Question 58: Proposed site MIN 06

Showing comments and forms 1 to 6 of 6

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 92349

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. 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.

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: 92568

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 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.

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: 92924

Received: 08/08/2018

Respondent: Environment Agency

Representation:

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.

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: 92968

Received: 31/08/2018

Respondent: Historic England

Representation:

No comment

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: 93151

Received: 30/07/2018

Respondent: Norfolk County Council - Highway Authority

Representation:

The Highway Authority considers the site is acceptable subject to the use of the existing access and continued routing arrangements.

Comment

Initial Consultation document

Representation ID: 93188

Received: 16/08/2018

Respondent: Norfolk County Council Historic Environment Service

Representation:

We agree with the initial conclusion for this site.