Bid to extend life of quarry in Broads' village to 85 years

Google Map view of Welcome Pit, in Butt Lane, Burgh Castle.

Google Map view of Welcome Pit, in Butt Lane, Burgh Castle. - Credit: Archant

A bid to lengthen the life of a sand and gravel quarry in Burgh Castle is set to be decided by planners.

Folkes Plant and Aggregates says current reserves in a part of the site that has permission until 2025 are depleted, only offering "sharp" rather than "soft" sand.

Burgh Castle village sign.Picture: James Bass

Burgh Castle is a village known for its holiday parks and Roman ruins. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

However, by extending it by some four hectares northwards the operators can keep going until 2035, safeguarding 13 full-time jobs.

If approved it will mean the quarry at Welcome Pit, Butt Lane, would be in continuous use for 85 years.

Planners at Norfolk County Council are due to discuss the application on Friday, May 20.

A report says the issue is "finely balanced".

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis leaves BBC Broadcasting House in London after appearing on

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis supports the bid to extend the life of the quarry at Burgh Castle. - Credit: PA

On the one hand officials note the amount being extracted would be "negligible" and that there was "no demonstrable need" for it.

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If granted the extension would "intrude into, and further industrialise" the countryside.

And, following a call for sites several years ago the quarry was not included due to the narrow road network, another point that went against its case the report states.

However, the scheme did mean a reduction in lorry movements because the operators would suspend the skip, lorry and plant hire side of the business, and allowing it to carry on would save 13 full time jobs in a deprived area.

The report also notes that while there had been objections to the new extension plan, the site was not generally complained about.

None of the official bodies to do with heritage or wildlife have raised objections.

The ruins of the Roman fort at Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth. Burgh Castle is a popular holiday v

The ruins of the Roman fort at Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth. Burgh Castle is a popular holiday village that is set to host a new low-density glamping site Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

All three parish councils in the area Belton with Browston, Burgh Castle, and Bradwell have signalled their opposition and "great concern".

A petition had been raised and letters written in support of the quarry extension which also had the backing of Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis who was keen to safeguard jobs.

The report concludes: "Whilst the proposal is finely balanced given that the site is not an allocated one and that there is no overriding need for the mineral, it is considered that there is not demonstrable harm and the proposal is considered to accord with the development plan and there are not considered to be material considerations to dictate otherwise."

The planning (regulatory) committee meets at County Hall in Norwich on Friday, May 20, at 11am.

To read the full report visit the county council's website.