Turnstone, by John Maiden, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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On January 14, 2016, David Parkin, the planning officer who recommended approval for the Hopkins Homes estate on Redgate Hill between Hunstanton and Heacham, 
received a reminder from Caroline Jeffery, principal planner for mineral and waste policy at Norfolk County Council.

Her two-page letter began by citing a report presented to the planning committee in Lynn on November 2, 2015, which stated that no consultation response had been received from the Mineral Planning Authority.

She pointed out that in future cases where a response is expected, and has not been received, a follow up call might prove useful.

Miss Jeffery then reminded Mr Parkin that a duty is placed on Local Planning Authorities to ensure that mineral resources are not needlessly sterilised, as indicated in National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 143, and the guidance on safeguarding minerals published jointly by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the British Geological Survey.

After devoting six paragraphs to expanding this argument, Miss Jeffery informed Mr Parkin that because of “investigations carried out by the applicant” the mineral resource is now considered to be unviable due to poor quality.

However, in spite of her acceptance of evidence supplied by the applicant, she did conclude that there may be opportunities for material from on-site resources to be used in construction as this would improve sustainability of the project by reducing the need to extract 
mineral from elsewhere.

When I put this point to Mr Parkin he argued that extraction of the carrstone on site would leave holes that would still require at least 17,000 cubic metres of imported material (mostly carrstone) to fill them in.

In my opinion that will mean that lorry loads of what appears to be crushed carrstone will continue to disrupt the flow of traffic on the A149 for the foreseeable future.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, Mr Parkin will get another mention in dispatches, because of his failure to spot a small ‘pier’ when his attention was directed to revised plans for the ‘hangar’ on ‘The Green’ that were submitted five days before application 1037/F was approved by the planning committee under the chairmanship of Clifford Walters in September 2002.

The title of the presentation by myself is “The Pier Uncovered”.

This is based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The venue is Hunstanton Town Hall, 7.30pm, admission £1 for members of Hunstanton & District 
Civic Society, non members £3 (including refreshments).