy WP3
Policy WP3 identifies that waste management facilities at exiting mineral workings and landfill sites may be considered acceptable on a temporary basis with planning permission restricted to a cessation date for the mineral operation or landfill activities. We consider that greater flexibility should be provided within the Policy - there can be occasions when it is appropriate to retain a facility, for example recycling, that can benefit from the retention of infrastructure and continue to serve the markets established. We recommend Policy WP3 should provide greater flexibility and be amended accordingly.

Section 16 - Recycling or transfer of inert and construction, demolition and excavation waste.
Question 13: Policy WP4
As with Policy WP3, Policy WP 4 seeks to restrict waste management operations to the life of the mineral operation. We do not consider that this is always necessary or appropriate and recommend that Policy WP4 is less restrictive.

Section 23 - Disposal of inert waste by landfill
Question 20: Policy WP11
Policy WP11 is supported and could be extended by including the importation of inert waste where it is necessary for agricultural improvement.

Section 30 - Provision for minerals extraction
Question 27: Policy MP1
NCC propose to use the last 20 years average of 1.98mtpa rather than the 10 year average of 1.41mtpa. The justification for this is to enable a sufficient quantity of sand and gravel resources to be available over the 20 year plan period and would take into account potential fluctuations in the economy. This positive approach to securing a steady and adequate supply of aggregates is supported.
Policy MP1 - provision for minerals extraction including the need to allocate 23,063,560 tonnes of sand and gravel is supported. However, to be in accordance with NPPF, the policy should be amended so that it provides a sand and gravel landbank of at least 7 years.

Section 31 - Spatial strategy from minerals extraction
Final para of page 66 states:
... Norfolk's urban areas and main towns are the locations where there will be the greatest need for a supply of aggregate for new housing development and associated infrastructure.
Policy MP2: Spatial Strategy for mineral extraction
Within the resource areas identified on the key diagram, specific sites for sand and gravel ... should be located within 10 miles of one of Norfolk's urban areas or main towns and/or be well related to one of Norfolk's urban areas or main towns via appropriate transport infrastructure.
Within the listed settlement hierarchy Great Yarmouth is in the highest tier as an urban area. This being the case we question the Council's approach to allocate one site within 10 miles of the Great Yarmouth urban area. We do not believe this secures a steady and adequate supply of sand and gravel to the Great Yarmouth area and the Council should be allocating additional reserves. These additional reserves should be secured through the allocation of land at MIN38 - Waveney Forest, Fritton.

Section 33 - Agricultural or potable water reservoirs
Question 30: Policy MP4
Policy MP4: Agricultural or potable water reservoirs is supported.

Section 34 - Core River Valleys
Question 31: Policy MP5
Policy MP5 seeks protection to the Core River Valleys that is over and above the protection offered in the NPPF to sites of national landscape and biodiversity importance. The policy should be caveated with 'So far as is practicable minerals development will be permitted ...' removing the word 'only'.

Section 36 - Progressive working, restoration and aftercare
Question 33: Policy MP7
Policy MP7 is supported - it provides a balance in seeking progressive working, enhancements to landscape / biodiversity but is not mandatory. This is in contrast to some of the earlier policies and strategic objectives, such as MSO10.

Section 38 - Concrete batching and asphalt plants
Question 35: Policy MP9
Policy MP9 limits the use to the life of the quarry, it is sometimes beneficial to retain the use of ancillary facilities after the mineral operation has been completed making full use of a developed access and transport links, and facilitating an existing market.

PROMOTION OF MIN 38 - WAVENEY FOREST, FRITTON
In a response to Norfolk County Council's 'Call for Sites' a comprehensive submission was made on behalf of the Brett Group promoting land at Waveney Forest, Witton. The submission included a detailed assessment of the potential environmental and amenity impacts that may arise from the development of a new sand and gravel quarry at Fritton.
Part 2 of the Consultation Document undertaken by the County Council concurs with the findings of the Call for Sites report submitted by Brett in August 2017, with exception of Heritage interests. Part 2 of the Consultation Document states:
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 20th century agriculture with enclosure, boundary loss and boundary loss with a relict element; pastoral farming, and agriculture with 18th to 19th century piecemeal enclosure. The wider historic landscape character also includes modern built up areas of linear settlements, small farm clusters, nucleated clusters and urban development; and drained reclaimed enclosed land (rectilinear enclosure from 19th to 20th century). The wider historic landscape character also includes drained enclosed rectilinear grazing marsh (17th to 20th century enclosure), a historic earthwork, leisure/recreation, informal parkland, sea defences, saltings, a reservoir and woodland (18th to 19th century plantation woodland, carr woodland and regenerated alder carr woodland).
The nearest Listed Building is the Grade II* Drainage Pump which is 260m away. There are 20 Listed Buildings within 2km of the site. There are two locally listed heritage assets within the site, the remains of a WW2 firing range and a concrete railway bridge, although these are not within the proposed extraction areas. The nearest Scheduled Monument is St Olave's Priory, which is 390m away. There are 2 Scheduled Monuments within 2km of the site. Halvergate Marshes Conservation Area is adjacent to the site boundary and Haddiscoe Conservation Area is 330m 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.
Archaeology: 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). There are Historic Environment records of features in the site most of which are linked to a WW2 military site possibly a training site, within the site boundary. The proposer of the site has indicated two extraction areas within the wider site area; neither the local listed features (remains of a WW2 firing range, and a former railway bridge) are within these extraction areas. A number of undesignated heritage assets have been provisionally identified which may be linked to the WW2 training area. The site is currently a commercial forestry plantation within which felling operations take place, which involve the use of heavy vehicles and earth moving operations. These operations may have degraded the undesignated heritage assets, although good practice for tree felling operations states that archaeological features should be protected. Therefore, an assessment of the significance of archaeological deposits will be required at the planning application stage, in order to protect and mitigate the impact of mineral extraction in this site. However, the Norfolk Historic Environment Service have stated that they consider that no appropriate mitigation or modification of the site would be able to prevent harm to the
undesignated heritage assets which as a whole make up the significance of the WW2 training area, of which few examples remain.
The final few sentences of the extract have been underlined because they clearly contradict one another. We believe that the site is able to be developed for quarrying purposes. Within the submission by Brett for the Call for Sites a detailed heritage appraisal was undertaken - a summary of the report is provided below:
Direct Impacts on Heritage Assets - The site is known to contain military structures dating from WWI and predominantly WWII. Some of these are solidly engineered in concrete, whilst the majority are understood to be of more flimsy construction making use of wood, chicken wire and corrugated iron.
The PAA may also retain earlier archaeology, in particular from the later prehistoric period.
In the past 5 years tree felling has occurred across approximately 60% of the proposed extraction areas. This has involved heavy machinery, including evidence of some ground reduction caused by the windrowing of the wastage. The damage caused to archaeology, both military and earlier, could not be quantified on the site visit, but it is considered that it could be significant.
Should this site be allocated, a thorough survey should be carried out using GPS and photography to create a catalogue of archaeology. Some archaeological evaluation may be required. This would allow an assessment of the distribution, form, condition and significance of all archaeology within the PAA.
Opportunities - Any future planning application would require a mitigation strategy to manage the archaeological resource. This would involve a combination of preservation in situ, excavation and recording.
The majority of the military structures identified in the 2009 survey by Warner and Wilby lie outside or on the periphery of the proposed extraction areas and preservation in situ of these outliers should be the objective.
These were only temporary structures and in time they will inevitably decay and collapse through natural processes. Excavation and recording of a selection of structure types within the extraction areas would be an important contribution to our understanding of how they were constructed and operated.
Consideration should be given to the consolidation of some of the military remains to ensure their preservation for the future. There is also potential to create an educational resource, based around any consolidated structures should the restoration concept permit, that would be an important public benefit.
This approach has been adopted elsewhere, for example at Binnegar Quarry, Dorset where an auxiliary bunker has been archaeologically excavated and the results will form the focus of a display in an on-site education centre recounting the history of the Auxiliary Units in Dorset
The Heritage Appraisal reaches the following conclusion:
"On current evidence, there are no overriding constraints to the allocation of this site and, from an archaeological and heritage perspective and subject to appropriate mitigation, the proposals provide opportunities for educational benefit and conform to national planning policy and guidance."
The current Consultation Documents produced by the County Council acknowledge that:
* no local listed feature falls within the proposed extraction area;
* the site is commercial forestry plantation within which felling operations take place, which involve the use of heavy vehicles and earth moving operations;
* commercial forestry operation may have degraded the undesignated heritage assets;
* further archaeological assessment work will be required.
No recognition has been given, by the County Council, to the potential opportunity that could arise from a quarry development to allow for proper archaeological assessment whilst providing opportunities through a considered restoration.
We have some concerns with the Sustainability Appraisal scoring for land at Waveney Forest, Fritton:
SA1 - It is unclear why some sites score more positively than others when they are similar distances to main towns. Why has a score of '+' rather than '++' been given? The site is in close proximity to two urban areas / main towns, Great Yarmouth and Gorelston on Sea.
SA5 - We have concerns that the evaluation within the SA is not taken forward to the assessment within Part 2 of the Consultation Document. Sites with known heritage interests in close proximity are proposed for allocation with no clear indication on mitigation. Further to our comments above, the proposals for Waveney Forest do not have any impact on any designated asset. There is no justification for a score of '- -' post extraction on the site. Brett have offered a restoration scheme that would build on the heritage interest in the area and provide beneficial opportunities. This has not been recognised in any of the assessment documents produced by the County Council to date.
SA8 - why has a '-' score been applied when it is acknowledged that there will be no impact upon any designated landscape and the existing woodland will screen the proposed development.
SA11 - a score of '++' should be applied due to the proximity of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston on Sea and the lack of other allocated sites in closer proximity.
The site is located approximately 9km from Great Yarmouth, the adopted Core Strategy1 identifies that this is one of three 'major built up areas'2 in Norfolk. The Core Strategy sets out a 'locational preference' to potential site allocations which are 'close and/ or well related' to the Great Yarmouth Urban Area. This is such a site and it is understood by the promoter to be the closest land-won aggregate site to Great Yarmouth with reserves throughout the Plan period. Furthermore, there are no other extraction operations within the immediate vicinity which would lead to consideration of cumulative effects.
1 The Core Strategy and Minerals and Waste Development Management Policies Development Plan Document 2010-2026
2 Paragraph 2.3 adopted Core Strategy
The main impact of the proposals relates to heritage interest and potential for structures from WW1 and WW2. These were predominantly temporary structures (for example constructed of timber, chicken wire, corrugated iron and sandbags) and that the cycle of forestry planting and felling will likely destroy or significantly affect these remains. Mineral extraction offers an opportunity to survey, excavate archaeologically and record, as well as consolidating and preserving some in situ for future generations.
By adopting the approach preferred by Brett and the landowner, the site will be able to offer opportunities for creating ecological habitats that are more in keeping with the local environment including woodland, wetland / wet woodland on restoration. In addition to long term habitat creation and protection, the wider benefits will be derived from the development through comprehensive restoration includes opportunities for public access and interpretation of heritage assets.
The public benefit derived from these proposals outweigh the potential damage, se set out in NPPF.
It is therefore submitted that the site represents an ideal opportunity for allocation for sand and gravel extraction as part of the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review.
I trust that the above comments are helpful. Should you have any queries or wish to discuss any of the points raised in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.