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Gravel sites consultation extended

PUBLISHED: 10:13 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:01 07 July 2010

Consultation on controversial gravel extraction and landfill sites in Norfolk countryside is to be extended by about four weeks.

Norfolk County Council is extending its six-week consultation on 104 proposed quarries and 64 landfill sites, due to end on Friday, after protest groups sprang up across the county to fight schemes on their doorsteps.

Consultation on controversial gravel extraction and landfill sites in Norfolk countryside is to be extended by about four weeks.

Norfolk County Council is extending its six-week consultation on 104 proposed quarries and 64 landfill sites, due to end on Friday, after protest groups sprang up across the county to fight schemes on their doorsteps.

Opposition reached its peak in Breckland with villages such as Bintree, Beeston, Hockham, Harling, Mileham and Bridgham fighting schemes in woodlands and land near their homes, all put forward by landowners and developers.

The council's website has already been accessed about 45,000 times over the proposed sites, needed to meet demand for construction materials and waste disposal up to 2021.

An estimated three million tonnes of sand and gravel and 200,000 tonnes of carstone will be needed from the ground per year up to 2021 to meet growth of a planned 78,000 new homes.

A council spokesman said consultation on proposed sites was to be extended by about four weeks.

Campaigns to fight schemes are under way. Beetley and East Bilney residents turned out in numbers over 100 to a special meeting to discuss the proposals. Twelve of the proposed sites are in Beetley parish, including a scheme for a recycling plant.

The council spokesman said: “It's important for people to bear in mind no decisions have been taken. The sites included have been put forward by landowners and mineral and waste operators. Any of the sites chosen after consultation will still have to apply for planning permission and undergo detailed examination.”

Villagers in Bridgham, for example, who fought off gravel site plans 25 years ago, say a proposed site there is in the centre of the village and has listed buildings on it. They have set up a Downing Street online petition which has more than 500 signatures.

Consultation on the council's overall strategy for quarries and waste sites will still end on Friday. At the moment it suggests larger minerals sites and waste facilities should be close to the main growth areas of Norwich, Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Thetford, with smaller facilities serving growing market towns.

To have your say go to www.norfolk.gov.uk/nmwdf, email ldf@norfolk.gov.uk, call Norfolk County Council on 01603 223219 or write to: Planning Services, Norfolk County Council, Planning and Transportation Department, FREEPOST NC22093/8, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 2BR.

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