Marham News

Marham News  –  September 2018

Norfolk Mineral and Waste Plan

This was discussed at the Parish Council meeting on Wednesday 12th September.  A significant number of parishioners attended the meeting, including members from the action group against the development, and well over an hour was devoted to public debate. 

In a lively discussion the points raised concerned the timescales and manner in which the public were informed.  Some of the main points of concern were:

·        The fact that an informal meeting had been held between representatives of the Parish Council and Mr M. Hurley of Sibelco, before the Parish Council meeting of 25th July, and therefore before the public had a chance to comment.

·        The fact that Parish Council minutes from May 2016 had noted that the discussion of a proposal to extract sand had been brought to the attention of the Council and that the Council had resolved to take no action.

·        The fact that the Parish Council did not inform the parishioners or call a public meeting as soon as the proposal was made known in June 2018. 

·        The perception that the Parish Council was slow in informing parishioners of ongoing developments within this area and also within other areas.

In response, the Parish Council made the following comments:

·        The clerk to the Parish Council first received information relating to the current preferred site on 28th June 2018 and informed the Councillors on 29th June 2018.

·        The informal meeting with Mr Hurley was arranged simply to gather facts.  At that point the Council knew nothing more than the information contained in the Norfolk County Council Mineral and Waste plan, which indicated on pages 223 to 227 that a large site to the north of Marham had been identified as a possible quarry site.  This information was in the public domain and had been discovered by a member of the Parish Council.  They therefore knew no more than any other parishioner.

·        The identification of a possible mineral extraction area discussed at the meeting in May 2016 concerned a much smaller site centred on Shouldham Warren that was felt would have had little or no impact on Marham.   The Parish Council was advised by Kings Lynn Borough Council that no action was necessary.

·        The Parish Council did not call a public meeting between finding out about the proposal at the very end of June and their regular meeting three weeks later or arrange a leaflet drop.  This was on the advice of the County Council who informed Marham Parish Council that they, the County Council, would contact those houses affected by the proposal and would advertise the proposed development in the local press.  However, the Parish Council did invite Mr Hurley from Sibelco to their next meeting, held on 25th July, which as is normal, was open to the public.  An agenda for that meeting was published in the usual way on the website and on various noticeboards around the village.

There has been a recognition that the methods used by the Parish Council to disseminate information were not as robust as they could have been.  To remedy this a number of measures have been put in place.

§  A newsletter, (this is number 3), will be published as soon as possible after Parish Council meetings.  This will be sent out by e-mail to those people on the e-mail distribution list, displayed on noticeboards around the village and the most recent edition will be included in Proposed and Seconded which is delivered to every house.  In addition, if any urgent or important information comes to the attention of the Parish Council, this will be published as soon as is practical as a “News Update” in the same way.

§  An e-mail distribution list has been set up.  Anyone wishing to join this list should e-mail  Their name will be added, and they will receive a monthly newsletter, news updates as they arise and Proposed and Seconded on a regular basis.  Their e-mail address will remain confidential and will only be used for this purpose.   

§  Full minutes of Parish Council meetings and agendas will continue to be published as usual on the website and on noticeboards.

§  The Parish Council has arranged two public meetings.  The first is to be held on Wednesday 3rd October at 7.30 when County Councillor Graham Middleton and Mr Mike Hurley from Sibelco will attend to answer questions.  The second will be on Friday 12th October running from 6.30 to 7.30 when Elizabeth Truss MP will attend. 

To further enhance the transparency and co-operation between the Parish Council and the Action Group: 

·        At the meeting on 12th September 2018, two councillors, Inga Barrett and Chris Child were appointed to liaise with the Action Group.  It is hoped that two representatives from Shouldham Parish Council will adopt similar roles.

·        Marham Parish Council placed an item on the agenda for their next meeting on October 24th 2018 to discuss the setting up of a sub-committee of the Council to deal with this matter.

·        The sum of £1,000 was set aside from Marham Parish Council funds to fund agreed actions in relation to the Norfolk Waste and Mineral Plan and the proposed development.  Any disbursement will be controlled by the Council finance committee.


Work on the new pavements is now effectively complete giving a very nearly, uninterrupted footpath of three miles around the village.  There are still one or two details to sort out, but a number of favourable comments have already been received.  Funding is now being sought to create pavements alongside the, nearly completed, church wall renovations and to re-surface with smooth asphalt the section of pavement between Chapel Farm and Chapel House.

Community Payback

The next phase of work from the Community Payback Scheme will take place in October, when the village bus shelters will be cleaned and the path between Church View and School Lane will again be cleared. 

Speeding in the Village

During August the automatic speed camera was placed on Squires Hill.  It recorded 32,667 vehicles passing, over 30% of which were exceeding the speed limit. 

RAF Marham

Construction work to facilitate the operation of the new Lightning aircraft is continuing at RAF Marham.  This is likely to be ongoing for the foreseeable future. 

Teams from the airfield have been active in the village clearing away the ivy on the church wall and cleaning the headstones in the cemetery prior to the Remembrance Day parade.


There are now only two vacant allotment plots available to rent.  If you have been thinking of getting some healthy exercise and at the same time growing produce for next year, don’t hesitate any longer. This is an ideal time to take one on as there is ample time to prepare and begin planting ready for a bumper harvest next year.  If you are interested, please contact Councillor Inga Barret on 07557 351911.

Councillor Vacancy

A vacancy exists for a Councillor to serve on Marham Parish Council.  Further details can be found on the Marham Parish Website but in brief, if you are interested you can apply in writing to: The Parish Clerk, Mrs Sara Porter, The Old School House, Stoke Ferry, Kings Lynn Norfolk, PE33 9SF by Wednesday 17th October.  Applications will be considered and hopefully an individual co-opted onto the Parish Council at the meeting on Wednesday 24th October.



Forthcoming Events

The Parish Council has organised a number of social events, all of which will be held in the village hall. 


Family Race Night                  Saturday 13th October

Good fun for all the family.  Monty’s Rolls will be in attendance, so you can buy supper while you watch the races.  If you would like to sponsor a horse or even a race, please get in touch with Councillor Tina Hawkins (01760 338670) who will be delighted to give you further details.


100 Years of RAF Marham     Tuesday 16th October

Starting at 2.30pm Steve Roberts, the curator of the Heritage Centre will give a presentation on the last 100 years of RAF Marham.  Tickets cost £2.50 and include refreshments.  Contact Chris Child (01760 444112).


Bingo Night                            Friday 23rd November

Following the success of the last Bingo Evening, the Parish Council has arranged another.  Once again, the ticket price, £7, includes a delicious fish and chip supper.


Christmas Fair                        Sunday 9th December

All the stalls have been booked, in fact there is no more room, so it should prove to be a busy event.  We understand that Father Christmas is hoping to find time to put in an appearance.


Hope to see you at some or all of these events.

Marham Update

Councillor Vacancy

A vacancy exists for a Councillor to serve on Marham Parish Council.  This position has been advertised on the website and on noticeboards throughout the village.  This is a formal process with strict rules and timetables which have been followed.  We are now at the stage where the Council will co-opt an individual to fill this space.  Further details can be found on the Marham Parish Website but in brief, if you are interested, you can apply in writing to the Parish Clerk, Mrs Sara Porter, The Old School House, Stoke Ferry, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE33 9SF by Wednesday 17th October.  Applications will be considered, and hopefully an individual co-opted onto the Parish Council at the Parish Council Meeting on Wednesday 24th October.

Silica Sand – Initial Consultation – Q&A’s (list not exhaustive)


Does it have to be Sibelco that extracts the sand? Can it go out to tender?
That is not the decision of Marham Parish Council; Norfolk County Council will determine this process.

If the sand cannot be piped out will it be taken out using HGV’s?
The preferred method would be by pipe but this would be determined in the planning application if it gets to the planning stage.

When did Marham Parish Council find out about the consultation? Why did they not inform everyone?
Marham Parish Council received an email from Norfolk County Council informing us the Norfolk Waste & Minerals plan had been updated and a consultation was taking place. This was accompanied by a 286 page document; there was no mention of Marham being involved in the email.

The first Parish Councillor to read the document in full found that a large area in Marham was a preferred option. This was on pages 223-227 of the document.

An informal meeting was immediately arranged with the Sibelco representative and Norfolk County Council was contacted to ask whether the Parish Council should do a leaflet drop around Marham; Marham Parish Council was told there was no need as Norfolk County Council would be writing to all houses they considered would be affected and the details would be published in the Local Newspaper.

The Sibelco representative agreed to attend the July meeting of Marham Parish Council and the item was added to the Agenda; this was published on the 3 village notice boards and website.

Once Marham Parish Council had the facts, and an extension to the deadline for the consultation had been confirmed, a poster displaying the proposed site and details of how to object was posted on Facebook, the Parish website, 3 notice boards and placed on lamp posts around the Village.

Why did Marham Parish Council not comment on the consultation in 2016?
There was not a requirement to provide a response under the direction of Norfolk County Council at that time as the majority of preferred site clearly sat in the Parish of Shouldham (See map below).

Preferred Options
Have footpaths been put in the village for HGV’s to come through the Village?

The lack of footpaths was highlighted in the Parish Plan around 10 years ago.  Marham Parish Council has been working with Highways to create a footpath through the Village for the past 6 years.

Does Marham Parish Council own any of the land? Who does own the land?
Neither the Parish Council nor any of the Members of the Parish Council own any of the land.

What route will the HGV’s use to get to the area being worked on?
The suggestion is for HGV’s to enter the area via a new road from the east of the Village.

What will happen to the land once sand has been extracted?
That will be determined in the planning application if it gets to that stage.

Will there be people working 24/7?
Marham Parish Council has been informed there will not be anyone on site 24/7.

Will there be a lot of noise? Dust?
If this goes ahead, the company responsible for sand extraction will need to fully comply with health and safety legislation.

Are Marham Parish Council and Shouldham Parish Council working together to fight this?
Yes; Members of Shouldham Parish Council attended the Marham Parish Council meeting in July and Members of Marham Parish Council attended the Shouldham Parish Council meeting.

Shouldham Parish Council and residents have been invited to both public meetings in October. 

Why did Marham Parish Council respond to the consultation without first engaging with residents considering/representing their views?
Marham Parish Council reflected the opinions of the Council and the residents present at the meeting on 25th July 2018.

What actions is Marham Parish Council proposing to take going forward regarding this issue?
Two public meetings have been arranged so that residents can obtain as much information as possible before the next consultation.

Silica Sand –  Liaison Group

As a result of the proposal to extract silica sand from an area within the parishes of Marham and Shouldham, it has been suggested that a liaison group be formed made up of representatives from the action group against this development, Marham Parish Council and hopefully representatives from Shouldham Parish Council.  The formation of this group will be discussed at the next meeting of Marham Parish Council on 12th September.

Silica Sand –  Public Meetings

Marham Parish Council are to hold two public meetings at the Village Hall.  The first will be with County Councillor Graham Middleton and Mr Mike Hurley from Sibelco and will begin at 7.30pm on Wednesday 3rd October.  The second will be with Elizabeth Truss MP and will begin at 6.30pm on Friday 12th October.  The purpose of these meetings is to allow those present to express their views to the speakers and to the Parish Council. 

Marham News  –  August 2018

Norfolk Mineral and Waste Plan

Outline plans have been announced to develop a quarry to extract silica sand between Marham and Shouldham.  This is the initial consultation phase and marks the beginning of a long process.  If the proposal is accepted by Norfolk County Council, Sibelco, the company seeking to develop the quarry will carry out further exploratory work and draw up detailed plans before applying for planning permission.  This process could well take two or three years.   At that point a detailed planning application will be submitted, which will involve consultation and exhibitions with the relevant Parish Councils, residents and other interested parties who will be free to register any comments or objections for consideration by the planning committee.  Finally, if planning permission is granted, the potential start date is 2027 and it is expected that the site will be in operation for 20 years.  This is a “preferred area” and involves a 390 hectare site in total.  However, this includes land which will be used as a buffer zone and land that will be used to create screening banks and roadways.  It is anticipated that the actual extraction will take place in smaller areas within the overall site, totalling 215 hectares of land.  Sibelco, the company behind the proposal, operates a number of mineral extraction sites within the UK and abroad, including the site at Leziate.  It is expected that the silica sand, which will be used to manufacture clear glass products, will be transported to Leziate by pipeline, where it will be processed before being transported onwards by rail.  After the removal of between 8 and 16 metres of soil covering the sand, it will be extracted by dredging, which means the sand will be wet. 

More details can be found on the Norfolk County Council website in the Minerals and Waste Planning Policies section, listed under new proposals.  Comments on this proposal form question 69 headed Area Search to Land North of Shouldham.  Following representations to Graham Middleton, the deadline has been extended to Friday 17th August.  At this stage comments should be directed to Norfolk County Council and to Graham Middleton, a member of Norfolk County Council.  Comments should be based on sound reasoning such as, “White Clawed Crayfish that breed in the River Nar will be at significant risk from this development as ….”, or “There will be a significant increase in noise/light pollution/ dust/ traffic movements leading to …..”.  There will be another consultation process, open to Parish Councils, residents and others early in 2019 and a third opportunity when the planning proposal is submitted. 

At a meeting at Shouldham on 6th August concern was expressed at the way this matter had been publicised both by the County Council and Marham Parish Council.  It has been suggested that to keep people informed on this matter, and indeed anything else concerning Marham that comes to the attention of the Parish Council, an e-mail distribution list be set up.  If you would like to join this list and receive updates on matters coming to the attention of the Parish Council, please send your e-mail address to   You will then be added to the list and receive updates on a regular basis.  Your e-mail address will be kept confidential, it will only be used for this purpose and will not be passed on to anyone else for any other reason.   

It was also suggested at the meeting that parishioners may wish to make representation to their County Councillor, Cllr Graham Middleton over the way Norfolk County Council publicised this matter to local residents.  His e-mail address is

Another meeting has been arranged with Mike Hurley from Sibelco when Graham Middleton from Norfolk County Council will also be present.  It is hoped that Elizabeth Truss MP will also be able to attend.  It will take place at Marham Village Hall on Wednesday 3rd October beginning at 7.30pm.  This is the earliest date that both representatives from Sibelco and Norfolk County Council can attend. 


Work on the new pavements has been going on apace.  The section from the double bend by Chapel Farm to Lion Farmhouse is now complete while major excavations are being carried out at the Burnt House Drove end of the village.  Road closures are still in place and although they are causing some inconvenience they do allow the work to be carried out safely and as quickly as possible.

Community Payback

The next phase of work from the Community Payback Scheme will take place in October, when the village bus shelters will be cleaned and the village benches painted. 


During the last month, 51 vehicles have been logged at travelling faster than the 30mph limit through the village.  Members of the Speedwatch team typically observe traffic for an hour a week, which means that the actual number of vehicles speeding through the village is much larger.  This presents a potential danger to all of us, so please think about the possible consequences of driving too fast and observe the speed limit.  If you feel you can give an hour or so a week to join the Speedwatch team, please contact Councillor Dave Paisley on 01760 337068. 

RAF Marham

There are now 9 new F35 Lightning aircraft at Marham with no more due to arrive until spring of next year.  At present the main runway is closed to allow improvements to take place, and so an alternative runway is in use.  This means that the aircraft are following a slightly different flight pattern as they circle the airfield.  This is likely to continue for some time.

RAF Marham 100

As I am sure you are aware the RAF was formed 100 years ago this year, and Marham was established as one of its first bases.  To mark this, Steve Roberts MBE, the curator of the Heritage Centre at RAF Marham, will give a talk entitled From Bi-Planes to Lightnings – 100 years of RAF Marham, at the Village Hall on the afternoon of Tuesday 16th October.  Watch out for posters giving further details.


There are still a number of vacant allotment plots available to rent.  This is an ideal time to take one on as there is ample time to prepare them and begin planting ready for a bumper harvest next year.  If you are interested, please contact Councillor Inga Barret on 07557 351911.

Previous News Letters

Marham News June 2018

Marham News August 2018

Marham News September 2018

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