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Gravel concerns at Earsham

PUBLISHED: 17:07 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 07:16 01 August 2010

LOCAL people are being asked for their views on proposals to create a gravel pit at an 80-acre site at Park Farm, Earsham.

As residents at Haddiscoe continue to oppose similar plans in that village it emerged that Earsham Gravel Ltd is also looking at the large site at Park Farm, beside the A143, as it looks to increase its gravel extraction options for the future.

LOCAL people are being asked for their views on proposals to create a gravel pit at an 80-acre site at Park Farm, Earsham.

As residents at Haddiscoe continue to oppose similar plans in that village it emerged that Earsham Gravel Ltd is also looking at the large site at Park Farm, beside the A143, as it looks to increase its gravel extraction options for the future. It is one of a number of sites Norfolk County Council is consulting the public on.

As it borders Bungay, the town council's environment committee has discussed it, and concerns have been expressed that as there were already sufficient landfill sites for municipal waste, the provisions at Earsham were for inert waste recycling, such as crushing concrete. Some members feared that with a priority for recycled minerals and aggregates, that could take priority over restoration for afteruse, and the town council is being recommended to object to the proposals.

Stephen M Daw Ltd has put in the application on behalf of Earsham Gravels Ltd for the extraction of sand and gravel. There are estimated reserves of 2,353,000 tonnes there. There is no current mineral or waste planning permission at the site, but an active pit with planning permission for sand and gravel extraction lies immediately to the north-east of the proposed allocation site.

The report says the site is not close to any national nature conservation or landscape designations, and at its nearest point is about a kilometre south west of the Broads Authority boundary which has a designation equivalent to a national park.

The site comprises two areas either side of the track to Park Farm, gravel terraces on the side of the Waveney Valley and are in arable cultivation and/or have been or are partly in use for outdoor pigs.

But it says the allocation would have potential to affect the Biodiversity Action Plan for species and their habitats.

It is close to other Earsham gravel extraction sites at Pheasant Walk. The submission proposes an access is formed on to the A143, and that the plant would be located at a lower level near the Park Farm industrial units.

People have till March 28 to make their views known on the plans, which can be viewed at Norfolk County Council offices at Martineau Lane, Norwich, today from noon to 4pm.

The same goes for Haddiscoe where, as reported last week, people in Haddiscoe are up in arms about a gravel pit which is being planned near a “dangerous” road.

The proposed site is one of 105 being considered by Norfolk County Council to help supply a wave of housebuilding in the county, and has also been put forward by Earsham Gravels.

Parish council chairman Carol Grant said: “I've never had to chair a meeting with so many people. I was absolutely astonished by the number of people who came out, and most people were against it.”

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