MP to take delegation to Secretary of State to discuss silica extraction plans in west Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 16:02 21 January 2019
An MP has spoken of her concern at the scale of a plan to extract silica from a quarry in west Norfolk.
Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, met with Campaigners Against Two Silica Sites (Catss) and more than 60 members of the public to discuss the planned proposal and walk the public footpath between Marham and Shouldham near King’s Lynn where the development could take place.
Ms Truss said: “A number of concerns have been raised with me about the plan for silica extraction in the Marham / Shouldham area and it was extremely useful to walk the route with local residents to see where the proposed excavation will take place.
“I echo their reservations, questioning the need for such a large scale quarry, the impact this will have on the environment and their homes plus the damage that will potentially be caused to the historic nature of this area.”
After the walk, Ms Truss and the party members visited the Sibelco site at Leziate to learn more about the quarry operation.
Ms Truss added: “I am extremely grateful for the time given by staff at the site to show us around, but my concern with the scale of this proposal at Marham remains and I will be taking a delegation from Marham and Shouldham to meet the Secretary of State to discuss the government’s mineral policy and the impact this has on our rural environment.”
Founder Catss member, Christine Wilson-Low said: “We had a really good turnout for the walk, and Ms Truss shared our concerns and reservations.
“Some have said we just think ‘not in my back-yard’, and there is an element of that, but it’s more about the health and environmental issues. A pound coin size amount of silica sand can cause health issues, and with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) particularly high in our villages we think an alternative site should be considered.”
The outline plans proposed by Sibelco UK Ltd to Norfolk County Council state that they would pump the sand, which is used to make glass, from the site to its processing facility at Leziate.
Sibelco UK Ltd have been approached, but haven’t provided a comment.