Question 37: Policy MP11 'Minerals Safeguarding Areas and Minerals Consultation Areas'

Showing comments and forms 1 to 4 of 4

Support

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 91705

Received: 09/07/2018

Respondent: North Yorkshire County Council

Representation:

Support policy MP11. It is important to safeguard economically viable minerals for alternative forms of development to maintain the future supply of the minerals. Particularly support the safeguarding of silica sand as it is a nationally scarce resource.

Full text:

Support policy MP11. It is important to safeguard economically viable minerals for alternative forms of development to maintain the future supply of the minerals. Particularly support the safeguarding of silica sand as it is a nationally scarce resource.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 91967

Received: 07/08/2018

Respondent: Mineral Services Ltd

Representation:

The Policies Map is embedded in the text and cannot be enlarged with reasonable clarity to view the detail of the Safeguarding areas. It should therefore be included as a separate appendix. The second paragraph is not understood, partly because of the typing error within the fifth word but also because it is confusing that the MPA has determined that the Minerals Consultation Area is the same as the Minerals Safeguarding Area for safeguarding minerals resources. Page 77 of the Initial Consultation clearly states that a mineral resource as identified by the BGS is a Mineral Safeguarding Area and any development within 250m of a Mineral Safeguarded Area falls within a Minerals Consultation Area.

Full text:

I set out below my response below on behalf of Mineral Services Ltd in relation to the above Consultation. I have also sent to you by email a copy of my response for your files.

Question 1: 'Minerals and Waste Local Plan Vision'.
Reference to Norfolk's statutory obligation as set out within national policy for the supply of minerals in a sustainable manner should be included. In addition the 'adverse impacts' referred to in paragraph seven, would be better referred to as 'significant adverse impacts'. Paragraph eight is prescriptive when stating 'and will be designed and located', it is therefore suggested that the relevant words should be extended to 'and where possible will be designed and located'.

Question 3: 'Minerals Strategic Objectives'.
MSO1. In order to deliver the 'steady and adequate supply of aggregate minerals' the text could be enhanced by including reference to the need to provide appropriate policies to achieve the objective.

MSO6. The proposed wording refers to 'while protecting people from harm'. This is assessed in practice by considering the impact upon the environment and human health therefore the wording should be changed to 'while developing policies to assess the impact upon the environment and human health'.

MS09. It may be that the after use is the same as the original use, therefore it is suggested that the sentence is changed to read 'The after use will, where possible, protect and enhance the environment, including landscape and biodiversity improvements'.

Question 5: Policy MW2 'Development Management Criteria.'
Within section (a.) the reference to health should be to specific items rather than be generic. In other words the health items should be noise and vibration, air quality, dust, odour and light pollution.

Question 6: Policy MW3 'Transport'.
I note the separate policy but perhaps this might be better included as a section within Policy MW2 to ensure that the transport proposals for a site do not have an unacceptable impact as opposed to the double negative 'do not generate: unacceptable risks ... etc'.

Question 7: Policy MW4 'Climate change mitigation and adaption'.
Section (c) which reads 'endeavour to generate a minimum of 10 percent of the energy used on site from decentralised and renewable or low carbon sources' should be amended to remove the reference to a percentage. This is because many operators already purchase energy from centralised low carbon renewable sources and therefore an overarching benefit to climate change mitigation is being achieved. Furthermore the policy states that 'evidence must be provided to the County Planning Authority' but does not give any criteria against which the County Planning Authority will assess the evidence.

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

Question 27: Policy MP1 'Provision for minerals extraction'
This policy is supported and to comply with National Guidance the landbank should be maintained throughout the Plan Period. Therefore additional words to make it clear that the land bank of between 7 and 10 years supply will be maintained throughout and also at the end of the Plan Period would also be supported.

Question 28: Policy MP2 'Spatial strategy for minerals extraction'.
The policy is supported but the Key Diagram which is on page 23 of the Initial Consultation and the scale of the Diagram does not allow detailed examination of the resource area. The Key Diagram should therefore be provided as a separate item as opposed to within the text so that it may be examined in more detail.

Question 30: Policy MP4 'Agricultural or potable water reservoirs'.
This policy wording is supported and could usefully be extended to cover flood alleviation schemes that include the extraction of sand and gravel.

Question 32: Policy MPG 'Cumulative impacts and phasing of working'.
This policy wording which is almost identical to Suffolk County Council Submission Draft June 2018 Policy MPS is supported.

Question 33: Policy MP7 'Progressive working, restoration and after-use'.
I note the inclusion of 'Due consideration has been given to opportunities to improve public access, particularly to implement the County Council's Rights of Way Improvement Plan', may I suggest that this is currently included within Minerals Strategic Objective MSO1O which reads 'To increase public access to the countryside and enhance biodiversity through enhancing the amenity value of land when restoring extraction sites' and therefore duplication in MP7 is not required?

Question 34: Policy MP8 'Aftercare'.
The second paragraph refers to planning conditions and to matters which could be covered within the outline aftercare strategy, therefore for clarity it would be simpler to simply state that 'The outline aftercare strategy should include measures required following the annual aftercare inspection and the subsequent submission of a finalised version of the annual aftercare report detailing the actions required'.

Question 37: Policy MP11 'Mineral Safeguarding Areas and Mineral Consultation Areas'.
The Policies Map is embedded in the text and cannot be enlarged with reasonable clarity to view the detail of the Safeguarding areas. It should therefore be included as a separate appendix. The second paragraph is not understood, partly because of the typing error within the fifth word but also because it is confusing that the MPA has determined that the Minerals Consultation Area is the same as the Minerals Safeguarding Area for safeguarding minerals resources. Page 77 of the Initial Consultation clearly states that a mineral resource as identified by the BGS is a Mineral Safeguarding Area and any development within 250m of a Mineral Safeguarded Area falls within a Minerals Consultation Area.

Question 78: 'Proposed Site MIN 207 'Land at Pinkney Field, Briston'.
The Initial conclusion that MIN 207 'Land at Pinkney Field' is considered to be suitable for allocation for sand and gravel extraction, subject to any planning application addressing the itemised requirements, is supported.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92481

Received: 09/08/2018

Respondent: Sibelco UK Limited

Representation:

The 'agent of change' principle will be applied to all development in proximity to safeguarded sites.

Full text:

Question 1: 'Minerals and Waste Local Plan Vision'
The Vision should refer the provision of minerals supply to be in accordance with and as required by National Policy
Mineral Safeguarding should refer to paragraph 182 of the revised National Planning Policy Framework such that the applicant for adjacent development ('agent of change') should be required to provide suitable mitigation to take account of existing and allocated development.

Question 3: 'Minerals Strategic Objectives'
The following amendments are proposed (in CAPITALS):
MSO2. To provide a steady and adequate supply of industrial minerals by identifying adequate mineral extraction sites/areas within Norfolk sufficient to meet the forecast need AND STOCKS OF PERMITTED RESERVES OF SILICA SAND OF AT LEAST 10 YEARS PRODUCTION FOR INDIVIDUAL SILICA SITES AND AT LEAST 15 YEARS FOR SILICA SAND SITES WHERE SIGNIFICANT NEW CAPITAL IS REQUIRED and safeguarding existing infrastructure. (To accord with NPPF 2018 paragraph 208 footnote 68)

MSO4. To safeguard silica sand, carstone, and sand and gravel resources for future use. Avoiding unnecessary sterilisation by encouraging the extraction of minerals prior to other development taking place where practicable and using minerals in construction on the land from which they are extracted. THE 'AGENT OF CHANGE' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ANY NEW PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IMPACTING ON SAFEGUARDED AREAS OR SITES.

MSO5. To promote the sustainable transport of minerals by rail, road and water, including the safeguarding of railheads and wharfs for the import of minerals to and export of minerals from Norfolk. THE 'AGENT OF CHANGE' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ANY NEW PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IMPACTING ON SAFEGUARDED SITES.

MSO8. To ensure that mineral development addresses and minimises the impacts it will have on climate change by: REDUCING greenhouse gas emissions during the winning, working and handling of minerals, SEEK TO PROVIDE sustainable patterns of minerals transportation, and WHERE POSSIBLE integrating features consistent with climate change mitigation and adaption into the design of restoration and aftercare proposals.
MSO9. To positively contribute to the natural, built and historic environments with high quality, progressive and expedient restoration to achieve a beneficial after use. The after use will protect and enhance the environment, including landscape and biodiversity improvements.

Comment: the restoration of mineral sites can deliver landforms to facilitate different after uses of land, however mineral planning has no role in the after use of itself.

MSO10. WHERE PRACTICAL to increase public access to the countryside and enhance biodiversity through enhancing the amenity value of land when restoring extraction sites.

Question 4: Policy MW1 'Presumption in favour of sustainable development'
This policy is supported including the recognition in the preamble that the three pillars of sustainability have equal standing.

Question 5: Policy MW2 'Development Management Criteria'
Where appropriate AND PRACTICAL, enhancement of the environment would be sought, including, but not exclusively, the enhancement of the Public Rights of Way Network, creation of recreation opportunities and enhancement of the natural, historic and built environment and surrounding landscapes.

Question 6: Policy MW3 'transport'
WHERE PRACTICAL AND REALISTIC measures to reduce car travel to the site by workers and visitors and encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport.

Question 7: Policy MW4 'climate change mitigation and adaption'
b) be planned so as to REDUCE carbon dioxide and methane emissions ON A SITE UNIT BASIS
c) endeavour to SOURCE a minimum of 10 per cent of the energy used on site from decentralised and renewable or low-carbon sources.
d) WHERE PRACTICAL AND RELEVANT to demonstrate the use of sustainable drainage systems, water harvesting from impermeable surfaces and layouts that accommodate waste water recycling
e) WHERE RELEVANT TO take account of potential changes in climate including rising sea levels and coastal erosion
g) incorporate proposals for sustainable travel, including travel plans where PRACTICAL AND appropriate.

Question 9: Policy MW6 'agricultural soils'
This policy should be applied flexibly since minerals can clearly only be worked where they exist and for silica sand for glass making the potential land is further restricted by virtue of the scarcity of this mineral.

Question 27: Policy MP1 'Provision for minerals extraction'
No as it does not accord with National Policy and is unsound. Suggested wording for silica sand:
STOCKS OF PERMITTED RESERVES for silica sand will be maintained at 10 years' PRODUCTION FOR EACH SILICA SAND SITE. Sufficient sites and/or areas to deliver at least 12,380,000 tonnes of silica sand will be allocated TO THE END OF THE PLAN PERIOD WITH FURTHER PROVISION TO ENSURE A STOCK OF PERMITTED RESERVES BEYOND THE PLAN PERIOD.
In the table on page 63 in the preamble to Policy MP1 is should read:
B Silica sand permitted reserve at 31/12/2016

Question 28: Policy MP2 'Spatial strategy for minerals extraction'
"Within the resource areas identified on the key diagram, specific sites or preferred areas for silica sand extraction should be located where they are able to access the existing processing plant and railhead at Leziate via conveyor, pipeline or off-public highway routes". This contradicts wording in proposed Policy MP13 and the Single Issue Silica Sand Review of the Minerals Site Specific Allocations DPD (adopted in December 2017) which discussed highway routes from Areas of Search to the Leziate processing site.
There should be no buffers applied to the so-called planning constraints. The acceptability or not of approaching such constraints will be a matter for the EIA.
Agricultural land grades 1 and 2 should not be excluded. This contradicts Policy MW6 which should in all circumstances be adopted and applied flexibly.

Question 33: Policy MP7 'Progressive working, restoration and after-use'
After use is noted several times in the policy but after use is not a matter for mineral planning.
There is no mention of restoration to agricultural land
Any important geology or geomorphology on the site will be retained in sample exposures for study purposes ONLY WHERE PRACTICAL AND SAFE TO DO SO

Question 36: Policy MP10 'Safeguarding of port and rail facilities, and facilities for the manufacture of concrete, asphalt and recycled materials'
The 'agent of change' principle will be applied to all development in proximity to safeguarded sites.


Question 37: Policy M11 'Mineral Safeguarding Areas and Mineral Consultation Areas'
The 'agent of change' principle will be applied to all development in proximity to safeguarded sites.

Question 67: Proposed Site MIN 40 'land east of Grandcourt Farm, East Winch'
The site is allocated as a specific site for silica sand extraction in the Adopted in the Core Strategy and Minerals and Waste Development Management Policies Development Plan Document 2010-2026 (adopted September 2011) and identified in the Minerals Site Specific Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) (adopted October 2013, amendments adopted December 2017).

The Initial conclusion on the MIN40 site in the May 2018 consultation document notes that "the site is considered suitable for allocation for silica sand extraction, subject to any planning application addressing the requirements below: [requirements are detailed in the Initial Consultation document]

Sibelco has submitted a planning application for an extension of Grandcourt Quarry into the MIN40 site and has the following comments on some of the "requirements" noted in the Initial Consultation document.

* Opportunities during working for any geodiversity assets to be studied, and if compatible with the landscape and ecology objectives, an open face to be retained as part of the restoration scheme

Sibelco will examine working faces during operation and can take photographic records of any features of note observed, if any. Following extraction being completed in each phase, Carstone material will be used to cover and stabilise the Leziate Sand faces to create safe long term slopes as described in Appendix 9 to the submitted Planning Statement (Geotechnical Design and Assessment).
Opportunities could be afforded during working to geology students to inspect and study open faces and overburden areas under supervision where consistent with health and safety of the site. Bearing in mind the proposed open water restoration with peripheral broadleaved woodland and shrub/grassland it is not been possible to incorporate any open face in the restoration, which would in addition be difficult to maintain safely due to the nature of the geology, which makes it vulnerable to erosion and a potential safety hazard.

* A restoration scheme incorporating heathland or a heathland/arable mix with blocks of woodland which provides biodiversity gains and does not result in permanent dewatering of a perched water table in the carstone aquifer if one is identified in a hydrogeological risk assessment
*
The lodged planning application proposes a combination of restored areas of open water (51.4%), native broadleaved woodland (8.8%), hedgerows (increase of 920 linear metres), scrub & species rich grassland (20.7%), agricultural land (15.2%) and public rights of way for the restored site with biodiversity gains. The hydrogeological assessment of the site showed there were no significant impacts on the perched water table in the Carstone as a result of working and restoration.

The proposed restoration is primarily to water since the excavation will be several metres below the natural groundwater level in order to release the proven mineral. It will not be possible to deliver a dry restoration using on-site overburden materials. For the same reason it will not be possible to deliver a requirement of MIN40, which is to incorporate heathland into the restoration. The proposed site for the former Site Specific Allocations DPD was considerably reduced in area at examination which removed land which may have been suitable for heathland restoration. The much reduced currently allocated area reflects very closely the area of excavation. Once the restored margin areas are accounted for, the remaining area of land restoration is at the lake margins on mostly slopes to the water's edge, which is not suitable for heathland. Significant heathland restoration has been delivered by the Applicant on former mineral sites to the north of Middleton Stop Drain.

The proposed restoration scheme is shown on the submitted restoration drawings. This scheme has been designed with due regard for the precise setting of the site; the local geology; local topography; position of the natural groundwater table and the volumes of different overburden materials identified within the site by drilling programmes.

Policy Min 40 states that a restoration scheme for the site should seek to incorporate heathland or a heathland/arable mix with blocks of woodland which provides biodiversity gains. Given the volumes of sand and overburden materials present and the position of the local groundwater table this is not possible in its entirety in this case.

Sibelco has restored former mineral extraction area locally to heathland (for example Wicken North and Wicken South), however, these areas have very different physical parameters which allowed such restoration to be designed and implemented. Wicken North and Wicken South are located on lower ground and had relatively low sand to overburden ratios which allowed significant areas to be restored to generally level ground above the local groundwater level. Grandcourt Quarry extension is located on higher ground, has a different ratio of sand to overburden (higher ratio) and a different relationship of ground levels to groundwater level. Final restored slopes must be stable in the long term and at the same time utilise only suitable overburden materials from the site (there are no proposals to import any materials from elsewhere to effect the restoration). Tailings materials from the mineral washing (silts and lays) are unsuitable for restoration in this area due to high water content of the tailings and distance from the processing plant. The company has sufficient permitted tailings space elsewhere on the wider site.

The restoration scheme proposed for the extension area in the lodged planning application does include agricultural land, woodland blocks and scrub with a lake of some 9.2 hectares representing the natural groundwater level. The proposed restoration of the MIN40 site reflects the permitted restoration of the existing Grandcourt Quarry site and has been designed to complement and fit in with this overall restoration which is dictated by the geotechnical assessment and local geological circumstances.

The overburden volumes in the Grandcourt extension area and volumes required to restore the site as per the submitted proposed restoration scheme are as follows:

Overburden materials identified by drilling programmes:
Soils 78,000m3
Carstone 1,300,000 m3
Clay 420,000 m3
Material required to create the proposed landform in the MIN40 site:
Material required to create 1:4 slopes on final sand and overburden faces 1,020,000 m3
Material required to create embankment for bridleway and farm access 736,000 m3
Given the material balance for the site as shown above and with no proposal to import any material for restoration or other purposes, the final landform and restoration scheme proposed is the only one which can reasonably be implemented. The MIN40 site is not suitable for heathland restoration.

The submitted Environmental Statement contains a hydrogeological risk assessment which identifies potential impacts on groundwater including the perched water table in the Carstone. The proposed eastern extension will have little or no additional significant impacts to the north, south and west. The area over which drawdown in groundwater levels will occur will increase to the east, but no water sensitive receptors have been identified within the predicted area of influence in this direction. It is proposed that the potential additional impacts to surface and groundwater are monitored and controlled via a minor revision of the existing Water Management Plan.
There is electricity infrastructure within MIN40 site
Subject to the above comments Sibelco supports the inclusion of MIN40 as a Specific Site.

Question 68: Proposed Site SIL 01 'land at Mintlyn South, Bawsey'
Sibelco supports the inclusion of SIL01 as a Specific Site

Question 69: Area of Search AOS E 'land to the north of Shouldham'
Area of Search E
Sibelco supports the inclusion of Area E as an Area of Search for silica sand

Question 73: Policy MP13: 'Areas of Search for silica sand extraction'
Sibelco supports Policy MP13 on Areas of Search for silica sand, subject to our response to Question 9

Question 74: Proposed Site SIL 02 'land at Shouldham and Marham'
Sibelco supports the inclusion of SIL02 as an allocated site and would propose that given the promoters knowledge of the local geology, the site should be allocated as a Specific Site. Further silica sand provision will be required at the end of the Plan period
The National Planning Practice Guidance says:
a) designating Specific Sites - where viable mineral resources are known to exist, landowners are supportive of minerals development and the proposal is likely to be acceptable in planning terms ....

This definition applies to SIL02

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92507

Received: 13/08/2018

Respondent: Mineral Products Association

Representation:

Wording of the policy should be altered to incorporate the 'agent of change' principle as follows;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
"The County Council will safeguard existing, permitted and allocated mineral extraction sites from inappropriate development proposals. Minerals Consultation Areas are delineated on the Policies Map and extend to 250 metres from each safeguarded site. Development proposals within 250 metres of a safeguarded site should demonstrate that they would not prevent or prejudice the use of the safeguarded site for mineral extraction, AND THE AGENT OF CHANGE PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED IN ALL SUCH CASES. The County Council will object to development proposals which would prevent or prejudice the use of safeguarded sites for mineral extraction."

Full text:

Question 1: 'Minerals and Waste Local Plan Vision'
Comment:
We agree with the principle of the vision but suggest change in wording to make clear to the lay reader that there is a statutory duty on Norfolk CC re the supply of aggregates. Suggested wording below;

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
Norfolk will continue to be self-sufficient in the production of sand & gravel, whilst making an important contribution to the national production of silica sand. A steady and adequate supply of minerals to support sustainable economic growth will be planned for through allocating sufficient sites and/or areas in the Plan to meet the forecast need for sand and gravel, carstone, and silica sand AS REQUIRED BY NATIONAL POLICY.

In respect of the safeguarding vision mention should be made of the agent of change now in the revised NPPF (para 182);

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
Resources of sand and gravel, carstone and silica sand within defined Mineral Safeguarding Areas will be safeguarded from needless sterilisation by non-mineral development. Infrastructure for the storage, handling, processing and transportation of minerals will also be safeguarded from incompatible development. THE 'AGENT OF CHANGE' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ANY NEW PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IMPACTING ON SAFEGUARDED AREAS OR SITES.

Question 3: 'Minerals Strategic Objectives'
The following adjustments are suggested to the following objectives;

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
MSO2. To provide a steady and adequate supply of industrial minerals by identifying adequate mineral extraction sites/areas within Norfolk sufficient to meet the forecast need AND STOCKS OF PERMITTED RESERVES OF SILICA SAND OF AT LEAST 10 YEARS PRODUCTION FOR INDIVIDUAL SILICA SITES OR AT LEAST 15 YEARS WHERE SIGNIFICANT NEW CAPITAL IS CAPITAL IS REQUIRED and safeguarding existing infrastructure.

MSO4. To safeguard silica sand, carstone, and sand and gravel resources for future use. Avoiding unnecessary sterilisation by encouraging the extraction of minerals prior to other development taking place where practicable and using minerals in construction on the land from which they are extracted. THE 'AGENT OF CHANGE' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ANY NEW PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IMPACTING ON SAFEGUARDED AREAS OR SITES.

MSO5. To promote the sustainable transport of minerals by rail, road and water, including the safeguarding of railheads and wharfs for the import of minerals to and export of minerals from Norfolk. THE 'AGENT OF CHANGE' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ANY NEW PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IMPACTING ON SAFEGUARDED SITES.

MSO10. WHERE PRACTICAL increase public access to the countryside and enhance biodiversity through enhancing the amenity value of land when restoring extraction sites.


Question 4: Policy MW1 'Presumption in favour of sustainable development'
This policy is supported. We also welcome the recognition in the preamble that the 3 pillars of sustainability have equal standing.

Question 5: Policy MW2 'Development Management Criteria'
MW2 (b) needs redrafting as it is unclear.
The last paragraph need adjusting as follows;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS) Where appropriate AND PRACTICAL, enhancement of the environment would be sought, including, but not exclusively, the enhancement of the Public Rights of Way Network, creation of recreation opportunities and enhancement of the natural, historic and built environment and surrounding landscapes.


Question 6: Policy MW3 'transport'
Suggested altered wording for the last bullet point of the policy as follows;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS) WHERE REALISTIC AND PRACTICAL measures to reduce car travel to the site by workers and visitors and encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport.
This alteration is made to prevent a dogmatic approach being taken. We have examples of cycle racks needing to be provided when it was clearly impractical for individuals to safely cycle to the site


Question 7: Policy MW4 'climate change mitigation and adaption'
MW4(g) should be reworded as follows;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS) g) incorporate proposals for sustainable travel, including travel plans where PRACTICAL AND appropriate

Question 9: Policy MW6 'agricultural soils'
It should be noted that the industry has shown that Grade 1 land can be successfully restored to equivalent quality and the policy should reflect this or at least referenced in supporting text.
The wording of the policy needs adjusting as follows:

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
Policy MW6: Agricultural soils
Where development is proposed on agricultural land, the County Council has a clear preference for locating new mineral extraction and associated activities, and composting facilities, on land of agricultural grades 3b, 4 and 5.
Development proposals affecting Grade 1 agricultural land will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances, where it is demonstrated that there are no alternative locations for the development.
In addition to the above, when minerals development, particularly extraction, is proposed on agricultural land of grades 1, 2 or 3a it will [delete only] be permitted where:
* Provision is made for high standards of soil management that would enable restoration to a condition at least as good as its previous agricultural quality. To demonstrate this, soil and land quality surveys, and soil handling and replacement strategies (based upon Defra's 'Good Practice Guide for Handling Soils') must be submitted to the County Planning Authority; or

* The benefit of restoring the land to another after-use can be shown to outweigh the loss of the agricultural use of the land. [delete all of this bullet point]
The NPPF does not require that exceptional circumstances need to be shown for best and versatile land to be worked. Furthermore, minerals can only be worked where they exist.

Question 27: Policy MP1 'Provision for minerals extraction'
No as it does not accord with National Policy and is unsound. Suggested re wording as follows;

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)

Policy MP1: Provision for minerals extraction
The strategy for minerals extraction is to allocate sufficient sites to meet the forecast need for both sand & gravel and hard rock (carstone).
For sand and gravel, specific sites to deliver at least 23,063,560 tonnes of resources will be allocated. The sand and gravel landbank will be maintained at A LEVEL OF AT LEAST 7 YEARS INCLUDING AT THE END OF THE PLAN PERIOD (excluding any contribution from borrow pits for major construction projects).
For carstone, a site or sites to deliver at least 480,000 tonnes of resources will be allocated. The landbank for carstone will be maintained at a LEVEL OF AT LEAST 10 years' supply.
For silica sand, sufficient sites and/or areas to deliver at least 12,380,000 tonnes of silica sand will be allocated. STOCKS OF PERMITTED RESERVES for silica sand will be maintained at "at least" 10 years' PRODUCTION FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL SILICA SAND SITE OR AT LEAST 15 YEARS WHERE SIGNIFICANT NEW CAPITAL IS CAPITAL IS REQUIRED.

We would seek clarification "why it is considered appropriate" (page 63, para1) for basing silica sand projections at 750,000 tpa when the current projections indicate average production over the past 3 years (785,400tpa) is much higher than the 10-year average and the figure upon which the plan projection is based. Basing a figure which is clearly lower than current sales is hardly forecasting (page 65). Further, para 2 on page 63 suggests that no planning applications for silica sand extraction have been submitted for over 10 years, although it is understood that a recent application has yet to be validated by the Council.

With less than 4 years "stocks of permitted reserves" of silica sand, the supply issues are clearly critical.


Question 28: Policy MP2 'Spatial strategy for minerals extraction'
There should be no buffers applied to the so-called planning constraints. The acceptability or not of approaching such constraints will be a matter for the EIA.
It is not clear what the term 'are least constrained' means it the last sentence of the policy and the sentence does not make sense.

Question 33: Policy MP7 'Progressive working, restoration and after-use'
The following alterations are proposed to the policy;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)

Proposals for new mineral workings must be accompanied by a scheme for the phased and progressive working and restoration of the site throughout its life.
Restoration and after-use of mineral extraction sites and associated development will be determined on a case-by-case basis, prioritising the most appropriate after-use(s) for each site. Restoration and after-use proposals may include agriculture, forestry, ecology, reservoirs, amenity or flood alleviation.
Preference will be given to after-uses and restoration that:
* enhance Norfolk's biodiversity (focussing on priority habitats and species in Norfolk),
* contribute positively to identified Green Infrastructure corridors, and
* create high-quality, locally distinctive landscapes
* RESTORATION TO AGRICULTURAL LAND.

The after-use and restoration proposal must demonstrate that:
* The appropriate restoration and after-use is both feasible and achievable in the proposed time scales.
* Due consideration has been given to opportunities to improve public access, particularly to implement the County Council's Rights of Way Improvement Plan.
* Due consideration has been given to supporting the aims of the Green Infrastructure Strategy.
* Any important geology or geomorphology on the site will be retained in sample exposures for study purposes ONLY WHERE PRACTICAL AND SAFE TO DO SO.


Question 36: Policy MP10 'Safeguarding of port and rail facilities, and facilities for the manufacture of concrete, asphalt and recycled materials'
The wording should be adjusted as follows to 'apply the agent' of change principle;

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
"The County Council will safeguard:
a)Existing, planned and potential rail heads, rail links to quarries, wharfage and associated storage, handing and processing facilities for the bulk transport by rail, sea or inland waterways of minerals, including recycled, secondary and marine-dredged materials; and
b) Existing, planned and potential sites for concrete batching, the manufacture of coated materials, other concrete products and the handling, processing and distribution of PRIMARY, substitute, recycled and secondary aggregate material.
Development proposals within 250 metres of the above minerals related facilities should demonstrate that they would not prevent or prejudice the use of those facilities. THE 'AGENT OF CHANGE' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ALL SUCH DEVELOPMENT.
The Mineral Planning Authority should be consulted on all development proposals within Minerals Consultation Areas, except for the excluded development types set out in Appendix 4.
The County Council will oppose development proposals which would prevent or prejudice the use of safeguarded sites for those purposes unless suitable alternative provision is made, or the applicant demonstrates that those sites no longer meet the needs of the aggregates industry.

Question 37: Policy M11 'Mineral Safeguarding Areas and Mineral Consultation Areas'
Wording of the policy should be altered to incorporate the 'agent of change' principle as follows;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
The County Council will safeguard existing, permitted and allocated mineral extraction sites from inappropriate development proposals. Minerals Consultation Areas are delineated on the Policies Map and extend to 250 metres from each safeguarded site. Development proposals within 250 metres of a safeguarded site should demonstrate that they would not prevent or prejudice the use of the safeguarded site for mineral extraction, AND THE AGENT OF CHANGE PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED IN ALL SUCH CASES. The County Council will object to development proposals which would prevent or prejudice the use of safeguarded sites for mineral extraction.

Other Comment
Section 42. Page 84...The Targets/trigger levels do not conform with land bank policy requirements or those for stock of permitted reserves, wither in the proposed Policy MP1 or the NPPF.