Protests over gravel plans

Protests are growing in villages across the Dereham and Fakenham area to save countryside and woodland from the prospect of new quarries and waste sites.

Protests are growing in villages across the Dereham and Fakenham area to save countryside and woodland from the prospect of new quarries and waste sites.

Norfolk County Council has identified more than 100 potential mineral extraction sites and 64 waste management sites based on suggestions by waste and mineral firms. It is to meet gravel and sands needs and waste disposal needs for a growth of 78,700 new homes outlined for the county up to 2021.

But Dr Ian Shepherd, Norfolk policy co-ordinator for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: “Many sites would be environmentally very damaging and they are going to have to use a substantial number of these sites if they are going to turn out the amount of material they think they will need.”

There would be landscape, highways and transport, as well as a possible impact on archaeology, noise and other issues, he said.

The East of England Plan requires Norfolk to plan for nearly 3m tonnes of sand and gravel extraction and 200,000 tonnes of carrstone extraction per year, according to a report to Breckland Council's policy development and review panel, which meets on Tuesday.

It will also have to manage 2.56m tonnes of household, commercial and industrial waste by 2021.

Most Read

There are 36 proposed minerals sites in Breckland, six in Broadland, one in Yarmouth, 32 in west Norfolk, eight in north Norfolk and 22 in south Norfolk.

And there are 21 proposed waste allocation sites in Breckland, six in Broadland, two in Yarmouth, 20 in west Norfolk, five in north Norfolk and 11 in south Norfolk.

Brian Nelson, general manager at Middle Aggregates in west Norfolk, said: “Without sand and gravel there would be no buildings. No one wants it but it is a fact of life.”

Residents at Bintree are mounting a campaign to save a proposed site near them, which could see the loss of a well used woodland on 300 acres of Forestry Commission land earmarked for gravel extraction and asphalt production.

A website has been set up by residents including Lynn Hollings urging people to attend a public consultation at Breckland Council's offices in Dereham on March 17.

People living in the Hoe and Worthing parishes are opposed to proposed mineral sites in their area.

Roger Thorneley, of Worthing, said they would not only impact on residents' amenity but also potentially affect archaeological sites at nearby Spong Hill.

They also say they had had extraction sites on their doorsteps for long enough and it was time someone else put up with it. A public meeting on the issue is being held at Worthing Church today at 7pm.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust said it would be looking at the document and sites including Grimston Warren in west Norfolk but said that if some sites were restored to wildlife sites or heathland, it could be positive for wildlife in the county.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “It's important for people to bear in mind that no decisions have been take.

“The sites included in the consultation have been put forward by landowners and mineral and waste operators.

“Any of the sites listed chosen after the consultation will still have to apply for planning permission.”

Consultation ends on March 28.

For a full list of the villages where proposed waste sites and extraction sites are proposed, go the www.EDP24.couk

To view the full consultation document go to, email, call Norfolk County Council on 01603 223219 or write to: Planning Services, Norfolk County Council, Planning and Transportation Department, FREEPOST NC22093/8, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 2BR

The plans will also be on show at Breckland Council council offices in Dereham on March 17, betweennoon and 4pm.