MP2. Spatial strategy for minerals extraction

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Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98596

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Carter Concrete Limited

Agent: David L Walker Ltd

Representation:

Under paragraph MP2.6 the company would question the definition of a Main Town as this does not appear to list the town of Sherringham which is a clear development centre identified under local policy documents.

In respect of Policy MP2, paragraph 23 of the NPPF states "Broad locations for development should be indicated on a key diagram, and landuse designations and allocations identified on a policies map." The spatial definition identified is suggested to be too narrow to meet the broad criteria identified above and is therefore not consistent with national policy as it does not take account of the unique facet of minerals extraction (i.e. they can only be worked where they are found).

Full text:

We are instructed by Carter Concrete (part of the RG Carter Group) to prepare and submit representations on the Preferred Options consultation of the Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review.
Carter Concrete own and operate the existing sand and gravel pit at Beeston Regis. The site benefits from an allocation for an eastern extension (site MIN69 under the adopted MSA). The company is promoting the same area of land under this emerging plan (retaining the reference MIN 69).


Addressing each in turn.
1. General policy comments
Carter Concrete would support the Vision promoted by the council in section 6 of the document. However, the company would like to see emphasis placed on the value and significance of minerals and waste development in providing a diverse and affluent rural economy consistent with Paragraph 83 of the NPPF.

Carter Concrete is pleased to see the council's commitment to Sustainable Development, but is disappointed to note that the council haven't provided a clear policy in this regard. Such an approach is clearly not consistent with the NPPF nor the attendant Planning Practice Guidance. The council already has a policy in this regard (SD1 of the Mineral Site Allocations DOD 2017) which could be easily translated into this emerging policy document.

The company would support Policy MW2, but would suggest that in the final paragraph when considering potential environmental benefits this could clearly states geo-diversity benefits where applicable.

Regarding Policy MW3 whist the company supports the aspiration for the use of other transport modes more often that not such avenues are not available, and as such the term "Where appropriate" should replace the word "All".

No comments are offered on the remainder of the general or the waste policies.

As regards to the mineral policies the contents of paragraphs MP1-MP10 inclusive are supported in full. No comments are offered on the remainder of the strategic landbank type policies for the other minerals.

Under paragraph MP2.6 the company would question the definition of a Main Town as this does not appear to list the town of Sherringham which is a clear development centre identified under local policy documents.

In respect of Policy MP2, paragraph 23 of the NPPF states "Broad locations for development should be indicated on a key diagram, and landuse designations and allocations identified on a policies map." The spatial definition identified is suggested to be too narrow to meet the broad criteria identified above and is therefore not consistent with national policy as it does not take account of the unique facet of minerals extraction (i.e. they can only be worked where they are found).

Paragraph MP7.6 refers to Green Infrastructure mapping. It is suggested that a high-resolution copy of the map provided is either included as an appendix or a weblink, as the drawing provided is of low quality and cannot be easily used on an interpretive basis.

It is considered that Policy MP7 should apply equally to extensions as well as new sites.

It is respectfully suggested that Policies MP9 and MP10 could be expanded to include reference to precast blockworks to use indigenous materials and aggregate bagging plants, as both are viable forms of ancillary development at aggregates sites in principal.

2. Comments on site MIN 69
Carter Concrete has recently submitted a planning application (ref FUL/2019/0001) to receive approximately half of the mineral resource identified in this allocation profile. This is as a sustainable and logical extension to the current site utilising the processing and access infrastructure of the latter. A Regulation 25 response is being collated and will shortly be submitted to address matters raised through the consultation process in the determination of the planning application.

Carter Concrete would confirm that the boundary on the allocation map is correct but would state that the indicative site buffer illustrated in the south of the allocation are is no longer proposed. This was proposed to provide a means of mitigation in view of the proposal to remove part of the existing woodland around the current site. This proposal no longer forms part of the scheme and therefore the mitigation isn't required. It is therefore proposed that the area indicated as the herringbone hatch on the plan is no longer required and should be included in the allocation area.

A plan confirming this proposed change is attached. This also illustrates a 100m radius around the allocation area, with the only potentially sensitive receptors situated south of Holt Road which is a clear and apparent source of acoustic and air quality impacts. Carter Concrete would not disagree with the wording of paragraph M69.1 which is factual in nature but would suggest that for context the influence of the A148 on local amenity is clearly indicated as this forms part of the baseline consideration of any scheme.

Regarding paragraph M69.2, Carter Concrete have committed to provide enhancements to Britons Lane and the junction of Holt Road with Britons Lane as part of application ref FUL/2019/0001. This has included an alternative solution to provide a cost-effective means (consistent with paragraph 108c of the NPPF) to consider highways safety. The reference to the consideration of a sustainable and cost-effective alternative solution (backed up by an RSA) could therefore also be provided in this paragraph. It should also be noted that the company is also content to enter into an obligation to restrict right turn access out of the site thereby limiting traffic along Britons Lane north of the site access.

Regarding paragraph M69.3, it is recommended that the earthwork and bank features along the parish boundary between Aylmerton and Beeston Regis (Norfolk HER ref 57910) areclearly referenced for baseline context.

Reference paragraph M69.5, as part of the current planning application Carter Concrete have provided geophysical investigation and trial trench evidence which has identified that whilst there are finds and features on site these are indicative of the surrounding area and as such would only have a local value or significance. Again, this could be added to provide context.

With regard to Paragraph M69.6 this should reflect the fact that the woodland to the south is mainly advance planting provided by the applicant as a means of long-term visual mitigation.

Carter Concrete would wholly support the wording of paragraphs M69.7 and M69.8.

With respect to paragraph M69.10, it is noted that the Council would be willing to consider the removal of some trees to connect to the two landforms. Would the council be willing to confirm how much woodland could be removed in principle, as recent discussions indicated that some of the council's internal departments would be concerned with large scale removal of such habitat.

Carter Concrete would wholly support the wording of paragraphs M69.12 to M69.19 inclusive and would reaffirm that as part of the current planning application the company is developing long term plans to sustainably manage the biodiversity and geo-diversity.

Paragraphs M80.20-M69-24 inclusive, no comments are offered.

Regarding paragraph M69.25, the company would consult with the council and other interested stakeholders to develop a suitable site restoration strategy.

The prime focus of the scheme would be to provide a very high quality restoration scheme for both the existing site, and proposed extension, with an emphasis on nature conservation habitat (specifically heathland), with improved public access, better access to geo-diversity and retention of exposures wherever possible; together with information boards (conveying information about the ecology, geology and geomorphology of the site). The provision of permissive routes through the restoration landform would also be considered by Carter Concrete.

In general terms the company supports the allocation of site MIN69, with the above intended to provide greater context and content for the allocation profile.

In the event that written reps and or a hearing is required as part of the examination process Carter Concrete would reserve the right to make further representations either to reinforce the above or provide new content where applicable.

Object

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98790

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Historic England

Representation:

Paragraph MP2.1 - We note that this section includes a list of factors that have been considered in the spatial strategy for minerals. We are very concerned to see no reference to the historic environment in this regard.

Suggested change: Ensure that Historic environment is given due consideration in spatial strategy

Paragraph MP2.11 - typo - should read constraints, not constrains.

Paragraph MP2.11 point g - Should read registered parks and gardens, not registered historic parks and gardens.

Paragraph MP2.11 point g and Policy MP2
It is very surprising therefore that in many cases allocations are proposed significantly closer that 250metress from designated heritage assets - see our later comments on individual sites.
We have concerns about a standard distance based approach of 250 metres as clearly issues of setting of heritage assets are more nuanced than this and vary on a case by case basis. It should be made absolutely clear at this point in the Plan that the 250m is a starting point and not to say that anything over 250m would be acceptable - clearly it may not.

Suggested change to MP2.11 point g - delete historic

Full text:

Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan - Preferred Options Draft 2019

Thank you for consulting Historic England on the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan - Further Consultation Draft. As a statutory consultee, our role is to ensure that the conservation of the historic environment is fully integrated into planning policy and that any policy documents make provision for a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment.

Our comments below should be read with reference to our previous comments dated 31st August 2018. Please also see our detailed comments in the attached table, Appendix 1. [ATTACHED]

SUMMARY
Whilst we consider many aspects of the plan to be sound we have identified issues with some of the policies and site allocations which do compromise the overall soundness of the plan.

Under paragraph 35 of the NPPF some aspects of this Plan are unsound as they have not been positively prepared, are not justified, effective, or consistent with national policy. We have identified below some of the key areas where we find the Plan unsound and what measures are needed to make the Plan sound. In summary we highlight the following issues:

a) Insufficient Historic Environment Policy
It is our view that there is currently insufficient policy provision for the historic environment in the Plan. We note that the historic environment is addressed in bullet point l of policy MW2. We remain very concerned that criterion l does not provide sufficient protection for the historic environment. Normally we would expect to see a specific separate policy for the historic environment in a Minerals and Waste Local Plan. This policy is insufficient as it stands. Further detail is set out in the attached table.

b) AOS E and SIL2 - HIA
Whilst we welcome the completion of an HIA for AOSE and site SIL2, we have identified a number of shortcomings in the assessment, particularly the need to address non-designated heritage assets and the wider historic environment and inter-relationship between the various assets in this complex medieval landscape. Our concerns are set out in more detail in the attached table. We suggest that the HIA is revised accordingly to provide a robust evidence base for the Plan. We also suggest that the Plan should not simply mark areas with purple hatching that have been identified by the HIA as unsuitable for extraction, but actually delete those areas from the areas of search and site allocation in the Plan altogether.

c) Other allocations requiring further assessment/proportionate evidence
We have identified a number of site allocations where we continue to have concerns regarding the potential impact on the historic environment, perhaps due to proximity of heritage assets or the highly graded nature of some of these assets. These sites are set out in the attached table and include MIN65, MIN96, MIN213, MIN 209/10/11, MIN25 AND MIN40. For these sites we recommend an HIA is prepared now in advance of the next draft of the Plan. This should provide a robust evidence base for the plan. Any evidence needs to be proportionate, and need not necessarily be particularly onerous. .For most of these sites a fairly brief HIA will suffice. Our site allocations advice note <https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/historic-environment-and-site-allocations-in-local-plans/> provides further advice in this respect and we would be happy to discuss the matter further and advise on a suitable way forward.

d) MIN 207 Land at Pinkney Field, Briston
We recommend that site is deleted from the Plan due to the impact on the historic environment.

Further details of each of these main areas are set out in the attached table.
We have suggested a series of other changes to the Plan. Many of these changes do not go to the heart of the Plan's soundness, but instead are intended to improve upon it. We believe that these comments can be addressed by changes to wording in the plan.

Sustainability Appraisal
We do not have the capacity to review the Sustainability Appraisal report in any detail but did note on quickly skimming the report some surprising conclusions in the report. For example in relation to site MIN 40 - land east of Grandcourt Farm, East Winch where it was concluded that there would be 'No effects expected during the extraction phase' despite a grade II* listed church being located just 50m from the site boundary.

We consider that with such proximity there is likely to be some effects on the setting of this asset. On this brief observation we must question the some of the assessment in the SA.

In preparation of the forthcoming local plan, we encourage you to draw on the knowledge of local conservation officers, the county archaeologist and local heritage groups.

Please note that absence of a comment on a policy, allocation or document in this letter does not mean that Historic England is content that the policy, allocation or document is devoid of historic environment issues. We should like to stress that this response is based on the information provided by the Council in its consultation. To avoid any doubt, this does not affect our obligation to provide further advice and, potentially, object to specific proposals, which may subsequently arise as a result of this plan, where we consider that these would have an adverse effect upon the historic environment.

If you have any questions with regards to the comments made then please do get back to me. In the meantime we look forward to continuing to work with you and your colleagues.

Comment

Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98966

Received: 15/10/2019

Respondent: Broads Authority

Representation:

* Page 71, and MP2 - that NPPF paragraph applies to the Broads too. We have a Major Development policy. Why is the AONB excluded and the Broads not? Or is it?
* Page 73, g - why not the undesignated heritage assets?
* MP2.14 - 'Developers wanting to [extraction] extract mineral from specific sites or land within an area of search allocated in the Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review will still need to apply for and be granted planning permission before mineral extraction can take place'.
* MP2 - why the 3mile/5 mile rule for minerals?

Full text:

* 1.5 - one specific site[s] for carstone extraction
* 1.14 - tpa - presume that is tonnes per annum - not used consistently in this para
* Page 12 - SA section - bullet point list does not mention landscape impact or biodiversity
* 5.16 The area known as the [Breaks] Brecks
* Where is MW1? The first policy is MW2.
* MW2 - The first part is written in quite a different way to other policies I have read; rather than saying that impacts of development will be minimised on the criteria, or schemes will address the criteria, you ask for information only. I am not sure how strong this approach is. b) what about the quantity of surface water (as in what to do with it in relation to flooding) and the quality of water bodies? E) what agriculture land class do you consider this to be - Grade 1 and 2 perhaps - might need to say that. What about if the soil that is to be excavated or disturbed is peat soils? Peat soils have many special qualities, such as are a carbon sink but a carbon source if allowed to dry out. We recommend that you consider protecting Peat Soils - you can look at our Peat Soils policy for ideas. i) what are 'outdoor recreation facilities' and do you need to include Local Green Space as well as Open Space?
* 8.12 - request there is some text, perhaps as a footnote, that refers to the identified dark skies of the Broads and refers to our maps and policy.
* 8.16 says 'Directing lighting downwards and away from properties' but taking this literally, this contradicts - implying angling the light away from properties which could cause light pollution. I think you are saying design any lighting so it points downwards and ensure that there is no light trespass for example into neighbouring properties. You might want to consider that wording and you might want to look at our policy on light pollution. The key point is - do you really need lighting, if so why? Keep it to a minimum, use it when needed and point it down and have it fully shielded - I suggest you get those points across strongly in the policy.
* 8.24 first bullet point - weave in wording that refers to the setting of the landscapes.
* 8.31 and section 12 - I see you refer to soil grades 1, 2 and 3a. As a bit of advice from our experience, do you know where 3a is? There is limited mapping relating to 3a. You might want to consider removing this or just saying '3'. Happy to chat this through. Should the soil grade be mentioned in the policy? Note what is said on page 73, I - that 3a and 3b are not mapped.
* 8.32, 12.2 - temporary yes, but for a number of years. Suggest that text is clarified. See above regarding if the soil is peat soils and its care.
* 8.35 - is it worth asking applicants to state how they have considered water and rail and road and thoroughly justify their chosen mode, rather than just encourage it?
* MW3, last bullet point - is that a travel plan? MW4 refers to travel plans.
* MW4 - is it better to just say 'greenhouse gas emissions'? Does using the term 'endeavour' reduce the strength of criterion c? d) just demonstrate or implement too?
* 12.4 says 'Given their nature, most waste management facilities will tend to be suitably located on previously developed land and industrial locations and it is not expected that there will be a great need to locate such uses on agricultural land' - not sure what this is saying - they tend to be located there or are suitable to be located there?
* Map 3 - see above comments - where are areas of 3a?
* Section 12 - no mention of peat soils and their qualities - see above.
* Page 41 onwards and then 64 onwards - formatting - should this have a section number - perhaps section 13? The bullet points are numbered differently to elsewhere in the Plan - WO rather than, say, 13.2 etc.
* WP4 - a) when compared to another option that takes longer?
* W7.1 - do you mean 2018?
* WP13 - so a, b, c are 'or' and d, e, f are 'and'. It might be easier to separate them out and say something like 'in all cases d, e, f will apply'.
* WP15 - first para seems reasoned justification rather than policy text. Suggest the Broad Authority be involved in the organisations listed in para 3 - the organisations in para 4 seem to be the ones that need to be involved in the Masterplan.
* WP17 and MP11 - on adoption, presume we will be sent these GIS layers to upload to our system?
* Page 71, and MP2 - that NPPF paragraph applies to the Broads too. We have a Major Development policy. Why is the AONB excluded and the Broads not? Or is it?
* Page 73, g - why not the undesignated heritage assets?
* MP2.14 - 'Developers wanting to [extraction] extract mineral from specific sites or land within an area of search allocated in the Minerals and Waste Local Plan Review will still need to apply for and be granted planning permission before mineral extraction can take place'.
* MP2 - why the 3mile/5 mile rule for minerals?
* MP4.1 and MP4 - how about if the reservoir is not associated with mineral abstraction?
* Page 76 - what is shown on this map? There is no key. If it is core river valleys, why are the rivers over in the Broads not blue?
* MP6 might make sense but the first part says acceptable, unacceptable and acceptable. A check might be needed.
* MP8.3 'The need for annual reports after the initial five-year period [for] will be assessed on a case by case basis'.
* M65.5 - starts off saying 'The site is not located within...'. Being within is one issue, but affecting the setting of is another. So such assessments should state whether the site is near to those designations. This should therefore correctly read that the site is near to the Broads.
* Page 181 onwards - Min 38 - Waveney Forest, Fritton - support not allocating this site.
* Min 65, Stanninghall Quarry - extension to existing minerals site. No landscape visual or character concerns with regards to the Broads itself.
* Min 25, we would definitely want to be consulted on any forthcoming planning applications on this site, particularly concerning landscape scheme and restoration as the landscape character areas in this locality are well defined and susceptible to change.
* Min 211, Restoration as wet grassland for biodiversity needs to be balanced with long-term effects on local landscape character. The local character and experience of the landscape varies between the north and south of the site and restoration should reflect this.
* Generally, an LVIA assesses the effects of a development (the impact) on the landscape as a resource and the effects on visual receptors. The assessment will cover both the site itself and a wider study area determined by desk study and ground-truthing. LVIA's should be carried out to a set standard (Guidelines for landscape and visual impact assessment, 3d edition - which I believe is part of the NCC validation checklist) so by definition will be required to include the site and any surrounding area that could be affected by the development; Existing: "Submission of a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment which will identify any potential impacts to the wider landscape and suggest appropriate mitigation measures ..." Proposed: "Submission of a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment which will identify any potential effects and suggest appropriate mitigation measures ..." This text is used across a number of the policies.

SA Part A Scoping
Page 31 needs a very big update.
* Core Strategy, DM and Sites not in place any more.
* Local Plan adopted May 2019.
* Flood Risk SPD - most recent is 2017
* Broads Plan is 2017
Seems relevant to refer to our dark skies data and policy

SA - Part B
4.5 - did you consider a zone from the Broads?


Please note: The Broads Authority has adopted a new Local Plan which can be found here. The policies in the Core Strategy, Development Management and Site Specific documents are all superseded and not in place anymore.