Agenda item

Norfolk Minerals and Waste Site Specific Allocations - Pre Submission Document (Agenda item 10)

Report of Elizabeth Gould, Executive Member for Planning and Environmental Services.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development left the room whilst this item was being discussed.

 

The Executive Member for Planning and Environmental Services presented the report in the absence of the aforementioned Executive Member.

 

Under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 County Councils were required to produce a Minerals and Waste Local Development Framework (MWLDF).  As part of the MWLDF Norfolk County Council had already adopted a Core Strategy that set out the policies to deliver the minerals and manage the waste.  The Minerals and Waste Site Allocations document would identify what areas of land would deliver the annual mineral requirements outlined in the Core Strategy and what areas of land would manage the waste that the County would produce.  The publication of the site allocations document offered the final opportunity to comment on the proposed sites, prior to a public examination. 

 

The document outlined six proposed mineral extraction sites in the Breckland area.  These were located at various sites at East Bilney, Snetterton and Shropham.

 

The document also outlined eight waste allocation sites at East Bilney, Carbrooke, Ashill, Snetterton, Thetford and Attleborough.  Breckland Council had previously objected to one of the sites at Snetterton due to the potential impact on the adjoining Swangey Fen.  The other site at Snetterton was located on the Snetterton Heath employment area as defined in the adopted Breckland Proposals Maps and was proposed for a variety of uses.  The use of the employment area for a waste site had the potential to impact on the wider vision for the area.  Objections to both sites at East Bilney had also been previously submitted on the basis of the continued use of these sites and the impact this would have on the community.

 

It was imperative that Breckland Council recommended soundness objections to the Minerals and Waste sites as outlined in Appendix A of the report.

 

The Overview & Scrutiny Commission Chairman, who was also the Ward Member for Shropham, said that he was keen to see the site MIN109 developed.  Snetterton also abutted his Ward and he was well aware of the concerns raised by the community but he unequivocally supported the conclusions for the remaining sites at Shropham and Snetterton.

 

The Executive Member for Planning and Environmental Services stated that the community had had enough of the work going on at the East Bilney site.

 

The Executive Member for Internal Services asked if the proposed incinerator negated the necessity for the Waste Site allocations.  The Principal Planning Policy Officer said that, although a valid point, any kind of incineration would be part of wider disposal techniques.   The Executive Member mentioned site MIN109 that abutted his Ward which he felt had pleasing features such as lakes and had become a very popular leisure facility.  There were certain advantages to gravel extraction as it created wider biodiversity.  The lakes would provide an alternative habitat and would also increase amenity and tourism.  However, although he was in support of the recommendations, he had concerns about there being too much mineral extraction and felt that alternatives should be looked at such as global olivine otherwise resources could diminish.

 

The Executive Member for Planning and Environmental Services pointed out that the contractors could only dig for mineral if mineral was in the ground; it was the same with waste.  Areas that had the required materials could have a negative affect on buyers wishing to purchase neighbouring properties.  Members were informed that in the majority of cases, Norfolk County Council were only extending the sites where no houses were in existence; however, there were some areas that had come under scrutiny.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission added that one of the reasons the community was in support of MIN109 was the way the site had been managed.  Since the extraction the area had been backfilled and landscaped; it was not always a good idea just to fill the site with water.  He also mentioned the Council’s Core Strategy and the high aspirations that Breckland Council had for Snetterton Heath (see pages 34 and 35 of the report).

 

Options

 

1)           Respond to the pre-submission publication as contained within Appendix A.

 

2)           Provide an alternative response to the pre-submission publication.

 

3)           Do nothing.

 

Reasons

 

It was recommended that Breckland Council respond to the pre-submission consultation as outlined within Appendix A by way of written representation.  This would ensure Breckland’s views were recorded and inform the public examination into the soundness of the Site Allocations Development Plan Document.

 

RESOLVED that Breckland Council responds to the pre-submission publication as contained within Appendix A of the report.

Supporting documents: