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Quarry objections puts list on hold

PUBLISHED: 16:25 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:36 03 July 2010

County councillors have postponed drawing up a shortlist of the “least unacceptable” quarry sites across Norfolk until the new year while they excavate a mass of objections

Protest groups have sprung up across Norfolk to stave off more than 100 potential sand and gravel pits put forward by landowners.

County councillors have postponed drawing up a shortlist of the “least unacceptable” quarry sites across Norfolk until the new year while they excavate a mass of objections

Protest groups have sprung up across Norfolk to stave off more than 100 potential sand and gravel pits put forward by landowners.

Officials revealed this week they needed more time to sift through a staggering 37,000 points raised in 3000 individual responses.

At Fritton where Waveney Forest is under threat, legwork and lateral thinking are being used by campaigners fighting the quarry threat.

Campaign group Fritton Action Rescue (FAR) is committed to saving the precious wildlife-rich woods - a haven for dog walkers and families - and has delivered thousands of leaflets and information packs to homes and businesses across the borough and beyond.

Caroline Butcher of New Road, Fritton, has gone door to door pushing leaflets through letter boxes in homes, pubs and shops in Cobholm, Great Yarmouth, Bradwell, Cobholm and Carlton Colville among others.

Mrs Butcher, 52, said early apathy had transformed into determined action with an 11-strong committee spreading the word working with the parish council in a two-pronged attack.

Waveney Forest is one of more than 100 sites in Norfolk being put forward by landowners as a potential mineral extraction pit to supply the raw material's for the county's house building needs.

But concerns over the network of narrow lanes that feed into the site and the loss of a recreational amenity have lead to robust opposition with thousands of signatures on government and social networking websites.

County Hall spokesman John Birchall said the earmarked sites were only early expressions of interest that had not been assessed and that the preferred option stage was the most meaningful.

“If Fritton is still on the list at the next stage those views being collected now will be available for the next consultation. There are good reasons why people might want to keep this in the public eye and submit further comments.”

Mrs Butcher said sweeping away the woodland would put beaches under pressure from dog walkers in an area where children enjoy outdoorsy fun rigging up rope swings on trees and where horse riders regularly trot along the paths.

Delivering leaflets in Browston she discovered that villagers with a concrete crushing plant for a neighbour had to put up with dust and lorry noise. “It really opened my eyes. I came home very depressed thinking a road like ours could be affected in the same way,” she said.

To add your voice write to planning services manager Nick Johnson at County Hall in Norwich or put your name to a petition.

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