Firm seeks five more years of sand extraction from East Winch site

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Managers of a West Norfolk sand quarry have revealed their wish to continue extracting material from the site for another five years.

Officials from Sibelco, the former owners of the nearby Bawsey Pits, believe as much as three million tonnes of the material, which is used in glass making, could be extracted from their site near East Winch during that period.

And the company has announced it will hold two public exhibitions on the issue in East Winch next week.

The events have been arranged ahead of the likely submission of an application to Norfolk County Council for planning permission to extend the company’s work at the site.

Mike Hurley, Sibelco’s sustainability manager, said: “We have been operating in the King’s Lynn area for very many years and always do what we can to be a good neighbour.

“Nature has determined where the sand has been deposited of course and it remains in great demand by glass manufacturers.

“We have calculated that about three million tonnes can be delivered by the time extraction would be completed in 2020.

“The deposits there are, in my opinion, far and away the most important source of glass-making sand in the whole country.

“But, before we proceed with an application we’d like to hear residents’ thoughts.

“There are many matters to consider and we need to ensure the reserves, if planning permission is granted, are worked responsibly and with a long-term restoration plan in mind.”

An exhibition of the company’s proposals will take place at the East Winch village hall next Friday, November 13, between 4pm and 8pm.

A further event will take place the following day, also at the village hall, on Saturday, November 14, between 9.30am and 2pm.

Mr Hurley said: “We hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to come and meet us so we can explain exactly what our proposals entail and hear local community views to help us shape the application.”