Quarry opponents could get shortlist say
Opponents of proposed quarry sites now look set to be given a say on a shortlist of preferred locations for them in Norfolk. More than 160 possible future quarries and landfill sites were put forward last year for inclusion in a so-called waste and minerals plan being drawn up by Norfolk County Council.
Opponents of proposed quarry sites now look set to be given a say on a shortlist of preferred locations for them in Norfolk.
More than 160 possible future quarries and landfill sites were put forward last year for inclusion in a so-called waste and minerals plan being drawn up by Norfolk County Council. Many sparked protests and petitions during a massive consultation.
But late last year doubt was cast over whether people would get a say on the final shortlist of sites preferred by the council - after changes to local government rules were made to speed up the process.
Now county council cabinet members are to be asked to back the council sticking to its original consultation.
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A report to Monday's cabinet meeting says this would see an eight-week consultation this summer before the document is sent out for final approval.
It adds this would mean the whole process taking longer and increase the workload for officers, but the alternative would be to skip the process and go back on a promise it made to allow people to comment on the shortlist.
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The consultation has already been delayed by some months - it had been due in August last year - mainly due to the massive response from the public.
About 60,000 comments were lodged from more than 4,000 individuals.
The report says: 'The authority has repeatedly and publicly promised those participating in the system an option to comment on our preferred sites before coming to a final review.'
George Hayes, spokesman for Beetley Parish Council, which was concerned about quarry plans in its area, said: 'I think people will be pleased the process has been re-looked at.'
He said the first consultation caused a lot of unnecessary concern because it included sites which would automatically be filtered out by the council.
This stage meant people got to comment on a more realistic shortlist.
Norfolk County Council has a duty to plan for enough quarries and landfill sites for use up to the year 2021.