Policy MP1: Provision for minerals extraction

Showing comments and forms 1 to 12 of 12

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 94370

Received: 21/10/2019

Respondent: Campaigners Against Two Silica Sites

Representation:

MP1 -Flawed in respect of silica sand as it assumes that clear glass recycling will not improve, which would reduce the amount of CO2 produced to extract silica sand and during the manufacture of new glass with the use of additional high-quality cullet. This conflicts with MSO3 and NPPF Guidance (Ch 17, para 204.b) that states to look to recycle before extracting raw material. MP1 fails sustainability objective SA1 and SA11 on pg 9 of the Sustainability Appraisal Report - Part A- Scoping (Oct 2015).

Full text:

MP1 -Flawed in respect of silica sand as it assumes that clear glass recycling will not improve, which would reduce the amount of CO2 produced to extract silica sand and during the manufacture of new glass with the use of additional high-quality cullet. This conflicts with MSO3 and NPPF Guidance (Ch 17, para 204.b) that states to look to recycle before extracting raw material. MP1 fails sustainability objective SA1 and SA11 on pg 9 of the Sustainability Appraisal Report - Part A- Scoping (Oct 2015).

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 94705

Received: 27/10/2019

Respondent: Mrs LDT Gallagher

Representation:

MP1 -Flawed in respect of silica sand as it assumes that clear glass recycling will not improve, which would reduce the amount of CO2 produced to extract silica sand and during the manufacture of new glass with use of additional high quality cullet. This conflicts with MSO3 and NPPF Guidance (Ch 17, para 204.b) that states to look to recycle before extracting raw material.

Full text:

MP1 -Flawed in respect of silica sand as it assumes that clear glass recycling will not improve, which would reduce the amount of CO2 produced to extract silica sand and during the manufacture of new glass with use of additional high quality cullet. This conflicts with MSO3 and NPPF Guidance (Ch 17, para 204.b) that states to look to recycle before extracting raw material.

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 94878

Received: 28/10/2019

Respondent: Cemex UK Materials Ltd

Representation:

As currently worded it is not clear that this policy is commited to maintaining a sufficient sand and gravel landbank for the entire Plan period, i.e., a landbank of at least 7 years will still remain in place at the end of the Plan period. It is suggested that by adding the phrase "...throughout the Plan period" after reference within the policy to "...at least 7 years' supply..." this potential ambiguity would be resolved.

Full text:

As currently worded it is not clear that this policy is commited to maintaining a sufficient sand and gravel landbank for the entire Plan period, i.e., a landbank of at least 7 years will still remain in place at the end of the Plan period. It is suggested that by adding the phrase "...throughout the Plan period" after reference within the policy to "...at least 7 years' supply..." this potential ambiguity would be resolved.

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 94922

Received: 29/10/2019

Respondent: Mr JJ Gallagher

Representation:

MP1 -The policy is flawed because it assumes, for silica sand, that clear glass recycling will not improve, which in turn conflicts with MSO3 and NPPF Guidance (Ch 17, para 204.b) that states to look to recycle before extracting raw material.

Full text:

MP1 -The policy is flawed because it assumes, for silica sand, that clear glass recycling will not improve, which in turn conflicts with MSO3 and NPPF Guidance (Ch 17, para 204.b) that states to look to recycle before extracting raw material.

Support

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 95066

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Suffolk County Council

Representation:

This approach to calculating the shortfall within the plan period is supported.

Full text:

This approach to calculating the shortfall within the plan period is supported.

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98558

Received: 24/10/2019

Respondent: Mr Bernard Killingbeck

Representation:

Firstly; the Sand, Gravel, Carstone and Silica sand tonnage you require, all traded on the international minerals market, you do not have to have applications for mineral developments within Norfolk which has an unknown "total" cost. You can buy forward on futures markets to meet the demand you need. Developing Middle Eastern countries have abundance of sand and other minerals, economically they find buying from Australia a leading mineral exporter and other countries, far more cost effective also more environmentally friendly.
Your "Preferred Option" should be to purchase the minerals on the open market at best price secure supplies on forward purchase.

Full text:

Firstly; the Sand, Gravel, Carstone and Silica sand tonnage you require, all traded on the international minerals market, you do not have to have applications for mineral developments within Norfolk which has an unknown "total" cost. You can buy forward on futures markets to meet the demand you need. Developing Middle Eastern countries have abundance of sand and other minerals, economically they find buying from Australia a leading mineral exporter and other countries, far more cost effective also more environmentally friendly.
Secondly; to even contemplate extraction near Fritton is surprising, with too many issues. How are you going to remove the minerals? By road? One way road through St Olaves , main road to Gr Yarmouth , Fritton unsuitable for heavy trucks (warning sign for trucks having to move over to centre and beyond in road ). By boat? Which will destroy all the Holiday business from St Olaves, Somerleyton and beyond to Oulton Broad.
The gravel beds you plan to remove, filter the underground water through to the local river system and Fritton Lake. Removing the filter bed will have catastrophic impact on the whole water system polluting the river system and Fritton Lake. Somerleyton Estate is investing millions of pounds to generate tourism and upgrade the holiday offer in the area, increasing employment plus a vast range of other benefits. Not only Somerleyton, many other local enterprises have invested in the future of the area, you will jeopardise all investment and question the success of all local business .
I note your title is not only minerals, waste as well, are you planning to dig a big hole and then fill with waste? Making a triangle from Haddiscoe , Bradwell , Oulton Board a NO GO AREA for over 10 years, and have all the residents (there will be no tourists) having to put up with the smell of waste for years to come.
Johnson Matthey (British Company) leading the world in technology on removing pollutants from burning fossil fuels, there's an opportunity for Norfolk Council to lead in Climate Change by investing in a power station burning waste, dramatically reducing emissions ( buried rotting waste is a time bomb for climate change).
It's easy to call the concerned NIMBY's when Development, can Destruct Environment, Against The Habitat, DEATH.
Your "Preferred Option" should be to purchase the minerals on the open market at best price secure supplies on forward purchase. Waste look at the best way on cost and on Climate Change, looking into Eco generation plant that burns waste in an effective low carbon system, with removal of toxins with Johnson Matthey technology. Make Norfolk a leader in Climate Change, by pioneering waste management to electric generation.

Support

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98632

Received: 21/10/2019

Respondent: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Representation:

Given that the plan will allocate sufficient land to meet forecasted need, the Council supports this policy to resist proposals for Mineral extraction sites for sand and gravel outside of allocated sites.

Full text:

Thank you for consulting Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC) on this document. Following consideration of the documentation, the Borough Council's response is set out below. This response was considered and endorsed by the Council's Policy and Resources Committee on the 15th October 2019:

Strategic vision and Objectives:
Comment: Support for the aims of the Strategic Vision and Objectives

Policy MW2-Development Management Criteria
Comment: The supporting text to the Policy doesn't explicitly reference 'all sources of flooding' just notes flood risk, GYBC would suggest that reference is made to all sources of flooding as well as reference to the Environment agency's flood mapping as well as the Strategic Flood Risk Assessments which have been produced across Norfolk. The supporting text should make clear that site specific flood risk assessments will be required where flood risk is identified within the Strategic Flood Risk Assessments.

Policy MW6 - Agricultural Soils
Comment: Parts of the Great Yarmouth Borough are classified as Grade 1 agricultural land. The need for development of land for housing and other uses mean that some of this land will be lost to development. The Council therefore supports this policy to minimise the loss of grade 1 agricultural land, when there are sufficient areas of lower grade agricultural land elsewhere in the County to accommodate minerals and waste developments.

Policy WP3 - Land potentially suitable for waste management facilities &
Policy WP6 -Transfer, storage, processing and treatment of hazardous waste
Comments: These policies set out a criteria based approach to waste development and hazardous waste. The criterion indicates that land in B2 (general industrial) or B8 (storage and distribution) use would be potentially suitable for waste development. It also indicates that waste development would be suitable on land allocated for B2 and B8 uses in Local Plans or other development plan documents.
Whilst the Council considers this a broadly acceptable approach, it has significant concerns with respect to two strategic employment areas within the Borough. It is considered that new generic waste development would not be suitable on the proposed Beacon Business Park extension or the existing Beacon Park Business Park and therefore strongly objects to the policy as currently drafted. It is also considered that new generic waste development would not be suitable within the identified Great Yarmouth port and harbour area. The Council's objectives for these sites are to promote businesses within the offshore energy and port related sectors. Generic waste developments in these areas would either be incompatible with these proposed uses or use land needed to create a cluster of these proposed uses. The strategic significance of these sites is also recognised through the Enterprise Zone status of Beacon Business Park and its extension, and the wider area associated with the outer harbour.
The Council therefore requests that an exception is made to this policy for the above employment areas. The Council recognises that there may be some waste operations which can be associated with port and offshore energy/engineering activities which could be more compatible in principle (for example, some kinds of decommissioning). The Council would welcome the opportunity to discuss how the policy could be redrafted to best support the strategic aims of these employment areas within the Borough.
The extent of the above areas can be seen in the August 2018 Local Part 2 consultation document. Beacon Park Business Park is defined in emerging policy GN4-dp. The Beacon Park extension is defined in emerging policy GN5-dp. The Great Yarmouth Port and Harbour area is defined in policy GY12-dp

Policy MP1 - Prevision for minerals extraction
Comments: Given that the plan will allocate sufficient land to meet forecasted need, the Council supports this policy to resist proposals for Mineral extraction sites for sand and gravel outside of allocated sites.

Site MIN 203 - Land North of Welcome Pit, Burgh Castle
Comments: The Council recognises that the allocation (an extension to the existing site) would be a local source of sand to potentially help supply new developments in the Borough (albeit that the annual extraction rate is low) and that having a site close by is helpful in terms of reducing miles travelled. However, the Council recognises the highways concerns identified by the County Council about the appropriateness of the surrounding road network and therefore agrees that the extension site should not be allocated as matters stand. That being said, if appropriate highways improvements could be delivered, the Council would be supportive of the extension being allocated.
It should be noted that the description of the location of the site in respect of Belton and Burgh Castle is incorrect in the amenity paragraph. The settlement of Burgh Castle is to the west, south and north of the site.
The Council's Environmental Services team has noted the following:
If this site was brought forward, contrary to the emerging Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan, noise and dust assessments would be required in line with the pertinent PPG and NPPF, in order to design appropriate mitigation. Land contamination matters would have to be considered through a Phase I (desk study and site walkover) report, due to the potential for ground gas from filled pits.

Site MIN 38 - Land at Waveney Forest
Comment: The Council supports the conclusion that this site should not be allocated. The Council considers that the forest whilst not open-access, does serve as an important recreational asset to the Borough given the public rights of way around and within the site. It is also worth noting that saved policy REC11 identifies an area of recreation space to the east of the site which is not mentioned in the assessment. Therefore, the recreational value of the site should be given greater weight in the assessment.
The Council's Environmental Services team has noted the following:
If this site was brought forward, contrary to the emerging Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan, noise and dust assessments would be required in line with the pertinent PPG and NPPF, in order to design appropriate mitigation. Land contamination matters would have to be considered through a Phase I (desk study and site walkover) report, due to the historic military and railways land uses.

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98655

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Sibelco UK Limited

Representation:

Changes are required to make it clear that the landbanks levels have to be maintained so they are in place at the end of the plan period to make the policy accord with national policy and be effective. In respect of silica sand changes are needed to make the policy accord with NPPF.

Suggested changes as follows (new text in CAPITALS):

The strategy for minerals extraction is to allocate sufficient sites to meet the forecast need for both sand & gravel and hard rock (carstone).

For sand and gravel, specific sites to deliver at least 20,313,300 tonnes of resources will be allocated. The sand and gravel landbank will be maintained at a level of at least 7 years supply THROUGHOUT THE PLAN PERIOD (excluding any contribution from borrow pits for major construction projects).

Mineral extraction for sand and gravel outside of allocated sites will be resisted by the Mineral Planning Authority unless the applicant can demonstrate: a) There is an overriding justification and/or overriding benefit for the proposed extraction, and b) The proposal is consistent with all other relevant policies set out in the Development Plan.

For carstone, a site or sites to deliver at least 340,200 tonnes of resources will be allocated.
The landbank for carstone will be maintained at a level of at least 10 years' supply THROUGHOUT THE PLAN PERIOD.

For silica sand, sufficient sites and/or areas to deliver at least 10,500,000 tonnes of silica sand will be allocated. The landbank STOCKS OF PERMITTED RESERVES FOR SILICA SAND WILL BE MAINTAINED AT A LEVEL OF AT LEAST 10 YEARS' SUPPLY PRODUCTION FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL SILICA SAND SITE OR AT LEAST 15 YEARS WHERE SIGNIFICANT NEW CAPITAL IS REQUIRED [delete: Where practicable]. Planning applications for silica sand extraction located outside of allocated sites or areas of search, which would address the shortfall in permitted reserves, will be determined on their own merits in accordance with the policies in this Local Plan, including the requirements contained within Policy MP13.

Full text:

1. Response to Draft Policies
1.1 Strategy - Vision and Objectives
1.1.1 Mineral Safeguarding should refer to paragraph 182 of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 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.

1.2 Mineral Strategic Objectives
1.2.1 The Mineral Strategic Objectives should be revised to properly reflect the wording of the NPPF.

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

1.2.4 We suggest that MS04 is amended to read:
1.2.5 "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."

1.3 Policy MW3 Transport
1.3.1 Proposed amendment to bullet point 4 under part d) of the policy:
1.3.2 "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."

1.3.3 Policy MW4 Climate Change
1.3.4 Proposed change:
g) incorporate proposals for sustainable travel, including travel plans where PRACTICAL AND appropriate.
1.3.5 Due to the often-isolated nature of mineral workings public transport or cycling are not practical. Therefore, the additional wording is suggested to make the policy effective and preventing unnecessary work for the developer/applicant.

1.4 MW6: Agricultural Soils
1.4.1 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.

1.5 MP1: Provision for minerals extraction
1.5.1 Changes are required to make it clear that the landbanks levels have to be maintained so they are in place at the end of the plan period to make the policy accord with national policy and be effective. In respect of silica sand changes are needed to make the policy accord with NPPF .

1.5.2 Suggested changes as follows;
The strategy for minerals extraction is to allocate sufficient sites to meet the forecast need for both sand & gravel and hard rock (carstone).

For sand and gravel, specific sites to deliver at least 20,313,300 tonnes of resources will be allocated. The sand and gravel landbank will be maintained at a level of at least 7 years supply THROUGHOUT THE PLAN PERIOD (excluding any contribution from borrow pits for major construction projects).

Mineral extraction for sand and gravel outside of allocated sites will be resisted by the Mineral Planning Authority unless the applicant can demonstrate: a) There is an overriding justification and/or overriding benefit for the proposed extraction, and b) The proposal is consistent with all other relevant policies set out in the Development Plan.

For carstone, a site or sites to deliver at least 340,200 tonnes of resources will be allocated.
The landbank for carstone will be maintained at a level of at least 10 years' supply
THROUGHOUT THE PLAN PERIOD.

For silica sand, sufficient sites and/or areas to deliver at least 10,500,000 tonnes of silica sand
will be allocated. The landbank STOCKS OF PERMITTED RESERVES FOR SILICA SAND WILL BE
MAINTAINED AT A LEVEL OF AT LEAST 10 YEARS' SUPPLY PRODUCTION FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL SILICA SAND SITE OR AT LEAST 15 YEARS WHERE SIGNIFICANT NEW CAPITAL IS REQUIRED [DELETE: Where practicable]. Planning applications for silica sand extraction located outside of allocated sites or areas of search, which would address the shortfall in permitted reserves, will be determined on their own merits in accordance with the policies in this Local Plan, including the requirements contained within Policy MP13.

1.6 Policy MP2: Spatial Strategy for mineral extraction - strategic policy

1.6.1 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 and the development management process. Arbitrary buffers risk the sterilisation of workable mineral when they could be satisfactorily worked without impact.

1.6.2 There is no evidential basis for the buffers and the policy is unsound as it is not effective and is not positive planning.

1.7 Policy MP11: Mineral Safeguarding Areas and Mineral Consultation Areas

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

2. Proposed Mineral Extraction Sites

2.1 MIN 40 land east of Grandcourt Farm, East Winch
2.1.1 Sibelco supports the specific site allocation of MIN 40.
2.1.2 Sibelco submitted a planning application accompanied by an environmental impact assessment which determines that there will be no significant impacts from the continued working of Grandcourt quarry.

2.2 SIL01 land at Mintlyn South, Bawsey
2.2.1 Sibelco supports the specific site allocation of SIL01.

2.3 AOS E land to the north of Shouldham.
2.3.1 Sibelco supports the inclusion of Area of Search E, land to the north of Shouldham.

2.3.2 We disagree with the updated plans of the area which identify an arbitrarily drawn heritage setting standoff. The standoffs are based on a Heritage Impact Assessment (Percival, 2019) which by its own admission is incomplete. There is not 'clear and convincing justification' for these arbitrarily drawn standoffs. Any application forthcoming within the Areas of Search should be determined on its own merits and supported by a detailed environmental impact assessment.

2.4 AOS F land to the north of Stow Bardolph
2.4.1 Sibelco supports the inclusion of Area of Search F.

2.5 AOS I land to the east of South Runcton
2.5.1 Sibelco supports the inclusion of Area of Search I.

2.6 AOS J land to the east of Tottenhill
2.6.1 Sibelco supports the inclusion of Area of Search J.

2.7 Policy MP13: Areas of Search for silica sand extraction
2.7.1 Sibelco supports policy MP13. 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.

2.8 SIL02: land at Shouldham and Marham
2.8.1 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
2.8.2 The National Planning Practice Guidance says:
"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..."
2.8.3 This definition applies to SIL02.
2.8.4 The Mineral Planning Authorities conclusion (paragraph 2.28) is subjective. It would be for any planning application coming forward on the site to proposed a method of working and restoration to satisfy concerns regarding bird hazard.
2.8.5 In the context of NPPF paragraph 16 the plan as written is not positively prepared and there remains a significant shortfall in silica sand supply. SIL02 should be allocated as a specific site with any subsequent planning application required to evidence the effective mitigation measure in relation to concerns regarding bird hazard.

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98743

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Frimstone Limited

Representation:

Provision for minerals extraction (Policy MP1)
The NPPG suggests that the 10-year rolling average, 3 year rolling average and the sub-national guidelines should all be considered in order to establish a broad understanding of current and future mineral demand, especially during reviews of planned provision. The sub-national guidelines are for Norfolk to produce 2.57 million tonnes of sand and gravel a year.
It has been considered by the MPA that planning to provide the 20-year average annual production figure would enable a sufficient quantity of sand and gravel resources to be available over the 18- year plan period and would take into account potential fluctuations in the economy.
Over the 18-year plan period to 2036, using the considered suitable 20-year average of 1.868 million tpa, 33.624 million tonnes of sand and gravel resources would be needed in total. Taking into account the existing permitted reserve, the remaining need for allocated sites is 20.313 million tonnes of sand and gravel.
However, using the sub-national guidelines for sand and gravel, as specified in the NPPG this would mean that sites for 32,949,300 tonnes of sand and gravel extraction would need to be allocated over the plan period. The sub-national guideline figures cover the period 2005-2020 and therefore remains current at this stage of the Consultation process, and must remain so until these figures are updated. Therefore, a stronger case has to be made by the MPA as to why they consider the current subnational guidelines not to be relevant in producing this plan and more specifically the landbank figure required in the Plan period to the end of 2036. Furthermore, may I raise the question to the MPA as to what the justification is for using a 20-year average annual production figure, rather than a 25-year average or likewise 18-year to cover the remainder of the plan period, for example?

I therefore wish to object to the methodology used in establishing the required tonnages of sand and gravel resource to be allocated within the Plan period to the end 2036 as referred to in Policy MP1: Provisions of minerals extraction. The 20-year average methodology has not been accepted as a valid methodology for establishing this figure and therefore should not be considered as sound. This is demonstrated by the NPPG which considers that only the 10-year rolling average, 3 year rolling average and the sub-national guidelines should all be considered in order to establish a broad understanding of current and future mineral demand, especially during reviews of planned provision. I would consequently like to object to this figure in relation to MIN 35, which at the 'Initial
Consultation' stage of the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review was considered as suitable for allocation based on the proposed 20-year average annual production figure in August 2018. However, the current proposed allocation figure less than 18 months later is greatly reduced and is considered the only reason for the site (MIN 35) to now be considered as unsuitable, due to the fact that the proposals have not changed in terms of the site development since that date.

Full text:

Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Preferred Options Consultation (MIN 35 - land at Heath Road, Eccles, Quidenham)

Further to the publication of the above I would like to make the following comments on behalf of Frimstone Ltd and wish to register an Objection to the Consultation Draft and support the allocation for MIN 35 for the reasons outlined below.

Landscape
Following the initial findings of the Preferred Options Consolation a Landscape and Visual Statement was commissioned and completed by Collington Winters in October 2019. The report demonstrates and concludes that the site would have acceptable local landscape impacts and that the screening would not be intrusive in its own right. The report also recommends that it will be possible to mitigate adverse landscape impacts through advance planting and bunding.

It is highlighted in the enclosed Landscape and Visual Statement that the proposed site is not located within the AONB, a Core River Valley or any other designated landscape features. It must be noted that unlike MIN 69 - land north of Holt Road, Aylmerton, MIN 211 - land west of Bath Hills Road, Earsham (Extension area 3) which is adjacent to the boundary of the Broads Authority Executive Area and MIN 25 - land at Manor Farm (between Loddon Road and Thorpe Road), Haddiscoe which is adjacent to a Core River Valley and also is adjacent to the boundary of the Broads Authority Executive Area).

The enclosed report also demonstrates that the existing landscape detractors mean that the proposed site cannot be considered a tranquil, unspoilt area of the countryside.
The proposal sets the limit of extraction approximately 150 metres from the southern boundary of the site, so as to allow the site to be screened in a way which would not be significantly detrimental to the views from the immediate south. Existing bunding associated with the historic landfill is present which already screens out long-range views for properties to the south of the proposed site.
The proposed new bunding associated with the MIN 35 development will be set back from the southern boundary so as to not have an adverse effect on views over the field and the woodland to the west from those properties to the south of the site. The proposed limit of extraction means that there would be less difference between the views of the existing bunding associated with the historic landfill and those of new bunding associated with this proposed development from the south and southeast of the site.

Screen bunding and advance hedge planting is proposed along the site boundary on Heath Road to ensure that users of Heath Road are not able to gain medium-to-long-range views across the site, including the existing partially screened timber yard opposite the area of the site not proposed to be worked.

Any future application for mineral extractions at this site will be accompanied with a
further carefully designed landscape scheme that addresses the visual impacts that may, unless controlled, potentially affect local residents. Substantial buffer zones are proposed comprising advanced planting of woodland copses and planting belts, that are to be retained within the site restoration, and screen bunds in place surrounding the immediate area proposed for mineral extraction.

The temporary bunds are proposed to be of adequate height to screen the upper story views from housing and it will be ensured that the grading, profiles appearance and management of vegetation on the temporary bunds will benefit from careful treatment. These mitigation requirements shall be followed to ensure that the screening features are not visually intrusive as it is recognised that residents may have views of these across the existing agricultural fields to the east and southwest of the site, and also from the adjacent road.

I therefore wish to object to the conclusions reached in terms of considering MIN 35 unsuitable for allocation in landscape terms, as following a review of baseline information, together with consideration of likely landscape and visual effects, it is considered that the application site and wider landscape is able to accommodate the proposal for mineral extraction, in landscape and visual terms, without having an unacceptable effect or loss of landscape character or visual amenity. Any loss of landscape character would be temporary and upon restoration, character would be reinforced and enhanced.

Provision for minerals extraction (Policy MP1)
The NPPG suggests that the 10-year rolling average, 3 year rolling average and the sub-national guidelines should all be considered in order to establish a broad understanding of current and future mineral demand, especially during reviews of planned provision. The sub-national guidelines are for Norfolk to produce 2.57 million tonnes of sand and gravel a year.
It has been considered by the MPA that planning to provide the 20-year average annual production figure would enable a sufficient quantity of sand and gravel resources to be available over the 18- year plan period and would take into account potential fluctuations in the economy.
Over the 18-year plan period to 2036, using the considered suitable 20-year average of 1.868 million tpa, 33.624 million tonnes of sand and gravel resources would be needed in total. Taking into account the existing permitted reserve, the remaining need for allocated sites is 20.313 million tonnes of sand and gravel.
However, using the sub-national guidelines for sand and gravel, as specified in the NPPG this would mean that sites for 32,949,300 tonnes of sand and gravel extraction would need to be allocated over the plan period. The sub-national guideline figures cover the period 2005-2020 and therefore remains current at this stage of the Consultation process, and must remain so until these figures are updated. Therefore, a stronger case has to be made by the MPA as to why they consider the current subnational guidelines not to be relevant in producing this plan and more specifically the landbank figure required in the Plan period to the end of 2036. Furthermore, may I raise the question to the MPA as to what the justification is for using a 20-year average annual production figure, rather than a 25-year
average or likewise 18-year to cover the remainder of the plan period, for example?

I therefore wish to object to the methodology used in establishing the required tonnages of sand and gravel resource to be allocated within the Plan period to the end 2036 as referred to in Policy MP1: Provisions of minerals extraction. The 20-year average methodology has not been accepted as a valid methodology for establishing this figure and therefore should not be considered as sound. This is demonstrated by the NPPG which considers that only the 10-year rolling average, 3 year rolling average and the sub-national guidelines should all be considered in order to establish a broad understanding of current and future mineral demand, especially during reviews of planned provision.

I would consequently like to object to this figure in relation to MIN 35, which at the 'Initial Consultation' stage of the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review was considered as suitable for allocation based on the proposed 20-year average annual production figure in August 2018.

However, the current proposed allocation figure less than 18 months later is greatly reduced and is considered the only reason for the site to now be considered as unsuitable, due to the fact that the proposals have not changed in terms of the site development since that date.

Suitability of alternatives considered as suitable for allocation
There are a number of sites that have been considered suitable for allocation in the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review that are very similar to MIN 35 in terms of their potential impact on the local landscape from viewpoints from surrounding sensitive receptors. The table below and subsequent consultation extracts identifies and breaks down each site in terms of the number of sensitive receptors within 250m and 100m of the proposed extraction area compared with MIN 35, respectively. Therefore, on a logical comparative basis MIN 35 sits within the top three of the proposed sites with the least number of sensitive receptors.

INSERT TABLE

MIN 210 "the impact of the proposed mineral working on the wider landscape would predominantly be the decreased long-distance views and increased roadside vegetation due to the proposed bunding and advanced planting. The views of the mineral working from Park Farm Cottages will predominantly be screened by bunding"

MIN 211 "the impact of the proposed mineral working on the wider landscape would predominantly be the decreased long-distance views and increased roadside vegetation due to the proposed bunding and advanced planting. The views of the mineral working from nearby properties will predominantly be screened by bunding"

MIN 65 "glimpses of the land can be seen from Frettenham Road to the west through gaps in boundary hedges. Views could also be seen from two properties which lie close to the site perimeter to the west and east respectively"

MIN 213 "views into the site may be possible from Shorthorn Road, through the proposed entrance"

MIN 25 "there are mature screen planting forming hedgerows on all sides of the site, except a section of the eastern boundary closest to Manor Farm"

MIN 12 "views of the site would be seen from Field Lane, a road used as a public path which bounds the site to the north. In addition, the southern part of the site is slightly elevated and may be visible in a long view from public paths crossing land to the north of the Whitewater valley"

MIN 209 "a number of properties back onto the road overlook the site, the impact of the proposed mineral working on the wider landscape would predominantly be the decreased long-distance views and increased roadside vegetation due to the proposed bunding and advanced planting"

The above findings were concluded by the MPA as being acceptable subject to the erection of screen bunds and advanced planting. Likewise, it is stated that any potential views of MIN 35 would require mitigation through screen bunding and advance hedge planting. Therefore, given the supporting information above, as part of the independent Landscape and Visual Statement, it is considered that the MIN 35 site should be considered suitable for allocation due to the similarities it shares in landscape terms with the above sites that themselves have been considered suitable for allocation.

Furthermore, three sites have been considered suitable for allocation that are either within or adjacent to the AONB, a Core River Valley or any other designated landscape features, namely MIN 69, MIN 211 and MIN 25. Since MIN 35 is not located within or even close to any of these designated landscape features, preference must be given to this site in planning terms as required by the
requirements of NPPF Paragraph 205.

Since the 'Initial Consultation' stage of the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review and additional site has come forward and is now considered as suitable for allocation in the 'Preferred Options Consultation'. This is MIN 213 land at Mansom Plantation, Stratton Strawless for a total estimated sand and gravel resource of 1 million tonnes. The site has been selected in preference to MIN 35, due to the fact that the MIN 35 site was formerly considered as suitable for allocation at the 'Initial Consultation' stage. However, it is considered that this new site (MIN 213) not only presents a similar landscape impact to MIN 35 as described above, but also represents a site that will result in the permanent loss of a well-established coniferous plantation for after use as a holiday lodge development. MIN 213 is also located adjacent to an ancient replanted woodland to which deterioration is likely to occur as a result of the mineral operation. As such, any application that concludes this unless there are wholly exceptional reasons should be refused as in accordance with NPPF Paragraph 175c. Therefore, the site cannot be considered as being suitable for allocation given this likely impact.

I therefore would like to object to the inclusion of the above sites as being considered suitable for allocation, whereas MIN 35 is considered unsuitable solely on landscape grounds. It has been demonstrated above that preference should not be given to any of these sites over and above MIN 35 and that MIN 35 should be reconsidered in light of the additional supporting landscape and visual statement and be concluded as once again suitable for allocation as at the 'Initial Consultation' stage of the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review.

Conclusion
On behalf of Frimstone Limited, I would contend that the information submitted as part of this consultation adequately addresses the reasons why this site has not been considered suitable for allocation and that the site should now be allocated. This would add only a further 0.5 million tonnes to the overall landbank figure for the plan period and be worked and restored considerably before the end of 2036. Therefore, I see no reason why these revisions should not be carried forward to adoption in the review of the Local Plan.

Enc.
Landscape and Visual Statement (Ref. CW0121-RPT-001), dated 30 October 2019
Ecological Scoping Report (Ref. E17864), dated 2 August 2017

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98766

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Mineral Products Association

Representation:

Changes are required to make it clear that the landbanks levels have to be maintained so they are in place at the end of the plan period to make the policy accord with national policy and be effective .In respect of silica sand changes are needed to make the policy accord with NPPF .
Suggested re wording as follows;

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
For sand and gravel, specific sites to deliver at least 20,313,300 tonnes of resources will be allocated. The sand and gravel landbank will be maintained at a level of at least 7 years supply THROUGHOUT THE PLAN PERIOD (excluding any contribution from borrow pits for major construction projects).

For carstone, a site or sites to deliver at least 340,200 tonnes of resources will be allocated. The landbank for carstone will be maintained at a level of at least 10 years' supply THROUGHOUT THE PLAN PERIOD.

For silica sand, sufficient sites and/or areas to deliver at least 10,500,000 tonnes of silica sand will be allocated. [Delete: The landbank] STOCKS OF PERMITTED RESERVES for silica sand will be maintained at a level of at least 10 years' [Delete: supply] PRODUCTION FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL SILICA SAND SITE OR AT LEAST 15 YEARS WHERE SIGNIFICANT NEW CAPITAL IS REQUIRED. [Delete: where practicable]. Planning applications for silica sand extraction located outside of allocated sites or areas of search, which would address the shortfall in permitted reserves, will be determined on their own merits in accordance with the policies in this Local Plan, including the requirements contained within Policy MP13.

Full text:

Please note that the MPA would wish to attend the EiP.
Comment:
Vision
We agree with the principle of the vision but suggest change in wording in respect of the safeguarding vision in that mention should be made to the agent of change detailed in the NPPF (para 182) and make the vision compliant with National Policy.

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

Mineral Strategic Objective
The following adjustments are suggested to the following objectives to make the to properly reflect NPPF;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)

MSO1. To provide a steady and adequate supply of aggregate minerals AND TO PROVIDE AT LEAST A 7-YEAR LAND BANK FOR SAND AND GRAVEL, AND 10-YEAR LANDBANK FOR CARSTONE, by identifying adequate mineral extraction sites/areas within Norfolk sufficient to meet the requirements of the Local Aggregate Assessment and safeguarding existing infrastructure.

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

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

MSO5. To promote the sustainable transport of minerals by rail, road and water, including the safeguarding of railheads and wharfs for the import of minerals to and export of minerals from Norfolk. THE 'AGENT OF CHANGE' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ANY NEW PROPOSED development impacting on safeguarded sites.

Biodiversity and Geological Conservation
Para 8.18 to 8.21
We consider that the above paragraphs do not properly reflect NPPF in that the Plan as drafted does not properly distinguish between the hierarchy of international, national and locally designated sites as required by paragraph 171 of the NPPF. As such the Plan is unsound.

Historic Environment
Para 8.28 to 8.30
In the absence of a specific policy on this topic we believe the text needs to better reflect the NPPF at paragraph 189;
"The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets' importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance."
While the text goes some way to this by using the phrase 'in a manner appropriate to their significance', we believe that there is a difference between proportionate and appropriate. Proportionate goes to the amount of time/resource needed to determine the impact of a development proposal on a heritage asset.
In addition, as drafted the text could be interpreted that all heritage assets regardless of significance must be preserved.
For the above reasons the text is unsound as it does not align with nation al policy and is also not effective. The text needs to be redrafted to reflect national policy.

Policy MW3: Transport
Suggested altered wording for the last bullet point of the policy as follows to make the policy effective;

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
WHERE PRACTICAL AND appropriate measures to reduce car travel to the site by workers and visitors and encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport.
This alteration is made to prevent a dogmatic approach being taken. We have examples of cycle racks needing to be provided when it was clearly impractical for individuals to safely cycle to the site.

Policy MW4: Climate Change
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
g) incorporate proposals for sustainable travel, including travel plans where PRACTICAL AND appropriate.
Due to the often-isolated nature of mineral workings public transport or cycling are not practical. Therefore, the additional wording is suggested to make the policy effective and preventing unnecessary work for the developer/applicant.

Policy MW6: Agricultural soils
It is felt that the last bullet point is unnecessary and could dilute the policy in terms of the importance of agricultural restoration. With climate change the ability to have land to grow food will become even more important. The proposed changes make the policy effective.
The wording of the policy needs adjusting as follows:

Proposed Changes
Where development is proposed on agricultural land, the County Council has a clear preference for locating new mineral extraction and associated activities, and composting facilities, on land of agricultural grades 3b, 4 and 5.
Development proposals affecting Grade 1 agricultural land will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances, where it is demonstrated that there are no alternative locations for the development.
In addition to the above, when minerals development, particularly extraction, is proposed on agricultural land of grades 1, 2 or 3a it will [DELETE: only] be permitted where:
* Provision is made for high standards of soil management that would enable restoration to a condition at least as good as its previous agricultural quality. To demonstrate this, soil and land quality surveys, and soil handling and replacement strategies (based upon Defra's 'Good Practice Guide for Handling Soils') must be submitted to the County Planning Authority; or
DELETE THE FOLLOWING TEXT: "The benefit of restoring the land to another after-use can be shown to outweigh the loss of the agricultural use of the land."
Policy MP1: Provision for minerals extraction
Changes are required to make it clear that the landbanks levels have to be maintained so they are in place at the end of the plan period to make the policy accord with national policy and be effective .In respect of silica sand changes are needed to make the policy accord with NPPF .
Suggested re wording as follows;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
For sand and gravel, specific sites to deliver at least 20,313,300 tonnes of resources will be allocated. The sand and gravel landbank will be maintained at a level of at least 7 years supply THROUGHOUT THE PLAN PERIOD (excluding any contribution from borrow pits for major construction projects).
For carstone, a site or sites to deliver at least 340,200 tonnes of resources will be allocated. The landbank for carstone will be maintained at a level of at least 10 years' supply THROUGHOUT THE PLAN PERIOD.
For silica sand, sufficient sites and/or areas to deliver at least 10,500,000 tonnes of silica sand will be allocated. [Delete: The landbank] STOCKS OF PERMITTED RESERVES for silica sand will be maintained at a level of at least 10 years' [Delete: supply] PRODUCTION FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL SILICA SAND SITE OR AT LEAST 15 YEARS WHERE SIGNIFICANT NEW CAPITAL IS REQUIRED. [Delete: where practicable]. Planning applications for silica sand extraction located outside of allocated sites or areas of search, which would address the shortfall in permitted reserves, will be determined on their own merits in accordance with the policies in this Local Plan, including the requirements contained within Policy MP13.

Policy MP2: Spatial Strategy for mineral extraction - STRATEGIC POLICY
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 and the development management process. Arbitrary buffers risk the sterilisation of workable mineral when they could be satisfactorily worked without impact.
There is no evidential basis for the buffers and the policy is unsound as it is not effective and is not positive planning.

Policy MP10: safeguarding of port and rail facilities, and facilities for the manufacture of concrete, asphalt and recycled materials
The MPA welcomes and support the reference to the 'agent of change' principle in paragraph MP10.3 of the supporting text. However, it is felt that for the purposes of clarity and effectiveness the wording of the policy should be adjusted as follows to apply the 'agent of change' principle;

Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
The County Council will safeguard:
a) Existing, planned and potential rail heads, rail links to quarries, wharfage and associated storage, handing and processing facilities for the bulk transport by rail, sea or inland waterways of minerals, including recycled, secondary and marine-dredged materials; and
b) Existing, planned and potential sites for concrete batching, the manufacture of coated materials, other concrete products and the handling, processing and distribution of PRIMARY, substitute, recycled and secondary aggregate material.
Development proposals within 250 metres of the above minerals related facilities should demonstrate that they would not prevent or prejudice the use of those facilities. THE 'AGENT OF CHANGE' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ALL SUCH DEVELOPMENT.

Policy MP11: Mineral Safeguarding Areas and Mineral Consultation Areas.
For the same reasons as stated for Policy MP10 wording of the policy should be altered to incorporate the 'agent of change' principle as follows;
Proposed Changes (new text in CAPITALS)
Policy MP11: Minerals Safeguarding Areas and Minerals Consultation Areas
The County Council will safeguard existing, permitted and allocated mineral extraction sites from inappropriate development proposals. Minerals Consultation Areas are delineated on the Policies Map and extend to 250 metres from each safeguarded site. Development proposals within 250 metres of a safeguarded site should demonstrate that they would not prevent or prejudice the use of the safeguarded site for mineral extraction, AND THE AGENT OF CHANGE PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED IN ALL SUCH CASES. The County Council will object to development proposals which would prevent or prejudice the use of safeguarded sites for mineral extraction.

Other Comment

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

The MPA would like to be present at any EiP.

Comment

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98868

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Essex County Council

Representation:

The over-arching principles of Policy MP1 are supported although the appropriateness of the need figures for sand and gravel and silica sand are questioned on the basis of the representations made with regard to the 'sand and gravel requirements and shortfall' section and Paragraph MP1.10.

Full text:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Norfolk Minerals & Waste Local Plan Preferred Options, July 2019.

Essex County Council acting as the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority would like to make the following comments:

Vision
The intention for Norfolk to be self-sufficient in sand and gravel production and waste management, where practicable, is supported. The continuing recognition that Norfolk is an important supplier at the national level of silica sand is also welcomed, as is the acknowledgement of the need to safeguard minerals and waste infrastructure.

The current Vision seeks to avoid 'unacceptable adverse impacts on the amenity of local communities, the natural, built and historic environment, the landscape and townscape of Norfolk. Opportunities to enhance such features will be supported.' The intention is supported but it is noted that the Government have mandated that new development should result in net biodiversity gain. It is considered that this should be bought out within the Vision and/or the Strategic Objectives, as well as relevant policy.

Mineral Strategic Objectives - MSO1
It is considered that MSO1 would benefit from being re-drafted to mirror the drafting of MSO2. The stated aim of MSO1 is (inter-alia) 'To provide a steady and adequate supply of aggregate ... sufficient to meet the requirements of the Local Aggregate Assessment'. The Local Aggregate Assessment is a reporting and forecasting tool and therefore does not strictly contain a specific 'requirement'. MSO2 refers to the intention 'To provide a steady and adequate supply of industrial minerals...sufficient to meet the forecast need'. It is considered that MSO1 would benefit from being redrafted to also reflect the intention to meet a forecasted need. A supporting reference could set out that the LAA assists in the establishment of need forecasts.

General Policies
Policy MW3 - Transport
The plan makers may wish to consider including a hierarchy of preference for transportation routes to ensure that site promoters are required to expressly consider the most sustainable route to the nearest Principal Road or Main Distributor Road. This may aid in ensuring that applications demonstrate adherence to the provisions of Paragraph 9.5, Paragraph 9.6 and Paragraph W2.1b

Waste Specific Policies
Paragraph W0.5 - The paragraph references Article 16 of the Waste Framework Directive with regard to what is expected for compliance with the proximity principle
and self-sufficiency with respect to waste management. The Plan makers may wish to consider PPG Paragraph: 007 Reference ID: 28-007-20141016 as a secondary or replacement reference as this defines expectations for the same as they relate to waste planning authorities rather than Member States. It is recognised that the appropriateness of substituting the reference is tempered by the fact that the PPG is not strictly policy.

Policy WP1 - Waste management capacity to be provided
The methodologies used to forecast future waste need are considered to be appropriate. The current preferred approach of basing LACW growth on the growth profile set out in the Norfolk SHMA rather than that published by the ONS is supported, as is the utilisation of a locally derived figure for forecasting the need for C&I capacity over the plan period.
The approach to forecasting the future need of hazardous waste management facilities is acknowledged. Forecasting a reduction in need appears appropriate given the reduction in this type of waste that has been managed in the Plan area. However, as with any reduction in forecasted need, it is expected that robust monitoring of the accuracy of these forecasts will be carried out. It is also unclear from the information presented in the Waste Management Capacity Assessment 2017 why an annual reduction in hazardous waste arising of 6.6% has been selected over any other potential figure.

Paragraph W2.1 - The spatial strategy supporting text may benefit from recognising that a number of waste management facilities can be co-located to offer synergistic benefits. The paragraph should also recognise that particular waste management facilities will have locational requirements which restrict where they can be effectively located. This is already recognised in Policy WP2 and Section W3 and therefore it would be appropriate to include the recognition for locational requirements in the factors considered under this paragraph.

Policy WP2: Spatial Strategy for waste management facilities
The requirement for new or enhanced waste management facilities to be located within five miles of one of Norfolk's urban areas or three miles of one of the main towns is considered to be arbitrary and the appropriateness of this is questioned. The primary concern should be whether the site is near to the waste source. Economics will in any event restrict the distance a facility could be located from potential sources of waste material.

Paragraph W3.3 - A distinction could be made between strategic / permanent aggregate recycling facilities and those temporary aggregate recycling facilities which are commonly co-located with active mineral workings. This distinction is already recognised in Policy WP3 so could be mentioned within the supporting text.

Paragraph W4.1 - The following text could be inserted to qualify that recycled aggregate cannot always be used as a direct substitute for primary aggregate - 'Whilst the resultant material is typically lower grade, recycled inert material can still often act as a substitute for freshly excavated material.' In the same vein, it could be noted in a relevant part of the Plan that marine-won aggregate cannot always be used as a direct substitute for land-won aggregate.

Policy WP3 - Land potentially suitable for waste management facilities
Whilst it is recognised that the intentions behind Policy WP7 are positive, it is not considered appropriate to establish caveats for Council operated sites that do not apply to the full range of potential waste management facilities that the county may require. It is considered that Policy WP3 should be amended to include text along the following theme (wording amended from Policy WP7 - "Where sufficient information is submitted to demonstrate that no suitable sites consistent with Policy WP3 are available within the area to be served by the waste management facility, the development of a waste management facility may be acceptable on other sites provided there is an established need for the facility and the proposal is consistent with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW2 and the wider Development Plan."

Policy WP7 - Household Waste Recycling Centres
Whilst it is recognised that the intentions behind Policy WP7 are positive, it is not considered appropriate to establish caveats for Council operated sites that do not apply to the full range of potential waste management facilities that the county may require.

Policy WP17 - Safeguarded waste management facilities
The proposed approach is supported although it is considered that the operation of this policy would be significantly improved by delineating, by way of an appendix referred to in the policy, the nature of evidence that would be required to be submitted alongside a non-waste application such that the County Council could be satisfied that the proposed development would not impact on the operation of the current or future waste management facility.

It is also considered that the plan makers consider including extending safeguarding provisions to sites allocated for a waste use. Whilst it is noted that the current version of the emerging Plan includes no such waste allocations, this stance may change in the future, and the inclusion of 'allocated sites' in the policy wording at this juncture may future-proof the policy.

Mineral Specific Policies
Sand and gravel requirements and shortfall
The intention to provide aggregate above both the ten year and three year rolling averages is supported in recognition of the fact that the last three years of sales demonstrate an upward trend and that the ten year rolling average would fail to satisfy the last four years of production. It is agreed that sales over the last ten years have been significantly lower than the figure presented in the sub-national guidelines although it is further noted that sales prior to the recession were noticeably closer to the figure presented in the guidelines.

The argument of basing sand and gravel provision on a 20 year sale average is however questioned. The 20 year period is considered to 'take into account potential fluctuations in the economy' (Para MP1.6) whereas the Norfolk LAA 2017/18 states (Section 6.2) that 'modern methods of construction use considerably less aggregate than methods used in previous decades, and this decline in the intensity of aggregate use has been a continuing trend over a number of years.' This LAA statement brings into question the appropriateness of using 20 year old figures and appears to contradict the appropriateness of doing so as advocated by the Norfolk MWLP Paragraph MP1.6.

Notwithstanding the above, the 20 year sand and gravel production average equates to approximately 85% of current production. Whilst it is recognised that a direct parallel cannot be made, it is considered that the appropriateness of the 20 year production average figure needs to be justified, in qualitative terms, on the basis of both current rates of production / development in Norfolk and future rates of development. This assessment should also consider demand from significant projects such as the relatively proximate Sizewell C nuclear facility.

To clarify, ECC is not necessarily objecting to the annualised production figure that equates to the 20 year rolling sales average, but considers that this figure needs to be more robustly justified in the context of a comparison of current and future needs rather than that the figure simply equating to 20 years of rolling sales.
The intention to not offset the need for primary allocations with an assumed contribution from recycled and marine-won aggregate is supported.

Paragraph MP1.10 - The appropriateness of basing silica sand supply on an annual production figure of 750,000 is not understood on the basis of this figure failing to meet the three-year sales average since 2013. As noted in the Norfolk LAA 2017/18, Norfolk is a significant national supplier of silica sand and it is considered that the proposed annual production figure may represent under-provision.

Policy MP1 - Provision for mineral extraction
The over-arching principles of Policy MP1 are supported although the appropriateness of the need figures for sand and gravel and silica sand are questioned on the basis of the representations made with regard to the 'sand and gravel requirements and shortfall' section and Paragraph MP1.10.

Defining Areas of Search (for Silica Sand) and Policy MP2 - Spatial Strategy for mineral extraction
It is considered that Areas of Search should not be limited by factors that would not amount to show-stoppers for mineral working itself. For example, as a temporary land use, mineral extraction is not considered to have the same impact on heritage assets and their setting as more permanent forms of development. Mineral extraction may even present opportunities to improve the setting of heritage assets in the long-term through sympathetic restoration. As such, it is considered that Areas of Search should be re-defined to include all relevant land where mineral extraction could theoretically be permitted.

The requirement for all sites to be within five miles of one of Norfolk's urban areas or three miles of one of the main towns is considered to be arbitrary. It is questioned how much land otherwise suitable for mineral extraction would be lost through not conforming to this requirement.

Policy MP3 - Borrow Pits
The requirement for a borrow pit to be capable of being accessed from the construction project site either directly or via a short length of suitable highway is considered to be unduly restrictive and may unduly fetter the development management process. Further, rather than stipulating that the borrow pit must be worked and restored by the completion of the related construction project, it may be more appropriate to request that a restoration scheme is agreed as part of the construction project in order to potentially increase the scope for beneficial after-uses. The remaining provisions are supported.

Paragraph MP11.6 - This paragraph states that 'To ensure that the Mineral Safeguarding Areas are proportionate, the area covered by the MSA will include only those deposits which are most likely to be commercially viable.' On this point, it is noted that the aim of safeguarding mineral is to protect the mineral to allow its future use, which may be some way into the future. What is considered 'most likely to be commercially viable' may well change in the future. On that basis, it is considered more appropriate to safeguard the whole sand and gravel resource and apply a threshold above which planning applications within an MSA will be subject to safeguarding policy. . It is suggested that the plan makers consider the provisions of the POS/MPA Minerals Safeguarding Practice Guidance in relation to this issue.

Policy MP10: safeguarding of port and rail facilities, and facilities for the manufacture of concrete, asphalt and recycled materials and Policy MP11: Minerals Safeguarding Areas and Minerals Consultation Areas
The proposed policy approaches are supported although it is considered that the operation of these policies would be significantly improved by delineating, by way of an appendix referred to in each policy, the nature of evidence that would be required to be submitted alongside a non-mineral application such that the County Council could be satisfied that the proposed development would not have a detrimental impact on existing or allocated sites for mineral development. It is suggested that the plan makers consider the provisions of the POS/MPA Minerals Safeguarding Practice Guidance as a basis for the type of information that should inform the relevant assessments.

Comment

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 99039

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Brett Group

Agent: Heaton Planning Ltd

Representation:

Policy MP1 is seeking to ensure sufficient sites are allocated to deliver at least 20,313,300 tonnes of sand and gravel. This is supported. However, there needs to be some flexibility built into the Plan to ensure that sites not allocated could be brought forward to maintain production capacity in the County to meet anticipated annual production requirements. The County benefits from having so many sites operating. However, the Council can not control the applications being brought forward by industry. If there is a delay in Planning Applications or operational constraints affect production at a number of sites, the ability to meet the annual production requirement is affected unless other sites can be brought forward. The 20,313,300 tonnes is a forecast of demand and should not be perceived as a ceiling. The MPA's approach to 'resist' non allocated sites could threaten any flexibility.
The second part of the policy should be amended to read [new text in CAPITALS],
Mineral extraction for sand and gravel outside of allocated sites will be [delete: resisted] SUPPORTED by the Mineral Planning Authority [delete: unless] WHERE the applicant can demonstrate:
a) There is an overriding justification and/or overriding benefit for the proposed extraction, INCLUDING MAINTAINING A CONTINUITY IN SUPPLY AND OVERALL PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY, and
b) The proposal is consistent with all other relevant policies set out in the Development Plan.

Full text:

NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL: MINERALS AND WASTE LOCAL PLAN - PREFERRED OPTIONS CONSULTATION 2019
Please find to follow representations submitted on behalf of the Brett Group (Bretts). Bretts have previously made representations to the initial Plan Review consultation in 2018 and have submitted a site - MIN 38 Land at Waveney Forest, Fritton - for consideration by the Minerals Planning Authority (MPA) as a suitable allocation for sand and gravel extraction.
NORFOLK MINERALS AND WASTE LOCAL PLAN REVIEW - PREFERRED OPTIONS DOCUMENT
The process so far
Section 3 sets out the methodology for site assessments - including landscape, ecology, highways etc.
What is not clear from the site assessment and sustainability appraisal methodology is the balance applied to the impacts alongside the economic and social benefits. The NPPF (paragraph 8) is clear that achieving sustainable development means that the planning system has three overarching objectives, economic, social and environmental, which are interdependent and need to be pursued in mutually supportive ways (so that opportunities can be taken to secure net gains across each of the different objectives). Para 32 of NPPF (2019) states:
Local plans and spatial development strategies should be informed throughout their preparation by a sustainability appraisal that meets the relevant legal requirements. This should demonstrate how the plan has addressed the relevant economic, social and environmental objectives (including opportunities for net gains). Significant adverse impacts on these objectives should be avoided and, where possible, alternative options which reduce or eliminate such impacts should be pursued. Where significant adverse impacts are unavoidable, suitable mitigation measures should be proposed (or, where this is not possible, compensatory measures should be considered).
Whilst there is individual scoring on each sustainability appraisal objective for every site put forward (contained within the Sustainability Appraisal), there does not appear to be a clear process for illustrating how a judgement has been reached on whether to allocate a site or not and how sites with similar scoring on certain objectives have been taken forward or discounted. The methodology does not clearly provide a balance of the impacts - a number of sites clearly have numerous environmental sensitivities but do not constitute an objection in their own right. There should be some consideration of the cumulative impact of such effects. In addition, the deliverability of sites and their location in proximity to markets should be given weight in the overall balance.
Norfolk's Spatial Portrait
Paragraph 5.29 identifies there are, 'particular clusters of sand and gravel workings near to King's Lynn, in the north of Breckland District and around Norwich'. Whilst the MWLP is not advocating a locational strategy per se, the location of sites is to a certain degree dictated by proximity to market given the limited access to major roads within the County. This should be reflected within the overall strategy and greater weighting given to the potential for new development and the need for mineral sites to be located in close proximity to those markets.
Paragraph 5.30 states that, 'sand and gravel production in Norfolk was 1.511 million tonnes in 2018. The 10-year rolling average of sand and gravel sales was 1.361 million tonnes in the period 2009-2018. The 3-year rolling average of sand and gravel sales was 1.58 million tonnes in the period 2016-2018. The permitted reserves for sand and gravel extraction sites in Norfolk were 13.31 million tonnes at the end of 2018.
Based on the 10-year sales average, the permitted reserve provides a sand and gravel landbank of over 9 years. The 'trend' over the last 3 years is for a higher level of sales than the 10 year average. Using these figures the landbank is reduced to 8.4 years. Whilst this exceeds the requirements of the NPPF for at least 7 years, the latest LAA (December 2018) is indicating that there were no planning applications or planning permissions for new sand and gravel extraction in 2017. This needs to be kept under careful review to ensure that replenishment rates do not affect long term supply of sand and gravel.
The Strategy - Vision and Objectives
Minerals and Waste Local Plan Vision to 2036:
1st para - Norfolk will continue to be self-sufficient in the production of sand & gravel, whilst making an important contribution to the national production of silica sand. A steady and adequate supply of minerals to support sustainable economic growth will be planned for through allocating sufficient sites and/or areas in the Plan to meet the forecast need for sand and gravel, carstone, and silica sand, as required by national planning policy
Whilst the MWLP is proposing the County to be 'self sufficient' in the production of sand and gravel, the location of sites to market is an important consideration. Sole reliance on sites within the County to meet demand does not take account of the spatial strategy (Policy MP2) which is advocating sites are located close to urban/growth areas.

3rd para - All mineral workings will be covered by progressive restoration schemes
This is not in accordance with para 205(e) of the NPPF (2019) which recommends restoration should be at the earliest opportunity. It is not always possible to put in place a progressive restoration scheme, we recommend the wording is amended to be in accordance with NPPF.

Minerals Strategic Objectives [proposed new text in CAPITALS]
The following wording changes are suggested to MS01 to accord with paragraph 207(a) of the NPPF. This would also bring objective MSO1 in line with MSO2 for industrial minerals. Reference to the importance of safeguarding mineral resources should be a separate objective.
MSO1. To provide a steady and adequate supply of aggregate minerals by identifying adequate mineral extraction sites/areas within Norfolk sufficient to meet the FUTURE DEMAND requirements FORECAST WITHIN [delete: of] the Local Aggregate Assessment [delete: and safeguarding existing infrastructure].
MSO4 - requiring the justification for the potential sterilisation of minerals from competing development interests is supported.
MSO7 - para 204(g) of the NPPF (2018) recognises that some noisy short term activities, which may otherwise be regarded as unacceptable, are unavoidable to facilitate minerals extraction. MSO7 should be reworded to conform with NPPF.
MSO7. To ensure potential impacts on the amenity of those people living in proximity to minerals development are effectively controlled, minimised and MITIGATED TO ACCEPTABLE LEVELS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ADOPTED STANDARDS.
MSO9 - a mineral operator cannot always guarantee a positive contribution to natural, built and historic environment, particularly when the operator does not own the land with the landowner seeking different aspirations. The objective should be to seek to positively contribute.
Development Management Criteria
Policy MW2 - Development Management Criteria
Policy MW2 is supported - the policy is in line with NPPF, in particular the final requirement on restoration recognising that environmental enhancements sought where appropriate. However, this is contrary to the earlier Vision and Objectives. The Vision and Objectives should be amended to seek conformity throughout the plan and with NPPF.

Policy MW4 - Climate Change
Whilst the principle of reducing the climate change impact of new development is accepted, Criteria C of Policy MW4 should be deleted as it is not reasonable and overly onerous on operators. It is not clear how this would even be measured let alone controlled/enforced.

Policy MW6 - Agricultural soils
Policy MW6 is supported. The final bullet point of Policy MW6 state, 'the benefit of restoring the land to another after-use can be shown to outweigh the loss of the agricultural use of the land.' This is supported and in accordance with NPPF. However, this approach needs to be reflected in strategic objective MSO9 which requires landscape and biodiversity improvements, this cannot always be the case, MSO9 should be amended to reflect Policy MW6.
Waste Management Specific Policies
Policy WP3 - Land uses potentially suitable for waste management facilities
Policy WP3 identifies that waste management facilities at existing mineral workings and landfill sites may be considered acceptable on a temporary basis with planning permission restricted to a cessation date for the mineral operation or landfill activities. We consider that greater flexibility should be provided within the Policy - there can be occasions when it is appropriate to retain a facility, for example recycling, that can benefit from the retention of infrastructure and continue to serve the markets established. This would support the overall strategic objective WSO1. We recommend Policy WP3 should provide greater flexibility and be amended accordingly.

Policy WP4 - Recycling or transfer of inert construction, demolition and excavation waste
As with Policy WP3, Policy WP4 seeks to restrict waste management operations to the life of the mineral operation. We do not consider that this is always necessary or appropriate and there may be opportunities for long term use of facilities to serve existing markets. It is recommended that Policy WP4 is less restrictive.
Notwithstanding the above, the second part of the policy, repeats the requirements of the first and it is not clear why it is necessary as it serves the same purpose.
[Delete: 'Applications to vary planning conditions to extend the time for recycling operations on mineral workings will only be acceptable where:
a) there are exceptional circumstances to justify why the timely restoration of the mineral workings set out in the extant planning permission could not be completed;
b) the recycling operation is ancillary to the primary land use of mineral extraction at the site; and
c) the recycling operation would cease no later than the cessation date of the planning permission for the mineral extraction operation.']

Policy WP11 - Disposal of inert waste by landfill
Policy WP11 is supported and could be extended by including the importation of inert waste where it is necessary for agricultural improvement as part of criterion (d).
Minerals Specific Policies
NCC (paragraph MP1.6) propose to use the last 20 years average of 1.868mtpa rather than the 10 year average of 1.361mtpa or 3 year trend of 1.58mtpa. The justification for this is to enable a sufficient quantity of sand and gravel resources to be available over the 20 year plan period and would take into account potential fluctuations in the economy. The Plan recognises a need to provide for an additional 20,313,300 tonnes of sand and gravel. This has reduced from 23,063,560 tonnes since the previous consultation in August 2018. Whilst this positive approach to securing a steady and adequate supply of aggregates is supported, careful consideration needs to be given to the replenishment rates of sand and gravel sites, their location as well as production capacity to meet the annual production requirement. It is not considered that the annual monitoring/LAA captures this adequately.

Policy MP1 - provision for minerals extraction
Policy MP1 is seeking to ensure sufficient sites are allocated to deliver at least 20,313,300 tonnes of sand and gravel. This is supported. However, there needs to be some flexibility built into the Plan to ensure that sites not allocated could be brought forward to maintain production capacity in the County to meet anticipated annual production requirements. The County benefits from having so many sites operating. However, the Council can not control the applications being brought forward by industry. If there is a delay in Planning Applications or operational constraints affect production at a number of sites, the ability to meet the annual production requirement is affected unless other sites can be brought forward. The 20,313,300 tonnes is a forecast of demand and should not be perceived as a ceiling. The MPA's approach to 'resist' non allocated sites could threaten any flexibility.
The second part of the policy should be amended to read [new text in CAPITALS],
Mineral extraction for sand and gravel outside of allocated sites will be [delete: resisted] SUPPORTED by the Mineral Planning Authority [delete: unless] WHERE the applicant can demonstrate:
a) There is an overriding justification and/or overriding benefit for the proposed extraction, INCLUDING MAINTAINING A CONTINUITY IN SUPPLY AND OVERALL PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY, and
b) The proposal is consistent with all other relevant policies set out in the Development Plan.

Policy MP2 Spatial strategy for minerals extraction
Paragraph MP2.5 identifies, Norfolk's urban areas and main towns are the locations where there will be the greatest need for a supply of aggregate for new housing developments and associated infrastructure'.
Policy MP2: Spatial Strategy for mineral extraction states:
'Within the resource areas identified on the key diagram, specific sites for sand and gravel or carstone extraction should be located within five miles of one of Norfolk's urban areas or three miles of one of the main towns (detailed in the supporting text) and/or be well-related to one of Norfolk's urban areas or main towns via appropriate transport infrastructure'.
The MPA is not proposing to allocate any sites within the Great Yarmouth area. Within the listed settlement hierarchy Great Yarmouth is in the highest tier as an urban area (Paragraph MP2.6). The Council are advocating a 'self sufficiency' in overall sand and gravel supply for the County without giving due consideration to a spread of aggregate site allocations to ensure that the need can be met. The assumption that demand will be supplied from somewhere within the County does not meet the spatial strategy approach advocated in Policy MP2 to locate sites close to the anticipated demand - i.e major growth areas. We do not believe this secures a steady and adequate supply of sand and gravel to the Great Yarmouth area and the Council should be allocating additional reserves. These additional reserves could be secured through the allocation of land at MIN38 - Waveney Forest, Fritton.
Great Yarmouth is constrained by the presence of 'The Broads' National Park. Therefore, limited opportunities for sites to be located close to it. There is one major active sand and gravel site - Cemex's Norton Subcourse Quarry - in close proximity to Great Yarmouth (circa 15 miles). Planning permission was granted for an extension to this site in 2015 (C/7/2012/7017). At that time it was proposed to extract 2.3 million tonnes of sand and gravel at a rate of between 100,000 and 200,000 tpa - between 11 and 21 years of operational life. At a worst case operating at the lower rate of 100,000tpa, the site is likely to be exhausted during the Plan period unless other extensions are put forward (none of which appear to have been promoted to the Plan). Even this site has to use the A143 and pass through the National Park area. The other nearest sites appears to be the LP Group operating Kirby Cane Quarry (planning permission expires in 2025) and Burgh Castle. Land at Welcome Pit to the north of Burgh Castle has been promoted but has been considered unsuitable for allocation because the local road network is sub standard. Even if this site were considered suitable for allocation the reserve and annual tonnage are so small that they would not make a meaningful contribution to the landbank and year on year supply of aggregate to the local market.
The site at MIN38 - Waveney Forest, Fritton, could secure a long term solution to mineral supply in this location without having to move through the National Park boundary.

Policy MP5 - Core River Valleys
Paragraph MP5.4 identifies that the Core River Valleys are not formally designated for their landscape or biodiversity interest. Policy MP5 seeks protection to the Core River Valleys that is over and above the protection offered in the NPPF to sites of national landscape and biodiversity importance. There is also no weighting of the importance of mineral extraction against the potential for any impact (which could be mitigated/compensated). The policy should not preclude all development, but it is accepted it is appropriate to caveat with the requirement to assess any impact.
Policy MP9 - Concrete batching and asphalt plants
Policy MP9 limits the use to the life of the quarry, it is sometimes beneficial to retain the use of ancillary facilities after the mineral operation has been completed making full use of a developed access and transport links and facilitating an existing market. Retaining existing plant and facilities and importing mineral from satellite sites may actually have some local amenity benefits and limit potential impacts.
The second paragraph could be amended as follows [proposed new text in CAPITALS]:
At sand and gravel workings, planning permission will be limited to the end date of the quarry permission, or to when the indigenous material no longer forms the majority of the feedstock being used, whichever is the sooner, UNLESS THERE ARE OTHER OVERRIDING REASONS/JUSTIFICATIONS FOR THE PLANT'S RETENTION.
PROMOTION OF MIN 38 - WAVENEY FOREST, FRITTON
In a response to Norfolk County Council's 'Call for Sites' a comprehensive submission was made on behalf of the Brett Group promoting land at Waveney Forest, Fritton. The submission included a detailed assessment of the potential environmental and amenity impacts that may arise from the development of a new sand and gravel quarry at Fritton.
The individual site assessment contained within the Draft Plan has concluded the site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation because:
* * The harm to the significance of Waveney Forest as an example of a WW2 training area could not be appropriately mitigated, as the significance relates to the area as a whole.
* * The site is located within the Broads; there are more acceptable alternative sites for sand and gravel extraction proposed in the Plan in accordance with paragraph 205 (a) of the NPPF and there are not exceptional circumstances for mineral extraction at this site in accordance with paragraph 172 of the NPPF.

In regard to the Historic Environment the assessment states,
Historic environment: The historic landscape character of the site is 18th to 20th Century plantation woodland. The site is within a wider historic landscape character of 20th century agriculture with enclosure, boundary loss and boundary loss with a relict element; pastoral farming, and agriculture with 18th to 19th century piecemeal enclosure. The wider historic landscape character also includes modern built up areas of linear settlements, small farm clusters, nucleated clusters and urban development; and drained reclaimed enclosed land (rectilinear enclosure from 19th to 20th century). The wider historic landscape character also includes drained enclosed rectilinear grazing marsh (17th to 20th century enclosure), a historic earthwork, leisure/recreation, informal parkland, sea defences, saltings, a reservoir and woodland (18th to 19th century plantation woodland, carr woodland and regenerated alder carr woodland).
The nearest Listed Building is the Grade II* Drainage Pump which is 260m away. There are 20 Listed Buildings within 2km of the site. There are two locally listed heritage assets within the site, the remains of a WW2 firing range and a concrete railway bridge, although these are not within the proposed extraction areas. The nearest Scheduled Monument is St Olave's Priory, which is 390m away. There are 2 Scheduled Monuments within 2km of the site. Halvergate Marshes Conservation Area is adjacent to the site boundary and Haddiscoe Conservation Area is 330m from the site. There are no Registered Historic Parks and Gardens within 2km of the site. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required.
Archaeology: This site could reveal nationally important remains for early and middle Pleistocene early human settlements in NW Europe, perhaps linking to finds at Norton Subcourse and Pakefield (in Suffolk). There are Historic Environment records of features in the site most of which are linked to a WW2 military site possibly a training site, within the site boundary. The proposer of the site has indicated two extraction areas within the wider site area; neither the local listed features (remains of a WW2 firing range, and a former railway bridge) are within these extraction areas. A number of undesignated heritage assets have been provisionally identified which may be linked to the WW2 training area. The site is currently a commercial forestry plantation within which felling operations take place, which involve the use of heavy vehicles and earth moving operations. These operations may have degraded the undesignated heritage assets, although good practice for tree felling operations states that archaeological features should be protected. Therefore, an assessment of the significance of archaeological deposits will be required at the planning application stage, in order to protect and mitigate the impact of mineral extraction in this site. However, the Norfolk Historic Environment Service have stated that they consider that no appropriate mitigation or modification of the site would be able to prevent harm to the undesignated heritage assets which as a whole make up the significance of the WW2 training area, of which few examples remain.
The final few sentences of the extract have been underlined because they clearly contradict one another. We believe that the site is able to be developed for quarrying purposes. Within the submission by Brett for the Call for Sites a detailed heritage appraisal was undertaken - a summary of the report is provided below:
Direct Impacts on Heritage Assets - The site is known to contain military structures dating from WWI and predominantly WWII. Some of these are solidly engineered in concrete, whilst the majority are understood to be of more flimsy construction making use of wood, chicken wire and corrugated iron.
The PAA may also retain earlier archaeology, in particular from the later prehistoric period.
In the past 5 years tree felling has occurred across approximately 60% of the proposed extraction areas. This has involved heavy machinery, including evidence of some ground reduction caused by the windrowing of the wastage. The damage caused to archaeology, both military and earlier, could not be quantified on the site visit, but it is considered that it could be significant.
Should this site be allocated, a thorough survey should be carried out using GPS and photography to create a catalogue of archaeology. Some archaeological evaluation may be required. This would allow an assessment of the distribution, form, condition and significance of all archaeology within the PAA.
Opportunities - Any future planning application would require a mitigation strategy to manage the archaeological resource. This would involve a combination of preservation in situ, excavation and recording.
The majority of the military structures identified in the 2009 survey by Warner and Wilby lie outside or on the periphery of the proposed extraction areas and preservation in situ of these outliers should be the objective.
These were only temporary structures and in time they will inevitably decay and collapse through natural processes. Excavation and recording of a selection of structure types within the extraction areas would be an important contribution to our understanding of how they were constructed and operated.
Consideration should be given to the consolidation of some of the military remains to ensure their preservation for the future. There is also potential to create an educational resource, based around any consolidated structures should the restoration concept permit, that would be an important public benefit.
This approach has been adopted elsewhere, for example at Binnegar Quarry, Dorset where an auxiliary bunker has been archaeologically excavated and the results will form the focus of a display in an on-site education centre recounting the history of the Auxiliary Units in Dorset
The Heritage Appraisal reaches the following conclusion:
"On current evidence, there are no overriding constraints to the allocation of this site and, from an archaeological and heritage perspective and subject to appropriate mitigation, the proposals provide opportunities for educational benefit and conform to national planning policy and guidance."
The current Consultation Documents produced by the County Council acknowledge that:
* * no local listed feature falls within the proposed extraction area;
* * the site is commercial forestry plantation within which felling operations take place, which involve the use of heavy vehicles and earth moving operations;
* * commercial forestry operation may have degraded the undesignated heritage assets;
* * further archaeological assessment work will be required.

The sites complete heritage significance is currently unknown. Some features which are recognised as having some historic significance (solid and brick built structures which are designated at local level) are excluded from any potential working scheme. Features which require further investigation relate to temporary structures used for an unknown purpose. They are not built of solid construction but a combination of wire, wooden posts and corrugated sheeting. None of which would survive long term and, as acknowledged, there is the potential they have already been damaged by commercial forestry activities.
A meeting took place with the County Council on 17th October 2019 to discuss the potential opportunity that could arise from a quarry development and mineral operator involvement to allow for proper archaeological assessment. Pending these investigations there is also opportunity through a considered restoration scheme for some acknowledgement and memorial to former military uses.
At the meeting held with the Norfolk Historic Environment Service it was acknowledged that it is difficult to say that, 'no appropriate mitigation or modification of the site would be able to prevent harm to the undesignated heritage assets which as a whole make up the significance of the WW2 training area, of which few examples remain', without further assessment to ascertain the significance of the asset. The Norfolk Historic Environment Service are going to liaise with the Company over the potential proportionate scope for further assessment work. This will likely include further desk based analysis and field work which the Company are prepared to consider.
In regard to Landscape Designations, the assessment states:
The site is not located within the AONB, or a Core River Valley. 43 hectares of the site are within the Broads Authority Executive Area, including one of the extraction areas, and part of the other; the NPPF states that local planning authorities should "as far as practicable, provide for the maintenance of landbanks of non-energy minerals from outside the Broads". The site is within the landscape character area described as 'Waveney Rural Wooded Valley' in the Great Yarmouth Borough Landscape Character Assessment. The Broads Authority Landscape Character Assessment classifies the part of the site within the Broads as outside the 'St Olaves to Burgh Castle' landscape character area. The proposal is that a screen of trees would be retained between the extraction areas and the 'St Olaves to Burgh Castle' landscape character area to the west and north of the site and protect long distance views.
The majority of the site comprises woodland, split between a larger area of conifer plantation, with remnant areas of heath, on the higher land and broadleaf woodland on the valley floor. An area of marshland/reedbed along the river edge is excluded from the proposed site. Expansive views of the afforested margins of the site can be seen across the marshes from the railway, the A149 and from the public rights of way along the Rivers Waveney and Yare and the New Cut. In addition, views of the edge of the conifer plantation can be seen from the edge of Fritton and New Road. The higher areas of the site within the coniferous plantations, generally the land to the south and east, would be screened by the retention of a screen of significant blocks of coniferous woodland with additional woodland planting.
The proposed haul route accesses the site from the south from the A143. Although there are highway verges with hedges and mature trees along the highway corridor, the bunding and screening of the haul route would need to be designed carefully to ensure that the impact on the setting of the Waveney Forest is acceptable and the tarmac surfacing of the road (necessary for dust suppression) would add an urbanising element to the landscape. However, with the removal of the road and removal of the screen bunds on restoration the impacts are considered acceptable in landscape terms.
A landscape and visual impact assessment of the proposed development from the wider Broads landscape would be required at any planning application stage. The landscape mitigation, restoration proposals and design approach would need to be informed by this assessment and by the relevant Landscape Character Assessments.
The NPPF (paragraph 172) advocates, 'great weight should be given to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty which have the highest status of protection in relation to these issues'. Although part of the site falls within the Broads Executive Area, the above landscape character descriptions appear to acknowledge that the site conflicts with the wider landscape character of the 'Broads' area. It is also likely that the Broads area boundary was established by the presence of the old railway line that cuts through the proposed site. This formed a logical boundary. Subsequent uses including woodland planting/forestry have further eroded the potential significance this specific area contributes to the wider landscape character. Existing landscape features also protect long distance views.
It is accepted that the NPPF (paragraph 205) seeks to maintain landbanks for minerals outside of these designated areas. However, as referred above, it is perceived that this area is not making an essential contribution to the landscape character. As such, temporary mineral extraction operations (screened by the presence of existing landscape features) are unlikely to cause significant harm to the designation. In addition, mineral extraction could facilitate restoration to uses more appropriate for this sites location situated within the Broads Executive Area.
The Sustainability Appraisal
We have some concerns with the Sustainability Appraisal scoring for land at Waveney Forest, Fritton:
SA1 - It is unclear why some sites score more positively than others when they are similar distances to main towns. Why has a score of '+' rather than '++' been given? The site is in close proximity to two urban areas / main towns, Great Yarmouth and Gorelston on Sea. As referred to above, the Plan is proposing a spatial strategy with preference for mineral sites located close to the likely markets they will serve.
SA5 - We have concerns that the evaluation within the SA is not taken forward to the assessment. Sites with known heritage interests in close proximity are proposed for allocation with no clear indication on mitigation. Further to our comments above, the proposals for Waveney Forest do not have any impact on any designated asset. There is no justification for a score of '- -' post extraction on the site. Brett have offered a restoration scheme that would build on the heritage interest in the area and provide beneficial opportunities. This has not been recognised in any of the assessment documents produced by the County Council to date.
SA8 - why has a '-' score been applied when it is acknowledged that there will be no impact upon any designated landscape and the existing woodland will screen the proposed development?
SA11 - a score of '++' should be applied due to the proximity of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston on Sea and the lack of other allocated sites in closer proximity.
Conclusions
The site is located approximately 9km from Great Yarmouth, the emerging Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review sets out a 'locational preference' to potential site allocations which are 'close and/ or well related' to the Great Yarmouth Urban Area. This is such a site and it is understood by the promoter to be the closest land-won aggregate site to Great Yarmouth with reserves throughout the Plan period. No other major sites are being taken forward as allocations within the Great Yarmouth area leading to increased haulage distance from other allocations/operations. Furthermore, there are no other major extraction operations within the immediate vicinity which would lead to consideration of cumulative effects. Land to the north of Welcome Pit, Burgh Castle has been promoted but has been considered unsuitable for allocation because the local road network is sub standard. Even if this site were considered suitable for allocation the reserve and annual tonnage are so small that they would not make a meaningful contribution to the landbank and year on year supply of aggregate to the local market.
The main impact of the proposals relates to heritage interest and potential for structures from WW2. These are predominantly temporary structures (for example constructed of timber, chicken wire, corrugated iron and sandbags) and that the cycle of forestry planting and felling will potentially have destroyed or significantly affected these remains. Mineral extraction offers an opportunity to survey, excavate and record, as well as consolidating and preserving archaeological artefacts in situ for future generations.
By adopting the approach preferred by Brett and the landowner, the site will be able to offer a net biodiversity gain creating ecological habitats that are more in keeping with the local environment including woodland, wetland / wet woodland on restoration. In addition to long term habitat creation and protection, wider benefits will be derived from the development through comprehensive restoration including opportunities for public access and interpretation of heritage assets.
The public benefit derived from these proposals outweigh the potential damage, as set out in NPPF.
It is therefore submitted that the site represents an ideal opportunity for allocation for sand and gravel extraction as part of the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review.
I trust that the above comments are helpful. Should you have any queries or wish to discuss any of the points raised in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.