Concerns about the impact sand extraction would have on land between Snettisham and Dersingham were raised by Ingoldisthorpe parish councillors at their meeting on Wednesday.
Land to the west of Snettisham and Ingoldisthorpe has been identified as one of the preferred options in Norfolk County Council’s Silica Sand Review, which aims to address the predicted shortfall in silica sand extraction sites allocated in its Minerals Plan.
Parish council chairman, James Wilson, declared an interest and left the meeting while the matter was discussed. However, before this, he explained that he had been approached and that his land was being surveyed to see if any silica was there.
He said: “I am in the position where my land joins straight onto the bypass. How sand is moved is a cause for concern. It would have to go by road before being processed and moved further on.” He added that quarries and sand extraction sites can cause a disturbance, but afterwards land can be returned to a wetland environment.
After he had left the meeting, other parish councillors discussed the impact such a site would have on traffic, wildlife and tourism. If the sand is moved by road it would lead to a massive increase in HGVs and there would be an increased danger from turning vehicles, the meeting heard. There was also concern about the long-term impact on migratory birds, whether excavations would cause the River Ingol to silt up and the possibility of fine sand being blown across large populated areas.
Councillors agreed to contact Snettisham parish councillor Stuart Dark, who is leading the Wash Against Silica Pit action group, to see if he might be able to talk to villagers and provide more information for the council’s website.
Dersingham Parish Council, which is lodging a formal objection on environmental and highways grounds, is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, June 8, 7pm, at St Cecilia’s Catholic Church, for all local residents to discuss the issue.