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Delay woe for forest campaign

PUBLISHED: 15:36 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:16 03 July 2010

CAMPAIGNERS across Norfolk fighting proposed quarries and landfill sites in their villages may now have to wait until mid-2009 before learning which sites have been dropped from an official county plan.

CAMPAIGNERS across Norfolk fighting proposed quarries and landfill sites in their villages may now have to wait until mid-2009 before learning which sites have been dropped from an official county plan.

Protests and petitions were sparked when Norfolk County Council launched a public debate on some 160 sites put forward by landowners and developers as potential future landfill or sand and gravel extraction sites.

Campaigners at Fritton - where Waveney Forest has been earmarked as a potential site for a mineral extraction pit - have gathered thousands of signatures from people bitterly opposed to the proposal. Villagers have highlighted their fears about the loss of a pleasant amenity, damage to wildlife and potential road problems.

The council had planned to conduct a second raft of consultations on a shortlist of sites last August, but now the consultation has been delayed until the middle of next year. This week, the council put this down to the huge and detailed response from the public to the consultation, with some 59,000 responses by 4,000 individuals or groups increasing staff workload.

New government rules that came in last June on these types of consultation have also put the whole process on hold.

The council has to plan to provide enough sand and gravel for building projects up to 2021 and landfill sites for waste for the same period. Last month, Fritton campaigners descended on County Hall to deliver a 15,000-name petition.


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