Fritton quarry bid: new plans submitted

Anti quarry campaigners are keeping up the pressure to end the quarry threat at Fritton woods as the saga moves into its third year and new proposals are submitted.

Anti quarry campaigners are keeping up the pressure to end the quarry threat at Fritton woods as the saga moves into its third year and new proposals are submitted.

Local lobbyist and action group founder Rowland Dunn has written to all party leaders and is urging campaigners to carry on signing petitions and firing off letters to officials.

He said the team had to fight against powerful opposition - including complacency - as the saga rumbled on with some people probably under the impression it had been resolved.

In fact there was still work to do after aggregate company Bretts submitted changes to their sand and gravel quarry proposal in the light of consultation, reducing the total site area.

The additional information provided includes a noise assessment, an air quality assessment, a hydrogeological and hydrological assessment, a proposed access junction design statement, a response on cultural heritage issues, landscape proposals, a plan of potential working areas and a restoration concept plan.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “Due to this information being submitted during the recent consultation period we have not yet assessed whether it affects our conclusions on the suitability of the site. Due to the significant changes proposed to the site, this site will be included in a further public consultation later this year.”

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The forest was included on a list of more than 100 sites across Norfolk as part of a planning blueprint that generated 4000 responses. In October campaigners felt confident enough to celebrate after county chiefs deemed it unsuitable for development.

Mr Dunn said: “We do not know how this further situation is going to develop. It has to be taken as a serious threat. We are going to fight this as well and I have written to David Cameron and Nick Clegg stating 40 reasons why I do not think it should be turned into a gravel pit. The fight goes on.

“What concerns me is that a lot of the little villages like Lound do not appreciate that if it does go ahead they are going to be involved because if the traffic starts building up on the A143 it will start going through the villages.

“All we can do at the moment is get people writing to Norfolk County Council with their objections and to our MP Tony Wright and keeping the petitions going because that way we are keeping people aware. People that we spoke to a few years ago may think it is all finished. We have to keep pushing.”

The last round of consultation ended in December, although there will be further consultation on new or significantly changed sites later this year.

A final list of recommended sites will brought back to cabinet and full council by the end of this year or beginning of next for discussion and approval. There will then be a further eight weeks to make representations and the documents will then be submitted to the Secretary of State in Spring next year and an examination, including public hearings will be carried out by an independent planning inspector.

No planning application has been submitted for the site.