Question 49: Proposed site MIN 55
Initial Consultation document
Representation ID: 92970
Respondent: Historic England
As the Government's adviser on the historic environment Historic England is keen to ensure that the protection of the historic environment is fully taken into account at all stages and levels of the local planning process. Our comments below should be read with our detailed comments in the attached table.
At this early stage in the plan process, we have identified in detail in the attached table the changes that we recommend. However, looked at as a whole we have identified two key issues to address for the next iteration of the plan, which we summarise below:
a) Evidence-based allocations: the aim should be to avoid harm in the first instance before minimising or mitigating (Planning Practice Guidance, paragraph 019 reference ID 18a-019-20140306 revision date 06 03 2014). A proposed allocation needs to be based on evidence and should seek to avoid harm to heritage assets in the first instance, then set out how it could be mitigated against if the harm is unavoidable and the public benefits justify that harm under paragraphs 194, 195, or 196 of the National Planning Policy Framework. The following sites do not meet that threshold: MIN 79 and 80, SIL 02, MIN 40, MIN 32, MIN 19 and 205, MIN 48 and MIN 116. Of those, SIL 02 (a large preferred area immediately abutting a complex of highly graded heritage assets) along with AOS E, MIN 19 and MIN 205; MIN 48 (which incorporates a scheduled monument) and MIN 79 (with other development considerations) are most concerning. We would expect some level of heritage impact assessment to be done on the most sensitive sites in order for them to be allocated.
When areas are included in allocations, preferred areas or areas of search which cannot be developed adds confusion and complexity to the planning system. Once the principle of development is established through inclusion within a site allocation, preferred area or area of search, it is more difficult to rebut the presumption in favour of development owing to the assumption that, in an evidence and plan-led system, these aspects are factored into the allocation. As such all sensitive sites should be assessed and the results of that assessment inform whether or not there is an allocation, preferred area or area of search; what size and location it can be and what policy requirements, including mitigation measures, need to be embedded to conserve or enhance the historic environment.
b) Lack of specific local historic environment policy protection: policy MW2 is too generic to provide specific local criteria and/or requirements against which planning applications will be assessed. This could be addressed through an historic environment policy or through specific site allocation policies that specify requirements such as impact assessments, avoidance and mitigation measures, archaeological investigation, progressive working, and aftercare requirements. Many of these already have been identified in the Sustainability Appraisal Annex B. This particularly affects sites MIN 35, MIN 38, and MIN 203, though we have identified where many more proposed allocations should incorporate this information.
As you develop the minerals and waste plan, we would welcome discussing further the points raised in our representations.
In preparation of the forthcoming minerals and waste local plan, we encourage you to draw on the knowledge of local conservation officers, the county archaeologist and local heritage groups.
Please note that absence of a comment on an allocation or document in this letter does not mean that Historic England is content that the allocation or document forms part of a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment or is devoid of historic environment issues.
Finally, we should like to stress that this opinion is based on the information provided by the Council in its consultation. To avoid any doubt, this does not affect our obligation to provide further advice and, potentially, object to specific proposals, which may subsequently arise where we consider that these would have an adverse effect upon the historic environment.
Initial Consultation document
Representation ID: 93085
Respondent: Norfolk County Council - Natural Environment Team
The deep extraction proposed on this site would make it hard to restore to a suitable landform that could be sinuous with the surrounding landscape. I agree with the conclusion that this would make the site unsuitable for allocation.
Thank you for consulting me on the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan. The plan is very thorough and I broadly feel that Landscape has been considered in an accurate and suitable manner.
MIN51 / MIN13 The landscape features within this site, including hedgerow oaks and blocks of woodland are significant in the landscape and should be protected during working of the site. These should also be used as focal points for restoration. The restoration should reflect and strengthen the retained features.
MIN23 I support the conclusion that this site would be unsuitable due to landscape impacts. Screening or bunding used to mitigate these impacts would be intrusive and due to the sloping topography, would be unlikely to be effective.
MIN200 Screening will be particularly important with this site so as to minimise views and retain the setting of nearby listed buildings.
MIN116 I am in support of the initial conclusion for this site. Impacts on nearby dwellings/ Public Rights of Way and the local landscape would be unacceptable. Although bunding and advanced planting is proposed, I feel this would not be sufficient and the bunding itself is likely to be unnecessarily intrusive.
MIN55 The deep extraction proposed on this site would make it hard to restore to a suitable landform that could be sinuous with the surrounding landscape. I agree with the conclusion that this would make the site unsuitable for allocation.
MIN202 The deep extraction proposed on this site would make it hard to restore to a suitable landform that could be sinuous with the surrounding landscape. I agree with the conclusion that the site would be suitable for allocation with a shallower depth of extraction.
MIN 37 Screening should be carefully considered, with native species chosen where possible. The extensive use of conifers should be avoided where possible. Advance planting is required to mitigate views.
MIN64 It is important to retain field boundary hedgerows and trees, the removal of these will have a major impact on the landscape. In addition any planting proposed should strengthen the existing with hedgerow and tree belts and form part of the restoration after the site has been worked.
MIN203 The landscape impacts of this extension site would be negligible.
MIN38 Although screening trees would be retained, there are large areas of woodland within the site which, although not characteristic of the area, form an identifiable part of the landscape. Although loss of woodland in this area would not cause a large impact on the wider landscape the immediate effects from within the woodland would be noticeable.
MIN45 In support of my Arboriculture colleagues comments, I am in agreement that this site is unsuitable for allocation.
MIN204 I support the requirement for a detailed landscaping scheme to mitigate impacts on Feltwell Gate Lodge and surrounding landscape.
MIN19 and MIN205 Whilst the removal of the plant is now not a consideration in the issue of landscape gain, with the right restoration these sites could provide other landscape gain.
MIN77 In support of my Arboriculture colleagues comments, I am in agreement that this site is unsuitable for allocation due to the importance of Runs Wood.
AOS E This area contains a large amount of woodland, which is intrinsic within the overall landscape, providing important visual and biodiversity connections. Where possible woodland should be retained, but where loss is unavoidable suitable mitigation should be provided during the working of any site within the area of search, and the planting of woodland should be considered as part of any restoration.
AOS I There are a number of viewpoints which will need to be considered within this area of search, it may be that only part of the area of search is suitable for mineral extraction.
SIL02 Bunding for this site has the potential to be intrusive. There are a number of views/settings and impacts on the wider landscape that will need to be carefully considered. A combination of advanced planting and bunding may be suitable, but care needs to be taken that the mitigation in itself doesn't have further impacts.
MIN69 This site lays within the Norfolk Coast AONB therefore screening will be of utmost importance. Restoration would need to demonstrate that after the site has been worked it could become exceptionally beneficial to both the landscape and the public.
MIN71 This site has the potential to have detrimental impact on residential amenity, a suitably designed strategy will need to demonstrate that this amenity can be protected and views minimised. I would agree with conclusions that a buffer for Holt itself will be required.
MIN115 I am in agreement with my Arboriculture colleague that this site is not suitable for allocation. Should the allocation remain in place it would be necessary to ensure a suitable tree belt screen is maintained to minimise views from adjacent Public Rights of Way.
MIN209/MIN210/MIN211 I would support the movement of the processing plant to an area to be worked over the choice to relocate it to an already restored area.
MIN92 The retention of the hedgerow oaks is important with their place in the landscape being intrinsic in the attractiveness of the area. I agree that this combined with the location adjacent to the Broads Authority Executive Area make the site unsuitable for allocation.
MIN79 Sprow's pit copse should be retained throughout the works and become a focus on in the restoration scheme. The restoration scheme should incorporate and extend the copse and strengthen the boundary planting.
Public Rights of Way - Where PRoW are adjacent or within the site, consideration should be given to insure that impacts are minimal. Where works will have a direct impact on the PRoW, discussions will need to take place with NCC to agree a suitable temporary diversion and subsequent reinstatement.
Initial Consultation document
Representation ID: 93128
Respondent: Norfolk County Council - Highway Authority
The Highway Authority considers the site is acceptable subject to the use of the existing access onto the Reepham Road.