Silica sand review

Norfolk County Council has a duty to produce and maintain an up-to-date Minerals Plan which forms the basis for determining any planning applications for mineral extraction that are lodged with the authority.

The Minerals Site Specific Allocations DPD contains a requirement for a Silica Sand Review of the Plan to be completed by 2016.

The purpose of the Silica Sand Review is to address the predicted shortfall in the quantity of silica sand extraction sites allocated in the Plan, by designating specific sites and areas of search which would be suitable to meet this shortfall.

It is predicted that around 750,000 tonnes of silica sand will be extracted from Norfolk per year and that no more than 1 or 2 additional specific sites will need to be allocated over the plan period (to 2026) to meet the shortfall.

The Silica Sand resource in Norfolk is found entirely within the administrative boundary of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council. A map showing the area of the silica sand resource is available here.

The review takes place in stages;

  • Initial consultation (March – April 2015)
  • Call for sites (June 2015)
  • Preferred options consultation (November – December 2015)
  • Pre-Submission representations stage (May – June 2016)
  • Pre-Submission Addendum: Modifications representations stage (September – October 2016)
  • Submission to the Secretary of State (December 2016)
  • Examination
  • Adoption

Silica Sand Review examination

The examination hearings for the Silica Sand Review took place in March 2017. Following the hearing sessions the independent Planning Inspector has asked Norfolk County Council to publish modifications for representations to be made.

A representations period on Main Modifications and Additional Modifications to the Single Issue Silica Sand Review is taking place from 17 July to 1 September 2017. Further details are available on the Silica Sand Review examination webpage.

Pre-Submission Addendum: Modifications

Following the Pre-Submission representations stage, Norfolk County Council prepared modifications to the Pre-Submission version of the Single Issue Silica Sand Review. The modifications included:

  • Amending the southern boundary of Area of Search AOS D (located in the parishes of East Winch and Pentney) to move it northwards to within the existing woodland
  • Area of Search A (located in the parishes of Ingoldisthorpe, Snettisham & Dersingham) is no longer allocated and will therefore be deleted from the Silica Sand Review. No replacement areas of search are proposed for silica sand extraction.
  • Amending the Areas of Search Policy and Specific Site Allocation Policy SIL01 requirements for a landscape and visual impact assessment.

Further information is provided in the ‘Pre-Submission Addendum: Modifications’ document. The ‘Pre-Submission Addendum: Modifications’, including associated changes to supporting documents, was published to allow representations on the soundness and legal compliance of the modifications to be made, over a six week period, from 14 September to 27 October 2016 (inclusive).

The representations received can be viewed here. A Feedback Report containing the main issues raised in response to the Modifications representations period and Norfolk County Council’s officer responses to them has been produced.

Pre-Submission representations stage

The Pre-Submission version of the Minerals Site Specific Allocations DPD - Single Issue Silica Sand review was published to allow representations on the soundness and legal compliance of the document to be made, over a six week period, from 16 May to 27 June 2016 (inclusive). 

The Pre-Submission version of the Silica Sand Review allocates one specific site for silica sand extraction and six Areas of Search (AoS) which have been defined by planning officers. Areas of search are large areas within which permission for silica sand extraction may be granted on a smaller area of land. Developers wanting to extract mineral from specific sites or land within an area of search allocated in the Silica Sand Review will still need to apply for and be granted planning permission before mineral extraction can take place.

The areas of search and site allocated in the Silica Sand Review Pre-Submission document are located in the following parishes: Bawsey, Dersingham, East Winch, Ingoldisthorpe, Marham, Pentney, Runcton Holme, Shouldham, Shouldham Thorpe, Snettisham, Stow Bardolph, Tottenhill, Wormegay.

The Pre-Submission document is available to view here

In addition to the Pre-Submission document, the following documents which provide information to support the policies in the Silica Sand Review have also been published:

  • Revised Policies Map (illustrates the policies contained in the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan)
  • Sustainability Appraisal Report (Parts A and B) (shows social, environmental and economic impacts of the Silica Sand Review)
  • Sustainability Appraisal non-technical summary (summary of above)
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment (of impacts on European-designated nature conservation sites)
  • Pre-Submission Statement of Consultation (details consultees and their responses)
  • Equality Impact Assessment (how different people will be affected by the Silica Sand Review process and policies)
  • Flood Risk Sequential Test (demonstrates compliance with the requirements of paragraphs 100-101 of the National Planning Policy Framework)

All of the above documents can be viewed here

Click here for an interactive version of the Silica Sand Review Pre-submission Revised Policies map

Responses which were made to the Pre-Submission representations period are available here

A Feedback Report containing the main issues raised in response to the Pre-Submission representations period and Norfolk County Council's officer responses to them has been produced. 

Previous consultation stages

Initial consultation

The first stage in the Silica Sand Review process was to consult with stakeholders, including parish councils and the public.

The Initial Consultation document contained a number of questions regarding the approach that the County Council proposed to take in the assessment of specific sites and, if necessary, in the designation of preferred areas/areas of search for future silica sand extraction.

The Initial Consultation document and the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report were published for a 6 week consultation period, which took place between 9 March to 20 April 2015.

Responses which were made to this consultation are available here.

A Feedback Report containing all the comments received in response to the Initial Consultation, a Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report and Norfolk County Council's officer responses to them has been produced.

Call for sites

The 'call for sites' for the Single Issue Silica Sand Review of the Norfolk Minerals Site Specific Allocations Plan took place during June 2015.

The purpose of the 'call for sites' was to encourage proposals for potential specific site allocations for silica sand extraction, up to 2026, to be submitted. Only one site was proposed, which has been assessed by Norfolk County Council officers and has been subject to public consultation.

The form that was used for the 'call for sites' is available to view here.

Preferred options consultation

Following the Initial Consultation on the Silica Sand Review, the next stage in the process was the Preferred Options Consultation, which took place for 6 weeks between 6 November and 21 December 2015.

The Preferred Options consultation document contains one specific site for silica sand extraction and 10 areas of search which have been defined by planning officers.

Areas of search are large areas within which permission for silica sand extraction may be granted on a smaller area of land.

The Preferred Options document contains an explanation of how the 10 areas of search have been defined and an assessment of the specific site and each of the areas of search.

The Preferred Options Consultation document, was published, together with 3 supporting documents: an Initial Sustainability Appraisal Report (Parts A and B) and a Habitats Regulations Assessment - Test of Likely Significant Effects. 

These previous consultation documents can be viewed on our e-consultation website.