Victory for residents after West Norfolk location taken off list of potential sites for silica sand extraction

One of the proposed silica sand sites in Dersingham. Picture: Ian Burt

One of the proposed silica sand sites in Dersingham. Picture: Ian Burt

Campaigners are hailing it as a victory for residents after a site in west Norfolk was taken off a list of potential silica sand extraction locations.

Norfolk County Council identified six areas where silica sand extraction would be a possibility, including land between Snettisham and Dersingham, near the RSPB nature reserve.

But concerns were raised by residents about the effect on traffic, noise, tourism and dust, and Dersingham Parish Council lodged a formal objection on environmental and highways grounds.

The news was welcomed by Sir Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, who campaigned against the proposal.

He said: 'This really is a great victory for residents of Snettisham and the surrounding villages. Everyone agrees that we do need silica sand quarries in Norfolk, but it is imperative that only those sites that meet certain key criteria are given the go-ahead.

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'This site was always going to be completely unsuitable and deeply unpopular owing to its proximity to village houses and also given the key importance of tourism to this part of Norfolk.'

Thousands of people objected to the plans and attended public meetings.

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The campaign group, Wash Against Silica Pit (WASP), said on its Facebook page: 'This is obviously a massive, timely and low-cost victory for all concerned that will protect this vital 348 hectares of historical, environmental and employment importance from open mining for years to come.'

Norfolk County Council confirmed that the site had been removed from the list.

A spokesman said the decision was made after objections had been raised concerning potential adverse effects on the landscape character of the area and the setting of the area of outstanding natural beauty.

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