Celebration as quarry plan abandoned

Anti-quarry campaigners in Fritton have breathed a huge sigh of relief - but for the rest of the county the knotty problem of where to put mineral extraction and waste sites continues.

Anti-quarry campaigners in Fritton have breathed a huge sigh of relief - but for the rest of the county the knotty problem of where to put mineral extraction and waste sites continues.

A slice of Waveney Forest was included among more than 100 other sites across Norfolk as part of a planning blueprint that generated 4,000 responses when it went out to consultation.

But following a vigorous campaign and a decision by Norfolk County Council that it was unsuitable for development, the task to pin down those sites that are continues.

On Monday, the next phase of the quarry and waste consultation plan to decide for certain what goes where around the county gets under way and runs until December 11.

But at Fritton, opponents who rolled up their sleeves to fight the plan felt confident enough to hold a celebratory concert at St Olaves Village Hall to

toast their efforts and success on Wednesday.

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Since the long list was published last year, assessments carried out by county hall's minerals and waste planning officers led to recommendations that 54 mineral sites and 31 waste sites were unsuitable, leaving 41 that were.

A further 32 waste sites and 17 mineral sites are said to have potential for development if alterations are made to the proposals, or a more limited range of activities takes place.

Since then, some sites have been withdrawn but still appear in printed consultation documents, including at Haddiscoe.

Adrian Gunson, cabinet member for planning and transportation, urged people to make use of the new round of consultation.

“It is particularly important that people check to see whether proposals have changed in any way that would change their views.

“Our letters to people who have commented before draw attention to new sites, but it is very easy for anyone to check the status of any site on the internet.

“This is also the best way to respond, since it makes it much easier for our staff to process responses.

“The first round last year generated responses from nearly 4,000 people and organisations. Those comments will remain valid, but there are new sites, changes to proposed sites and officer recommendations about the suitability

of sites that people may want to challenge.”

The county council has a duty to plan for enough quarries and landfill sites for use up to 2021. Landowners and operators may also challenge the shortlist.

The consultation documents have

been distributed to all parish and borough councils in Norfolk and can be inspected at libraries and online at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nmwdf.

A CD containing all the documents and the questionnaire is also available.

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