Suffolk County Council launches consultation on proposed sand and gravel sites
Communities are being invited to have their say on proposed sand and gravel quarrying sites as part of a six-week consultation held by Suffolk County Council.
Suffolk County Council, as a minerals and waste planning authority, is required as part of the planning framework to make a provision for sand and gravel supplies, based largely on the average of sales over the previous 10 years, which is 1.158 million tonnes per year.
A total of 10 sites, outlined in the council’s minerals and waste local plan are sufficient to supply enough materials until the end of 2036 have been put forward:
Belstead is the only completely new site proposed, and the other sites would be extensions of existing sites with planning permission.
Once the Plan has been adopted by the county council as policy quarrying companies will still need to submit a planning application to the county council to extract materials. Companies will also pay landowners to dig up the materials on their fields – before selling it to construction companies. This work is likely to create additional employment in the area.
Each site is considered in terms of its potential impacts upon the landscape, ecology, highways, cultural heritage and amenities in the area.
Once the site has had its sand and gravel quarried, the site can be restored, by reshaping the land and covering with soils, which are stored during the extraction process. Then follows a five-year aftercare period to make sure the land is brought up to the required standard.
Only one site for waste development has been allocated, at Sizewell A, for the treatment and temporary storage of radioactive material removed as part of decommissioning from Sizewell and other decommissioning stations.
Currently Sizewell A is already benefitting from exporting waste to Bradwell Nuclear Power Station in Essex for treatment and temporary storage.
While there are no current proposals to share the facilities in Sizewell, it is considered sensible to have policies in place if such a proposal is put forward in future.
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “The proposal of these sites is required in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
“All sites, other than Belstead, are extensions to existing sites with planning permission. Belstead has been proposed as it meets site selection criteria.
“I invite people to take part in the consultation and have their say online via the county council website or by email, over the phone or by letter. Drop-in sessions are also taking place and further details can be found on the website.”
The consultation opens at 5pm today and closes at 5pm on December 11. To find out more about the consultation and how you can have your say visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/mineralsandwaste
There will also be several consultation events across the county, where members of the public can learn more about the preferred sites, speak to members of the minerals and waste team and fill in the consultation survey. To find out more about these drop-in events, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/mineralsandwaste
A paper copy of the survey can be requested by calling, 0345 603 1842 or emailing email@example.com or you can take the survey over the phone by calling 0345 603 1842.