80 attend quarry exhibition in East Winch

Exhibition of plans to continue sand extraction at East Winch village hall''left to right Mike Hurley, Maria Cotton, Simon Mace and Matthew Clements ANL-151115-154513009

Exhibition of plans to continue sand extraction at East Winch village hall''left to right Mike Hurley, Maria Cotton, Simon Mace and Matthew Clements ANL-151115-154513009

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A total of 80 people went along to a public exhibition to learn more about plans to extract sand from a West Norfolk quarry for a further five years.

Minerals firm Sibelco believes that three million tonnes of sand could be extracted from its site near East Winch during that time frame.

The firm is currently preparing a planning application which will be submitted to Norfolk County Council and held two public exhibitions in East Winch Village Hall on Friday and Saturday.

A spokesman said the exhibitions went very well and welcomed the feedback from residents.

He said: “People were raising all sorts of issues and as expected a good number of people had no problems with the plans due to the long history of sand extraction in the area.

“Some people came along with extraordinary fears about noise and dust, which on the whole, we were able to allay.

“One man who has moved into a house near the extraction site came in anxious about noise but left shaking hands.

“There maybe something we can adjust in the planning application to make sure we are taking on board what people have said. In due course, we will be submitting a planning application to the local authority and once again at that stage people will be able to talk with us and give us their views.

“If people have thoughts since the exhibition then please get in touch with us.”

The company has calculated that three million tonnes of sand could be extracted from the site by 2020.

Sand from West Norfolk area are the most important source of glass making in the country and is in great demand by glass manufacturers.

Sibelco provides minerals to firms throughout the world in a broad range of industries including ceramics, glass, foundry and paper.

The firm had owned Bawsey Pits but sold this on to Stephen Bacon in October.

Mr Bacon is passionate about the railway station, which forms part of the site, and is hoping people will be able to dine in luxurious stationary carriages while soaking up the ambience of a beautiful time in history and enjoying the views.