Concerns about lorries shattering the tranquility of Norfolk villages have prompted the operators of a quarry to come up with a new route to the site, from Norwich's Northern Distributor Road.

Permission for minerals to be extracted at Spixworth quarry was granted in the mid 1990s, although it was not until years later that owners Tarmac began to dig sand and gravel out of the site.

Temporary permissions for the quarry site and an associated plant site, between Buxton Road and Church Lane, expired in October.

Tarmac applied to Norfolk County Council for fresh permission, so it can keep using the quarry and a nearby plant for another two years, until October 2024.

The building materials company said it needed the extension to extract the last remaining minerals and to restore the quarry to agricultural land.

Mineral extracted from the quarry has, historically, been transported to the plant site for processing, crossing Church Lane, via an approved haul road, while Buxton Road is also used.

However, the application to the continued use of the plant triggered 87 objections from people living in Hainford and Frettenham, with a further six objections to the extended use of the quarry.

People were worried about what they described as the "unacceptable impact of HGVs on the quiet enjoyment of the village", dust and air pollution, the danger to children and damage to roads.

Tarmac subsequently put forward a third application - to create a new access road to the quarry from a roundabout on the NDR.

That would mean lorries would use part of public right of way bridleway to reach the quarry, instead of using Buxton Road.

The proposals were discussed at a meeting of County Hall's planning committee on Friday (September 23).

Alan Everard, from Tarmac, told councillors the new access road had been proposed because of the objections.

He said: "We recognised the many objections and concerns raised by the parishes and the local community."

Paul Neale, Green county councillor raised concerns horse riders, ramblers and cyclists could come into conflict with the lorries on the shared right of way.

Officers said the public right of way would be widened, with signs to remind lorry drivers and bridleway users that the route was shared.

Councillors unanimously agreed to the proposals.