Question 67: Proposed site MIN 40

Showing comments and forms 1 to 12 of 12

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92111

Received: 10/08/2018

Respondent: Natural England

Representation:

In the text it states:"The potential exists for impacts from mineral extraction at MIN 40, if uncontrolled. An assessment of potential hydrogeological impacts from dewatering, together with appropriate mitigation would be required as part of any planning application." Yet in the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) the site has been screened out (Task 1 Table p30). Please refer to our comments in general about the HRA.

Annex 1: Natural England's comments on the Draft Habitats Regulations Assessment of the M&WLPR, dated May 2018

A recent judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union (Case C-323/17 People Over Wind v Coillte Teoranta) has provided authoritative interpretation relating to the use of mitigation measures at the screening stage of a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). The judgment concluded that it is not appropriate, at the screening stage, to take account of measures intended to avoid or reduce the harmful effects of the plan or project on a European site. However, when determining whether the plan or project will have an adverse effect on the integrity of the European site at appropriate assessment, a competent authority may take account of those avoidance and mitigation measures.
The Local Planning Authority, as competent authority for the Minerals and Waste Local Plan, should consider this judgment when undertaking the HRA screening under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and may wish to take its own legal advice on the implications of the judgment.
This means that for any sites where avoidance and mitigation measures have been identified to protect designated Natura 2000 sites such as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Areas of Protection (SPAs) or Ramsar sites, the sites should not be screened out for likely significant effect but carried forward to Appropriate Assessment, at which point any mitigation measures, eg not de-watering, conditions to control dust or lighting etc, can be assessed in detail and taken into account.
Our specific comments on various individual allocations included in the initial consultation are intended to reflect this ruling. That is, where measures have been identified specifically to protect a Natura 2000 site, then these allocations should be screened in to Appropriate Assessment. At this stage the effectiveness of any proposed avoidance and mitigation measures and all the evidence should be examined to reach a conclusion of likely significant effect, either alone or in combination with other plans or projects, and to ascertain whether an adverse effect on the integrity of the site can be ruled out.
Note that any proposal which may affect a Natura 2000 designated site must go through a project level HRA in addition to this strategic plan-level HRA. This should be identified for each relevant allocation and reflected in the policy wording, including what avoidance and mitigation measures would be necessary. This can be at a 'high' level, e.g. work would take place outside the bird breeding season to avoid disturbance to nesting birds. However, more detail would be expected in the HRA at planning application stage.
The future conclusions and recommendations of the HRA will need to be incorporated into later revisions of the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) report, and be reflected in the allocations and policies of the M&WLPR.

Full text:

In the text it states:"The potential exists for impacts from mineral extraction at MIN 40, if uncontrolled. An assessment of potential hydrogeological impacts from dewatering, together with appropriate mitigation would be required as part of any planning application." Yet in the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) the site has been screened out (Task 1 Table p30). Please refer to our comments in general about the HRA.

Object

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92281

Received: 13/08/2018

Respondent: Mr D Franklin

Representation:

We do not agree with the conclusion that the whole area identified as being suitable for extraction.
There should be greater distances from the edge of residential boundaries to proposed extraction limits, a very minimum of 500 metres.
It should also be accepted that a garden area should have the same values as a residential building to be enjoyed quietly and free of dust.

Full text:

We do not agree with the conclusion that the whole area identified as being suitable for extraction.
There should be greater distances from the edge of residential boundaries to proposed extraction limits, a very minimum of 500 metres.
It should also be accepted that a garden area should have the same values as a residential building to be enjoyed quietly and free of dust.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92344

Received: 13/08/2018

Respondent: Ministry Of Defence (Defence Infrastructure Organisation)

Representation:

DIO Safeguarding main concern when reviewing Mineral and Waste local plan, relates to the proposed site allocations and the restoration/aftercare scheme.
The county of Norfolk has several statutory safeguarding sites within its authority area, these being RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Marham.
On reviewing the proposed mineral sites the following occupy statutory birdstrike safeguarding consultation zones for RAF Marham: MIN 19 & 205;76;77;40; SIL01 SIL02; AOS E &J.
Therefore, DIO Safeguarding is concerned with the development of open water bodies, the creation of wetland habitat, refuse and landfill sites. These types of development have the potential to attract large flocking bird species hazardous to aviation safety. Therefore, we would recommend dry restoration and dry phased working.

Full text:

Submission Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Consultation
Thank you for consulting the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in relation to the above referenced consultation document.
DIO Safeguarding main concern when reviewing Mineral and Waste local plan, relates to the proposed site allocations and the restoration/aftercare scheme.
The county of Norfolk has several statutory safeguarding sites within its authority area, these being RAF Lakenheath, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Marham.
On reviewing the proposed mineral sites the following occupy statutory birdstrike safeguarding consultation zones for RAF Marham: MIN 19 & 205;76;77;40; SIL01 SIL02; AOS E &J.
Therefore, DIO Safeguarding is concerned with the development of open water bodies, the creation of wetland habitat, refuse and landfill sites. These types of development have the potential to attract large flocking bird species hazardous to aviation safety. Therefore, we would recommend dry restoration and dry phased working.
The following sites MIN 6; MIN 204; MIN 74; MIN 206 and MIN 32 the restoration is dry using inert waste or imported inert materials. If this were to change to wet restoration or there was potential for wet working as part of the extraction scheme, DIO Safeguarding would need to be consulted.
Please note the remaining sites fall outside of the statutory safeguarding areas and we have no concerns regarding these allocations.
Please note the above comments are purely related to the DIO Statutory Safeguarding interests. I trust this adequately explains our position on this matter.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92384

Received: 29/08/2018

Respondent: Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Representation:

Owing to the lack of information that we hold on the ecological value of the wider countryside we have largely restricted our comments to impacts from proposed allocations on County Wildlife Sites and our reserves. In the wider countryside where possible we have made suggestions on restoration proposals based on sites' locations within our Living Landscapes .

Our comments below relate specifically to sites in proximity to our reserves, SSSIs, CWSs and ancient woodland sites.
Where sites are proposed adjacent to or in close proximity to County Wildlife Sites, we strongly recommend that these are only chosen sequentially after other sites have been selected, that they are only taken forward if it can be demonstrated that they are deliverable whilst providing sufficient stand off from the allocation boundary to account for hydrological and dust impacts, that any planning application will be accompanied by an ecological impact assessment and that restoration will be to habitats in support to those existing nearby, for example expanding existing habitats where adjacent and providing greater connectivity in the wider countryside between existing sites. We note that several proposed allocations are situated close to multiple CWS, and in these locations it would be very beneficial to co-ordinate restoration proposals in order to maximise the gains for wildlife through improving landscape scale connectivity. We would be happy to offer further advice on this in later plan consultations, if that would be helpful.

MIN 40 - Given the location within a kilometre of East Winch Common SSSI, restoration of this site to heathland has the potential to enhance the connections of the SSSI with the wider landscape. Therefore we support the Council's recommendation that the restoration proposals for this site should include heathland. Additionally, given the proximity to King's Lynn, the site has the potential to support the provision of new green infrastructure.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting Norfolk Wildlife Trust on the Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review, and for granting us an extension to the consultation period.
Owing to the lack of information that we hold on the ecological value of the wider countryside we have largely restricted our comments to impacts from proposed allocations on County Wildlife Sites and our reserves. In the wider countryside where possible we have made suggestions on restoration proposals based on sites' locations within our Living Landscapes .
Policies
Vision and Objectives
We strongly support the requirement in the Vision for progressive restoration schemes that enhance biodiversity. Equally, we support the positive contribution minerals planning makes to biodiversity improvements in the county promoted in MSO9 and the creation of opportunities for wider public engagement with nature in MSO10.
MW2: We strongly support this policy, which provides important protection for locally designated sites, as well as supporting net gains for biodiversity through planning in section k, which encourages wherever possible that enhancement of the environment will be sought, as per paragraph 170 of the NPPF.
MP 7: We support the restoration requirements included in this policy, in particular the recommendation that sites that are to be restored to agriculture can still include biodiversity enhancements alongside their primary use. We also support the reference to the county's priority habitats and species and recommend that the policy makes further reference in the supporting text to the specific habitats and species that are present in the county for the benefit of plan users.
MP 8: We support the inclusion of an aftercare policy to ensure that restoration habitats are established to a sufficient standard post-extraction.

Sites
Our comments below relate specifically to sites in proximity to our reserves, SSSIs, CWSs and ancient woodland sites.
Where sites are proposed adjacent to or in close proximity to County Wildlife Sites, we strongly recommend that these are only chosen sequentially after other sites have been selected, that they are only taken forward if it can be demonstrated that they are deliverable whilst providing sufficient stand off from the allocation boundary to account for hydrological and dust impacts, that any planning application will be accompanied by an ecological impact assessment and that restoration will be to habitats in support to those existing nearby, for example expanding existing habitats where adjacent and providing greater connectivity in the wider countryside between existing sites. We note that several proposed allocations are situated close to multiple CWS, and in these locations it would be very beneficial to co-ordinate restoration proposals in order to maximise the gains for wildlife through improving landscape scale connectivity. We would be happy to offer further advice on this in later plan consultations, if that would be helpful.

MIN 35: We support the inclusion of nature conservation in the restoration proposals for this site.

MIN 202: We are concerned that this proposed site partially overlaps with CWS 1344, 'Triumph and Foxburrow Plantations'. We recommend that either the allocation boundary is redrawn to avoid the CWS, or that the site policy includes a requirement for a stand-off area around the edge that includes that part that overlaps the CWS. In addition, given the proximity to the CWS, we would expect the site to be worked dry to avoid any impacts on hydrogeology and a stand-off area sufficient to avoid any impacts on the CWS from dust. We support the proposed restoration to a mosaic of acid grassland, woodland and wetland, and also support the Council's recommendation that the site could support new heathland when restored.

MIN 37: We support the Council's restoration recommendations for the inclusion of acid grassland/ heathland on this site, which would complement the nearby CWS 1411 'Disused Gravel Pit', which supports similar habitats.

MIN 76, MIN 206
We support the Council's proposals for conservation led restoration at MIN 76 and the inclusion of wide field margins and hedgerow planting at MIN 206. Given the proximity of these proposals to several CWS, we recommend that co-ordinated restoration to enhance landscape connectivity between all the nearby CWS should be supported in the site policy.

MIN 40: Given the location within a kilometre of East Winch Common SSSI, restoration of this site to heathland has the potential to enhance the connections of the SSSI with the wider landscape. Therefore we support the Council's recommendation that the restoration proposals for this site should include heathland. Additionally, given the proximity to King's Lynn, the site has the potential to support the provision of new green infrastructure.

SIL 01: We are concerned at the proposal to include part of CWS 416 '70 & 100 Plantations' in this allocation and recommend that as part of any mitigation that these areas are not excavated and are safeguarded as part of any restoration proposals. Provided that suitable mitigation can be provided to ensure the CWS are safeguarded, we support the restoration of the site to habitat types similar to the surroundings to provide connectivity and note the potential for the site to provide green infrastructure with links to the nearby country park.

SIL 02: We note the Council identifies SIL 02 as a Preferred Area, within which a smaller area could be subject to an application at a later date. We note the proximity of several CWS to the boundary of SIL 02 and recommend as with all other proposals near CWS that any application would need to demonstrate it could avoid adverse impacts on these sites. We would support any restoration proposals that enhance the landscape connectivity of the CWS network locally.

MIN 69: Whilst we are unable to comment on the wider impacts of this proposal as they are outside of our remit, should this site be progressed, then we strongly support the Council's recommendations that this site should be subject to high quality restoration creating a large new area of heathland with benefits both for wildlife and for green infrastructure provision.

MIN 71: We are concerned about this proposal due to its close proximity to the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC and Holt Lowes SSSI. The plan will need to demonstrate that it would not result in an adverse effect on the SAC in order to demonstrate that it is deliverable, and in addition to any project level HRA that would be required to accompany any planning application. Should the site be considered deliverable in the local plan HRA, then we strongly recommend that the site is restored to nature conservation with public access, given the significant potential the site has to make landscape scale connections with the multiple designated and county wildlife sites in the area, as well as provide valuable new green infrastructure on the edge of Holt.

MIN 115: We note the proximity of this proposal to several CWS, including CWS 1170 'Lord Anson's Wood'. We support the Council's recommendations for ecological assessment to accompany any application, due to the proximity to the CWS as well as for protected species, and also support the restoration recommendations for a mix of deciduous woodland and heathland, to complement the habitats in nearby CWS.

MIN 207, MIN 208, MIN 209, MIN 210, MIN 211, MIN 212, MIN 79, MIN 80
We support the Council's recommendations for restoration to nature conservation after use on these sites.

MIN 25
Provided potential ecological impacts on the nearby CWS 2221, 'Devil's End Meadow' can be avoided, we support the restoration proposals to acid grassland, woodland and wetland.

Other sites
Whilst we hold no specific knowledge on the following sites, we broadly support the restoration proposals proposed for MIN 12, 13, 51, 200 and 65. Additionally, sites 79 and 80 being close to the Norwich growth area may support restoration that includes specifically includes green infrastructure provision.

Proposed sites for removal
We support the Council's proposed to remove the following sites from further consideration in the plan on the grounds of adverse impacts on wildlife sites, namely MIN 102, 201, 48, 45, 19, 205, 74 and 77.
Areas of Search E, F, I, J
We note that in previous iterations of the Minerals plan, it has been considered acceptable to modify Areas of Search to exclude CWS and their immediate surroundings. In order to safeguard multiple CWS from both direct and indirect impacts of minerals extraction, we recommend that similar provisions are made and the Areas of Search are modified to provide sufficient stand off from these CWS to safeguard them from adverse impacts. In particular we note CWS 425 'Mow Fen' which is within AoS E, CWS 424 'Westbrigg's Wood' and CWS 373 'Adj. Adams Plantation' which are both adjacent to AoS E and CWS 365 'Broad Meadow Plantation' which is adjacent to AoS F.

We trust that these comments are helpful. Should you wish to discuss them in any more detail whilst preparing the next iteration of the plan, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92482

Received: 09/08/2018

Respondent: Sibelco UK Limited

Representation:

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.

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: 92918

Received: 08/08/2018

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation:

In this section we have provided guidance on the pollution prevention measures that we would expect to be considered at these allocated sites.
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 the possibility of a perched aquifer in the Carstone Formation. We would not accept any passive de-watering of this aquifer.

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: 92932

Received: 08/08/2018

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation:

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'.

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.

Object

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92976

Received: 31/08/2018

Respondent: Historic England

Representation:

This large allocation is directly opposite the grade II* Church of All Saints which, as an edge of settlement church, overlooks the surrounding flat farmland. A heritage impact assessment should be undertaken for this site to assess its suitability and, if so, location, and appropriate mitigation and restoration measures.

Full text:

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.

Summary
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.

Conclusion
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.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 93108

Received: 21/08/2018

Respondent: Norfolk County Council - Natural Environment Team

Representation:

We agree with the Arboricultural officers comments for land east of Grandcourt Farm. It should also be noted that if avoidance measures are not possible and these veteran trees are removed, an assessment of the value of these trees for wildlife in particular bats and nesting birds must be undertaken prior to any works on these trees.

Full text:

In our opinion the plan is fit for purpose. We have a few comments/ recommendations regarding the plan as follows:

SIL 02 Land at Shouldham and Marham
This site is located adjacent to the River Narr SSSI, we would advise no extraction takes place outside of the 'reduced development area' between the proposed site and River Narr SSSI to reduce the likelihood of impacts on the River Narr SSSI and its qualifying features.
We agree that an assessment of potential impacts on the River Narr SSSI and Marham Fen, including from dust deposition and hydrogeology, together with appropriate mitigation would be required as part of any planning application.
It should be noted in the 'initial conclusion' that an ecological assessment to determine baseline conditions on the site must be prepared which may lead to the need for further surveys and mitigation measures, if necessary. (This should always be the case with 'greenfield sites'. I know this was mentioned in the wider document, however it would be good if this could be included in the 'initial conclusions' for new sites). It would also be useful in the initial conclusions to ensure it is clear that a restoration scheme to protect and enhance biodiversity will be put in place post extraction.

MIN45 land North of Coxford Quarry and MIN 77 Runs Wood Tottenhill
We are in agreement with the conclusions that the sites are unsuitable for allocation in accordance with Section 15 of the NPPF.

MIN40 land east of Grandcourt Farm, East Winch
We agree with the Arboricultural officers comments for land east of Grandcourt Farm. It should also be noted that if avoidance measures are not possible and these veteran trees are removed, an assessment of the value of these trees for wildlife in particular bats and nesting birds must be undertaken prior to any works on these trees.

Search: AOS E land to the North of Shouldham and MIN115 Lord Anson's Wood near North Walsham
Woodland is located within the allocated area for these sites. These woodland areas are of ecological value and likely support protected species and other wildlife. We would like to see woodland areas retained where possible. Where woodland areas are proposed for removal then an ecological assessment needs to be undertaken and any further surveys need to be carried out or mitigation proposed, if necessary.

MIN 92 Land east of Ferry Lane, Heckingham
We agree with the Arboricultural officers comments that this site is unsuitable for allocation.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 93113

Received: 21/08/2018

Respondent: Norfolk County Council - Natural Environment Team

Representation:

There appear to be trees within the proposed site at the NW corner which would have to be removed unless the site boundaries are amended. Bearing in mind that there were requirements regarding retaining veteran trees on land at Grandcourt Farm previously, I feel that an AIA would be required for this site to determine the categorisation of the trees in this area to determine if they are worthy of retention.

Full text:

Overall the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan is a very thorough and accurate document. My only comments are that trees have been considered under the headings of landscape or ecology throughout the document, rather than under a separate arboriculture heading. Having said this, I am happy for the document to remain as it is.

However as far as I can see, no reference has been made with regards to Arboricultural Impact Assessments (AIA) in the initial conclusions. I feel that where hedgerow trees or woodlands are adjacent to a proposed site that the offset from them needs to be determined at the very least by an annotated Tree Protection Plan or a full AIA to ensure root protection for the long term retention of the trees. For sites where an LVIA has been recommended (e.g MIN71) this would also need to include a full AIA.

For MIN45 land North of Coxford Quarry and MIN 77 Runs Wood Tottenhill, the initial conclusions recommend that that the sites are unsuitable for allocation in accordance with Section 15 of the NPPF. I am in agreement with these conclusions, particularly as Runs Wood is not ancient woodland but is still considered important due to its high biodiversity value.

MIN40 land east of Grandcourt Farm, East Winch - there appear to be trees within the proposed site at the NW corner which would have to be removed unless the site boundaries are amended. Bearing in mind that there were requirements regarding retaining veteran trees on land at Grandcourt Farm previously, I feel that an AIA would be required for this site to determine the categorisation of the trees in this area to determine if they are worthy of retention.

AOS E land to the North of Shouldham - this area encompasses a large amount of woodland centred on Shouldham Warren that when viewed from a satellite image shows that this is a large block of woodland within a largely arable landscape that forms a connecting feature with the woodland centred on West Bilney Wood to the NE. As such, although the woodland is undesignated in any way, it is a vital connecting feature within the landscape and where possible should be retained. If any of the woodland area is removed, appropriate planting of a similar size of broadleaved woodland should be included as part of the restoration scheme.

MIN115 Lord Anson's Wood near North Walsham - I would disagree that this site is suitable for allocation, in accordance with section 170b of the NPPF. The removal of this section of woodland would degrade the overall capital value, ecosystem services and recreational values provided by the woodland.

The landscape paragraph details mature trees and woodland that are to be retained and enhanced. The initial conclusion also states that a wide screen of trees is to be left around the site. I therefore propose that if this site remains allocated that a full AIA is required to achieve this and this should be listed in the initial conclusion.

MIN 92 Land east of Ferry Lane, Heckingham - I agree with the conclusion that this site is unsuitable for allocation due to the line of mature oaks in the centre of the site.

MIN 204 land north of Lodge Road Feltwell - this site is surrounded by coniferous woodland and hedgerows and would require an AIA to ensure sufficient standoff from the adjacent trees to ensure their roots are protected for their safe long term retention.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 93191

Received: 16/08/2018

Respondent: Norfolk County Council Historic Environment Service

Representation:

We agree with the initial conclusion for this site.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 93232

Received: 10/12/2018

Respondent: Ministry Of Defence (Defence Infrastructure Organisation)

Representation:

The MOD previously commented on the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan in August 2018. However, based on safeguarding comments regarding birdstrike, the policy team submitted additional information to determine the viability of the proposed sites.
The sites identified as part of the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan occupy the statutory birdstrike safeguarding consultation zone surrounding RAF Marham. The MODs main concern regarding mineral schemes is the phased working, proposed restoration and aftercare of the site. As the creation of open water bodies in this area has the potential to increase birdstrike risk to aircraft operations.
Please note each planning application is assessed on their individual merits at present there is limited information for a full detailed assessment to be carried out. However, please see below the MODs comments based on the additional information received on the 18/11/18:

MIN 40 - Land East of Grandcourt Farm, East Winch
The MOD commented on this application and the proposed extension to Grandcourt Farm at planning stages. There is an existing BMP in place which includes the extension site. Therefore, the MOD stated no objection subject to the BMP being implemented as part of planning consent.

In summary, MIN 40 the MOD has no safeguarding concerns subject to the implementation of a robust Bird Hazard Management Plan approved by the MOD as part of any planning permission granted.

Full text:

The MOD previously commented on the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan in August 2018. However, based on safeguarding comments regarding birdstrike, the policy team submitted additional information to determine the viability of the proposed sites.
The sites identified as part of the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan occupy the statutory birdstrike safeguarding consultation zone surrounding RAF Marham. The MODs main concern regarding mineral schemes is the phased working, proposed restoration and aftercare of the site. As the creation of open water bodies in this area has the potential to increase birdstrike risk to aircraft operations.
Please note each planning application is assessed on their individual merits at present there is limited information for a full detailed assessment to be carried out. However, please see below the MODs comments based on the additional
information received on the 18/11/18:

MIN 19 & 205 Land north of the River Nar, Pentney
The site is approximately 6km north west of RAF Marham. The restoration plan for this site shows a series of lakes, which are deep and steep sided surrounded by wet woodland with reed fringes. The design also includes 2 proposed walkways consisting of grassy glades which lie above water level.
Therefore, the MOD would have no safeguarding concerns subject to open water being kept to a minimum; the lakes are designed to be less than 200mx200m with steep bank sides as per restoration plan. A robust Bird Hazard Management Plan (BHMP) to be approved by the MOD should be applied to manage the hazardous birds i.e. waterfowl, gulls, heron etc. and applied to the adjacent site if owned by the same company.

MIN 76 Land at West Field, Watlington Road, Tottenhill
The MOD have recently reviewed this planning consultation and submitted conditional response citing subject to a BHMP being implemented we have no safeguarding concerns as part of planning consent.

MIN 40 - Land East of Grandcourt Farm, East Winch
The MOD commented on this application and the proposed extension to Grandcourt Farm at planning stages. There is an existing BMP in place which includes the extension site. Therefore, the MOD stated no objection subject to the BMP being implemented as part of planning consent.

SIL 01 Land at Mintlyn South, Bawsey
This site is approximately 12.4km north by north west from RAF Marham, any proposed water bodies would need to be designed to the following principles:
 No islands- as they provide safe predator free environment for roosting and nesting birds
 The bank margins are planted with dense goose proof barrier of emergent vegetation (common reed), or fenced to prevent easy access between open water and nearby short grass areas.
 A BHMP to remove or treat any feral goose nests and eggs to prevent feral geese successfully breeding on site
The above is based on the information available at present.

SIL 02 Land at Shouldham and Marham
This site is approximately 4.8km north west from RAF Marham. The proposed extraction site is a considerable area which is planned to be restored with large areas of open water.
A development of this nature in such proximity to the aerodrome is of great concern to aircraft safety.
Even if the site were to be reduced in scale this would be of serious concern to the MOD. Therefore, we would object to this site based on current plans.

AOS E Land north of Shouldham
It is difficult to determine the risk of wet restoration in this location without any plans illustrating the extent and design of open water bodies.
The MOD have safeguarding concerns to the wet working and restoration of this site due to its potential to attract and support hazardous waterfowl closer within critical airspace. Therefore, further information would be required before a definitive response can be made.

AOS J Land east of Tottenhill
In line with my comments above wet working and restoration at this location would have the potential to attract and support hazardous waterfowl. The MOD is unable to determine the extent of our concerns without knowing the restoration scheme.

In summary, MIN 19, 205, 76 & 40 the MOD has no safeguarding concerns subject to the implementation of a robust Bird Hazard Management Plan approved by the MOD as part of any planning permission granted.

With regards to SIL 01 at present this site is of concern to the MOD. However, due
to its location depending on the nature and scale of the restoration should be manageable with the right restoration and a BHMP in place.

AOS E and AOS J the MOD has concerns and would require further information to determine whether the sites could be managed with design principles and a BMP.
Finally, SIL 02 the MOD object to this site being implemented on its current design and scale.

I trust this is clear however should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.