MIN 48 - land at Swannington Bottom Plantation, Felthorpe

Showing comments and forms 1 to 1 of 1


Preferred Options consultation document

Representation ID: 98686

Received: 30/10/2019

Respondent: Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Representation Summary:

Due to the proximity to Swannington Upgate Common SSSI and likely impacts, we support the removal of this from the plan.

Full text:

Norfolk Minerals & Waste Local Plan Review 2019

* We support the progressive restoration schemes and enhancement of Norfolk's biodiversity. Where the third paragraph makes reference to the enhancement of Norfolk's biodiversity, we recommend this is expanded to incorporate the upcoming mandatory requirement for biodiversity net gain, as set out in the Environment Bill and supported by the NPPF.
* Recognising the negative impacts a changing climate will have on the future for wildlife in Norfolk, we recommend that the Vision's target for minimising the impact of minerals development and waste management on climate change is made more ambitious, by changing it to at least a target of net zero or net positive where possible. Opportunities exist for gains for both wildlife and carbon sequestration through appropriate habitat restoration and creation as part of proposals, as already noted in Minerals Strategic Objective MS08.

MW2 - Development Management Criteria
* We support the policy requirement to ensure that development will not have a damaging effect on the natural environment, in particular for locally designated sites (I.e. the County Wildlife Site network).
* However, the aim of the policy appears to focus on a no net loss principle, with enhancements only being sought 'where appropriate'. We recommend that in order to conform with the NPPF, the policy makes reference to the requirement for biodiversity net gain. Reference can also be made to the recent publications by DEFRA on its implementation.

MW4 - Climate change adaptation and mitigation
We support the inclusion of targets for emissions minimisation and renewable energy provision. Given the overlap between new habitat creation, the upcoming mandatory provision of biodiversity net gain and carbon sequestration, we recommend that the policy and supporting text is expanded to note the role habitat creation and restoration can provide in climate change mitigation.

MP2 - Spatial strategy for minerals extraction
We recommend that in addition to the existing defining areas of search, that County Wildlife Sites are also excluded from the Areas of Search for silica sand extraction. We are concerned at the overlap between some proposed minerals sites and the County Wildlife Site network and we do not believe that allocating minerals extraction on CWSs is compatible with the plan's Vision to enhance Norfolk's biodiversity.

MP5 - Core river valleys
We support the approach taken by this policy to safeguard these important key corridors for wildlife through the county, in particular through the requirement for development in these areas to demonstrate that it will enhance the biodiversity of the river valley either immediately or on restoration.

MP7 - Progressive working, restoration and after-use
* Notwithstanding any site specific concerns regarding loss of wildlife sites or indirect impacts (e.g. dust and hydrology), we strongly support the restoration of mineral sites to priority habitats. Such measures offer a rare opportunity to create new habitats that can help Norfolk's wildlife recover from the significant and ongoing declines which it faces.
* Restoration plans should be included at the planning application stage to ensure that the strategic contribution of the site to landscape scale conservation and delivery of biodiversity net gain can be considered.
* Wherever possible, restoration proposals should be matched to existing priority habitats in proximity, to allow for greater connectivity through the landscape for local species. This will also help create a more permeable landscape for the movement of species' ranges in response to climate change in the future.
* Wherever possible, if there is the potential for native species seeds to be present in the seed bank at the start of the working period, then such soils should be stored appropriately to ensure that it can be used in any restoration scheme and allow for recolonization by native flora.

MP8 - Aftercare
We support the aftercare of restored mineral sites in order to ensure that their target habitats are achieved. We strongly support the requirement for longer aftercare provision to ensure successful establishment and maintenance of the approved after-use. As habitat creation/ restoration offers the opportunity to also provide carbon sequestration and contribute to climate change mitigation targets, their establishment may also require longer aftercare periods to demonstrate successful delivery.

Minerals Site Allocations

Silica Sand

* We note the potential dewatering risk to East Winch Common SSSI and CWS 140 East Winch Common. This site should only be included in the plan if the Council is confident that such issues can be dealt with satisfactorily through hydrological studies at planning permission, in order to avoid risks to delivery of the plan.
* We therefore support the recommendation that any permission will require a detailed hydrological assessment to determine the safe extent of working that can occur without risking impacts on nearby SSSIs and CWSs.
* We recommend that the restoration proposals include heathland due to the proximity to heathland habitats on East Winch Common, as this will provide ecological connectivity and allow for more movement of wildlife through the landscape.
* The site also has the potential to provide new green infrastructure for the adjoining settlement through provision of wildlife rich public open space as part of restoration proposals.

SIL01 (land at Mintlyn South Bawsey)
* During the previous consultation phase we highlighted that part of the proposed allocation overlaps with CWS 416 '70 & 100 Plantations' and recommended that these areas are safeguarded. The supporting text correctly identifies potential adverse impacts to this CWS and the adjacent CWS 418 Haverlesse Manor Plantation, but makes no attempt to safeguard these. The most appropriate way to ensure that impacts to the CWS are avoided is to exclude it from the minerals allocation, therefore we strongly recommend that CWS 416 is completely excluded from the proposed allocation. In addition, in order to safeguard from any indirect impacts to CWS from impacts such as dust, any allocation would need to include a non-worked buffer between it and both CWS.
* We support the recommendations in the policy text for noise, dust, air quality and hydrology assessments which will help inform ecological assessments of potential impacts on nearby wildlife sites. We recommend that any restoration plan ensures that the existing ecological connectivity between the adjacent wildlife sites is maintained through progressive working and that restoration post-extraction complements the adjoining habitats.
* We also note in the supporting text that the land use of the proposed allocation is classed as non-agricultural land, however we understand that this is likely to be incorrect as the southern part of the site has been in regular use as grazed grassland for at least twenty years. This area is likely to be of ecological significance, with anecdotal records of several protected species present as well as a number of mature oak trees on the southern boundary. In the absence of further information on the ecological value of this area and the potential impacts on a range of protected species (and any consequent impacts on delivery) as a precaution we recommend that this part of the site is removed from the allocation.

* We are concerned at the large scale of this AoS and its proximity to multiple CWS. Any application within the AoS would need to be accompanied by a detailed ecological appraisal and hydrological assessment where appropriate.
* Mow Fen CWS is within the AoS and not suitable for minerals extraction, therefore we strongly recommend its removal from AoS and the provision of a buffer around it to avoid impacts such as dust.
* The AoS lies adjacent to CWS 373, species-rich grassland which will need buffering from the AoS.

* We note the proximity of the northern area of the AoS to CWS 365, Broad Meadow Plantation. We strongly recommend a stand-off or buffer between any proposal in the AoS and the CWS in order to safeguard from indirect impacts.
* Proposals in proximity to any CWS would need to be accompanied by dust and hydrology assessments.
* We note from the maps provided that there appear to be a high number of ponds within the AoS and in the wider landscape. The potential for impacts on protected species and the likely requirements for ecological restoration will need to be considered as part of any application in this AoS.

Due to the proximity to wildlife sites, we support the requirement for ecology and hydrology assessments as part of any application within this AoS.

SIL02 - land at Shouldham and Marham (silica sand)
Due to the unknown potential scale of minerals development that this Area of Search would support and the number of CWS in close proximity in particular Marham Fen CWS, we are concerned at the potential for significant impacts on wildlife and therefore support the Council's recommendation that this site is not progressed in the plan.


MIN6 - Land off East Winch Road, Mill Drove, Middleton
We support the working of this site dry to avoid hydrology impacts, and the proposed restoration of this site to heathland habitat.


We support the creation of new wet woodland habitat around retained wetland areas, as well as new hedgerows and oak standards alongside the northern boundary.

We support the restoration proposals for this site.

MIN 102
We support the exclusion of this site from further consideration in the plan due to the adverse impacts likely on the adjacent Swangey Fen SSSI, a component of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC.


* We previously raised concerns that this allocation overlaps with CWS 1344 'Triumph and Foxburrow Plantations' and repeat our recommendation that, in order to safeguard the CWS, the allocation boundary should be modified, with a stand-off area between any mineral working and wildlife sites (the CWS and ancient woodland at Mileplain Plantation) in order to mitigate for any indirect impacts such as dust.
* We support the restoration to a mosaic of acid grassland, woodland and wetland [check policy text] and recommend that the potential for heathland to be added.

MIN37 & MIN64
We hold no specific information on the proposed sites MIN 37 and MIN 64, but note their proximity to two County Wildlife Sites and strongly recommend that any restoration proposals for these sites, if allocated, are targeted to match wherever possible the habitats present in the nearby CWS in order to maximize ecological connectivity.

We note the proximity to CWS 2205, Spixworth Bridge Meadows, and CWS 1396, Spixworth Meadows, and support the requirement for this site to only be worked dry in order to avoid any potential impacts on the CWSs through changes in local hydrology. We also support the requirement for a dust assessment.

* We note that this allocation is adjacent to CWS 2204, Hevingham Park, a replanted ancient woodland with pingos and rich ground flora in places, as well as an additional area of ancient woodland outside the CWS. These habitats will be vulnerable to typical impacts from minerals operations and any application will need to be supported by a dust assessment, with appropriate mitigation including vegetative screening for the extraction period.
* The policy text indicates that the site would be worked wet. We support the policy requirement for a hydrogeological assessment to be provided as part of any application, and note this should also cover impacts on the ecology of adjacent wildlife sites. In addition, we also recommend that the Council will need to be sure that the site can be worked wet without leading to adverse impacts on adjacent wildlife sites (after mitigation) in order to ensure that it is deliverable.
* We support the restoration proposals to heathland where opportunities around the existing holiday park consent allow.
* We have been made aware of the likely presence of great crested newts on the site. In addition, given the extensive woodland on site, the presence of other protected species such as bats are also likely. As a result we would expect any application to be accompanied by a detailed ecological appraisal. Should such populations be present, then any progressive working programme is likely to require retention of sufficient areas of habitat at any one time to allow for their retention.
* Given the proximity of pingos to the north, the potential for this site to include pingos should also be investigated.

Due to the proximity to Swannington Upgate Common SSSI and likely impacts, we support the removal of this from the plan.

Great Yarmouth

MIN38 - land at Waveney Forest, Fritton
We support the exclusion of this site from further consideration in the plan due to the likely impacts on the Waveney Forest and Fritton Warren South County Wildlife Sites (CWS), in particular the remnant heathland elements of the Forest and the adjoining wetland habitats at Fritton Warren. Should the Council proceed with this site in the plan, then we would expect further evidence on ecology and hydrology to demonstrate that it is deliverable whilst avoiding impacts on the adjacent CWSs. Given the potential for the areas adjacent to the CWSs to support protected species and be of similar ecological value, any application would need to be accompanied by detailed ecological and hydrological appraisals, including restoration plans that complement the adjacent wildlife sites.

King's Lynn & West Norfolk

MIN 206 - land at Oak Field, west of Lynn Road, Tottenhill
We support the requirements for hydrological assessment in the supporting text as part of any ecological appraisal accompanying an application for this site, and recommend that this is also included in the policy text for clarity.

MIN 45
We support the exclusion of this site from further consideration in the plan due to its location on ancient woodland, defined as an irreplaceable habitat in the NPPF.

We support the exclusion of these sites from further consideration in the plan due to the proximity to the River Nar SSSI.

We support the exclusion of this site from further consideration in the plan due to the adverse impacts predicted on wildlife sites.

We support the exclusion of this site from further consideration in the plan due to the adverse impacts predicted on wildlife sites.

North Norfolk

MIN69 - north of Holt Road, Aylmerton
Whilst we are unable to comment on the wider impacts of this proposal as they are outside of our remit, should this site be progressed, then we strongly support the Council's recommendations that this site should only be worked dry in order to avoid hydrological impacts on the nearby Norfolk Valley Fens SAC and be subject to high quality restoration and formal aftercare, creating a large new area of heathland with benefits both for wildlife and green infrastructure provision. We support the precautionary requirement for noise and dust assessments as part of any application in order to evaluate potential impacts on nearby wildlife sites and the requirement to demonstrate that adverse effects on the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC would be avoided.

MIN115 - land at Lord Anson's Wood, near North Walsham
Due to the proximity of two SSSIs and Weaver's Way County Wildlife Site (CWS) which include wetland habitats, the site should only be worked dry in order to avoid any impacts. We support the requirement for dust assessments and identification of appropriate mitigation measures to ensure that nearby CWSs are not impacted by this allocation. We support the proposed restoration to woodland and heathland and recommend that restoration proposals are secured as part of any application.

MIN207 - land at Pinkney Field, Briston
We note the proposed restoration to reservoir and agricultural grassland which we understand is linked to existing adjacent planning consents. However, we recommend that any allocation should demonstrate it can deliver biodiversity net gain in its own right and should include sufficient areas of priority habitats as set out in policy MP7 (see supporting text MP7.5, for example woodland and heathland) to ensure this can be delivered in addition to compensating for displaced features from existing consents.

MIN208 - land south of Holt Road, East Beckham
We support the proposed restoration of the site to a mosaic of native woodland, scrub and acid grassland.

MIN71- land west of Norwich Road, Holt
We agree with the Council's evaluation that this site is unsuitable for allocation due to the likely impacts to Holt Lowes SSSI, a component of the Norfolk Valley Fens SAC, as well as to the multiple County Wildlife Sites in close proximity. In the absence of a detailed hydrological assessment it is not clear that this site can be worked without an adverse effect on the SAC, therefore there is a risk that the site would not be deliverable if retained in the plan.

South Norfolk

We support the proposed restoration scheme for this site.

We support the proposed restoration scheme for this site.

* We support the requirement for dust assessment and mitigation proposals as part of any application given the proximity to CWSs and ancient woodland.
* We support the proposed restoration scheme for this site.

* We support the requirement for dust and hydrology assessments and mitigation proposals as part of any application given the proximity to CWSs.
* We support the proposed restoration scheme for this site.

We support the proposed restoration scheme for this site.

We support the exclusion of this site from further consideration in the plan due to the adverse impacts predicted on wildlife sites.