Bengeo Quarry Continues to Threaten Hertford’s Landscape and Water

Bengeo Quarry Continues to Threaten Hertford’s Landscape and Water

Supporters of the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign (SBQ) came together for a Summer Walk across Bengeo Field, as the fight to preserve the local landscape continues.  On Sunday 10th September Stop Bengeo Quarry hosted the event, which consisted of a walk to the Woodman pub in Chapmore End, where a day of live music and a barbecue took place for the community event.  More than 120 people attended during the day, to back the fight to Stop Bengeo Quarry, which is getting ready for its next round of campaigning to gain further support.

Adults, children and dogs gathered at the Old Oak Tree on the path at Bengeo Field to begin a day in aid of the green space between Wadesmill and Sacombe Road.  Supporters were invited to wear red for Stop Bengeo Quarry or green to celebrate our countryside, with prizes for the best outfits.  It was a fun day out for all the family, with activities for children along the walk, and a selection of fantastic live music at the Woodman pub, including local acts such as Baron Goodlove and Chloe Turner.  

The campaign now needs the support of the public again as the Bengeo Quarry applicant has appealed against Hertford County Council’s decision to reject the application.  The next stage in the process will require expert consultation which SBQ will need to raise funding for.  SBQ also needs to prepare for the possibility of the Bengeo Quarry applicant making another smaller application in the same area.  

There have been some promising developments in the Minerals Local Plan published recommendations by Hertford County Council, which suggest that neither Bengeo Field nor Rickneys would be considered as a “preferred area for quarrying”. However, the final decision will take until late 2018, so the issue is far from over.

 

Summer Walk To The Woodman

Join us at the Old Oak Tree on the footpath at Bengeo Field alongside Wadesmill Road (B158) and Sacombe Road at 11 am. We will walk together to the Woodman Pub in Chapmore End arriving by midday. If walking is not your thing – meet us at the Woodman pub. There will be live music and BBQ at the Woodman between 12 – 4pm. There will be also some fun activities for children and adults along the walk and in the pub. Wear RED for Stop Bengeo Quarry Campaign and GREEN for our countryside (there will be a reward for best outfits).

Live music in the Woodman

Simon Cragg
Garden Room
Beth Hedges
Chloe Turner
Baron Goodlove
The Greyhound Factory

Donations are welcome from walkers but are in no way compulsory. There will be Barbeque.

After the successful rejection of the previous proposal of the Bengeo quarry by County Development Control Committee, the Stop Bengeo Quarry is now preparing to the imminent appeal against this decision, as well as any other new quarry applications, and the expected consultation for Minerals Local Plan (and selection of “preferred arrears” for quarrying). Thanks to outstanding support from the local community we managed to achieve a lot. To give us the best chance of stopping the quarry in Bengeo Field and Rickneys’ for good, we need to raise funds for consultants and legal advice.

Let’s have a field day….

Neighbourhood Plan Community Meeting

Hertford Town Council, the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan Steering Group and local Residents’ Associations would like to invite the community of Bengeo to participate in creating a neighbourhood area plan for Bengeo.

Attend this first community meeting to find out how Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan can influence where you live and work, and to have your say on: • future residential development • countryside and open spaces • roads, cycleways, and parking • shops, community centres, health provision • heritage and culture • anything else you think is important.

This is an important, long-term community project that will shape the future of Bengeo and local knowledge and expertise provided by the local community will be critical to its success.
Residents, businesses and local organisations – please come along to the meeting to share your views and find out how you can get involved!

Final Rally Says ‘No’

More than 150 people turned out on Sunday 12th March for the final rally of support for the campaign to stop plans for a gravel extraction quarry in Bengeo getting the green light.

Residents from Bengeo and further afield, including many families with children at nearby Bengeo school, gathered at the Wick park and walked to the field at the heart of the proposals.

On Friday, the group were delighted to hear that planning officers at Hertfordshire County Council were recommending that the proposals were turned down.

Key to their concerns are air pollution caused by the dust produced during the extraction process and road congestion caused by the HGVs travelling to and from the plant each day.

Aska Pickering, who chairs the campaign committee group, said: “After almost a year of campaigning and gathering support, we were delighted to hear of the planning officers’ recommendations. However, the decision will be made by the Development Control Committee on 22nd March, so we wanted to give the campaign one last push and demonstrate how much the community cares about saving the Bengeo Field from becoming a quarry.

We are very concerned  about the risk of water contamination, the risk of harming health of the children at Bengeo Primary and all local residents who would be exposed to dangerous dust particles. We are worried about the implications to the traffic and road safety. And finally we want to protect this iconic Hertford landscape and Bengeo’s much loved amenity.”

Over 3,000 people have shown their support for the campaign, with nearly 2,000 people signing the latest petition and a further 1,331 writing objection letters.

The campaign group is urging local residents to demonstrate their support on 22nd March at County Hall, Pegs Lane from 9am, with the Committee meeting starting at 10am.

Protesters being filmed from the air

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Aerial Photo Opportunity

We would like to invite you to join us at the Wick Field/Sacombe Road playing field on Sunday 12 March 2017.

This is our last chance to show our opposition to the quarry application in Bengeo Field.

We are hoping that you can come and join us briefly to raise some further publicity before the HCC Committee meeting. The plan is:

  • 11-11.15am aerial photo in the Wick Field – we will stand in the shape of letter NO, other photos will be taken on ground
  • 11.15-11.45 walk to the Lonely Oak tree to put a stone in the circle around the tree.

Please wear red for stop and green for tree/field if you can. See you there! Please share.

Campaign Stall Attracts Hundreds

Hundreds of people visited our stall at Hertford Market on Saturday 18th February. Local residents and shoppers stopped and shared their concerns with fellow campaigners and councillors who were there throughout the day.  Visitors to the stall expressed concern about how close the quarry would be to a school and residential areas. One man said he had only just moved to Hertford, and if he had known about the plans he certainly would not have come to the area. Local people were also unaware that their water supply comes from the Wadesmill Road boreholes.

Local Councillors lending their support on the day included Cllr Andrew Stevenson (Hertfordshire County Council), Cllr Michael McMullen (East Herts District Council), Cllr Sally Newton (Hertford Town Council) and the Mayor of Hertford, Cllr Linda Radford.

Photos

Campaign Stall on Hertford Market

The Stop Bengeo Quarry Campaign will have a stall on Hertford Market this coming Saturday 18th February, from 9am to 4pm. Members of the public and supported will have an opportunity to discuss the revised Bengeo quarry proposal, the current public consultation, the campaign’s response, and the preparations for the HCC Development Control Committee, currently believed to be 22nd March.

We will also be joined at 11am by County Councillor Andrew Stevenson.

Download our new campaign leaflet below.

Tree Walk Ends Summer Challenge

Stop Bengeo Quarry campaigners and supporters celebrated the end of the Bengeo Field Summer Challenge last Sunday by joining a walk to the Lonely Oak Tree in the middle of the field.

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There were activities on the route, including a sports challenge, stone painting, tree games and activities. At the tree there was a whole variety of delicious cakes as well as small gifts for children who completed the Summer Challenge.

The organisers would like to thank all the supporters. The campaign against the Bengeo quarry proposal continues, with the HCC Development Control Committee expected most likely to take place on 21 December at 10 am at the County Hall.

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Bengeo Quarry Update

On Tuesday 6 September around 180 residents attended the Stop Bengeo Quarry meeting focused on the latest developments of the Bengeo quarry proposal. The meeting was held at Bengeo Primary School, which is only 320 metres from the site of the proposed gravel quarry.

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Campaigners presented a brief update on the main areas of concerns and objections against the quarry proposal, including an overview of the responses submitted to HCC date (all available on HCC website, as well as www.stopbengeoquarry.org.uk).

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