Consultation launches on updated proposals for sand and gravel sites

Published

Communities are invited to have their say on updated proposals for sand and gravel quarrying sites as part of a six-week consultation.

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 1.112 million tonnes per year.

The public consultation opened at 5pm on 11 June 2018 and runs until 5pm on 23 July 2018. This follows two previous public consultations.

In response to feedback from the consultation held between October – December 2017, three of the proposed sites have now been reduced in area and additional policies have been introduced on all proposed sites. The 10 minerals sites included in the consultation are:

  • Barham
  • Barnham
  • Belstead
  • Cavenham
  • Layham
  • Tattingstone
  • Wangford
  • Wetherden
  • Wherstead
  • Worlington

To find out more about the consultation and how you can have your say visit: www.suffolk.gov.uk/mineralsandwaste

Only one site for waste development is being proposed, 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 the future.

Feedback from this consultation, along with the draft plan will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and an Examination in Public (EiP) is expected to be held early in 2019. Following the EiP the Planning Inspector will produce a report which includes recommendations and details of any changes required. The county council will then adopt the plan as planning policy.

Once the plan has been adopted, 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 maintain employment 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. This is followed by a five-year aftercare period to make sure the land is brought up to the required standard.

Councillor Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the plan, said:

“We have listened carefully to the feedback from the most recent consultation and taken this in account in the development of the draft minerals and waste plan. The size of three of the proposed sites has now been reduced and site specific policies have been introduced on all sites.

“Only the feedback from this consultation will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. So, even if individuals, local communities and businesses have provided comments during previous stages, it is important that they give their feedback during this six week period.”

There will also be 10 consultation events 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 smwlp@suffolk.gov.uk or you can take the survey over the phone by calling 0345 603 1842.