Quarry plans in West Norfolk villages ‘should not go ahead’ says MP
Proposals for silica sand extraction near two West Norfolk villages “should not go ahead” as it lacks local support, an MP has said.
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss made the comments following a public meeting last week to discuss the proposals to extract silica sand from land between Marham and Shouldham.
Some 150 people packed into Marham Village Hall for the meeting on Friday evening, which was also attended by county councillor Graham Middleton and Mike Hurley, sustainability manager for Sibelco, which has made the proposals.
Mr Hurley said the area is known to have “very high quality sand” which can be made into clear glass, and which, if it were to go ahead, would be pumped to and processed at Sibelco’s existing plant at Leziate.
He added an application was “some way off”.
Members of the public voiced their fears about how the plans would affect environmental issues, quality of life and the value of homes.
One resident said: “The planning process doesn’t take into account any effect on properties – what it does to your property in value.
“I worked all my life to get what I have got. I might need my property to finance my care as I get older.”
“At the end of the day, all we’re talking about is the destruction of a village,” another said.
Ms Truss told those who attended the meeting that she would “go away and investigate” how the proposals measure against national policy and the application process itself to ensure it is not “railroaded through”.
Ms Truss added: “There is strong opposition to this proposal and I fully understand residents’ concerns.
“The scale of the site between Marham and Shouldham is considerable and one of the points raised at the meeting is how such an operation sits with the government’s ambitions for the 25-year environment plan, improve recycling and the health and welfare of our nation.
“Another factor is a genuine concern for the impact this will have on the value of people’s homes in the area.
“There were some excellent points raised at the meeting and although this is still at the consultation phase and a planning application has yet to be submitted, it is evident there is not the local support, so I believe it should not go ahead.”