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West Norfolk villagers set up action group in response to silica sand proposals

An action group has been set up in two West Norfolk villages in a response to Norfolk County Council’s proposals for a new silica sand site.

Residents in Shouldham and Marham have joined together to create the group, and have launched an online petition, ahead of a consultation on the matter closing next Friday.

The outline plans are for a quarry on a site of land between the two villages, proposed by Sibelco UK Ltd.

King's Arms in Shouldham, where an informal meeting of the action group will be held this evening. (3534260)
King's Arms in Shouldham, where an informal meeting of the action group will be held this evening. (3534260)

County councillor Graham Middleton, who represents the villages, said: “The county council are at the very early stages of putting together a plan for silica extraction for the future.

“I will be working closely with residents, officers and borough councillors throughout this process to ensure that all knowledge is gained and all questions are not left unanswered.”

He added: “My role is to support the wishes of my residents through this most concerning time for them and to that I will do.”

The county council has a duty to produce and maintain a Minerals and Waste Local Plan to ensure it meets national policy requirements.

Following the initial consultation, taking place now, the next stages of the authority’s review will include a preferred options consultation, a pre-submission publication, and a submission to the secretary of state before plans reach examination and adoption.

Members of the action group are to hold a meeting this evening at the King's Arms in Shouldham from 7.30pm to discuss how to move forward in response to the consultation.

Mr Middleton said he will attend this meeting and future meetings on the topic.

On the action group’s Facebook page Alec Seaman said: “This is a meeting for those residents in Marham and Shouldham wanting to form part of an active and coordinated group to respond to the proposed silica extraction site.”

A further public meeting organised by Marham Parish Council will be held at Marham Village Hall on Wednesday, October 3 at 7.30pm with council and Sibelco representatives in attendance.

Comments can be submitted to the county council online, at norfolk.jdi-consult.net/localplan/, via email, to LDF@norfolk.gov.uk, or via post, to Planning Services, CES, Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2SG.

The petition can be accessed via bit.ly/2OWlEE3.

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