'It's under threat of total destruction'-ongoing concern over quarry plans
PUBLISHED: 16:32 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:40 12 December 2019
Local residents have expressed their concern about the potential plans to use part of a Norfolk woodland for quarrying.
Lowri Coulten, a former resident of Shouldham, and Robin Jamieson, who also lives near the Warren, have voiced their concern at the proposed plans to use the site of Shouldham Warren for silica quarries.
Mrs Coulten, who lives in Boughton and visits the woodlands three times a week, said: "I regularly use the Warren all year round.
"I have walked and ridden here for over 40 years and, and like many others who walk, ride, run and cycle here, it is a place I cherish - the only area of open access land between Kings Lynn and Cambridge which is also accessible for the disabled.
"It is unthinkable that it should be under threat of total destruction to make way for a gravel pit the size of 100 Wembley Stadiums."
The 68-year old has added her voice to the ongoing calls to save the site from being turned into a quarry.
She added: "The situation is the Warren sits in a large deposit of silica sand in the UK but there's plenty of it across the UK and in less environmentally important places.
"Here we have the potential of destroying vast woodlands of pine.
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"The environmental impact on the area is going to be huge.
"It is a huge amenity and its loss will be hugely felt.
"It's immensely frustrating, questions need to be asked and a ruckus needs to be created.
"There will be thousands of people affected by this.
Robin Jamieson, who regularly uses the woodlands for running, has also expressed his concern.
The 78-year-old ran 7.2 miles on Sunday, December 8 as part of the Shouldham Challenge to "draw attention to ongoing threats" posed by the plans.
Mr Jamieson said: "I have enjoyed running in open countryside for over 70 years and I want the simple cost free pleasures of life to be available to future generations."
A Norfolk County Council spokesperson: "The recent consultation was on 41 potential mineral extraction sites, including Shouldham, as well as the strategic and development management policies for mineral and waste development within Norfolk until the end of 2036.
"We received just over 3,800 consultation responses to the whole plan, and are currently going through them all.
"We expect to finish this process and publish all responses by early next year.
"The next stage is the pre-submission publication stage, when representations are invited on the plan prior to its submission to the Secretary of State, it is expected that this six-week stage will be in May or June 2020."