We understand that potential 23 areas for working quarry have been submitted to Herts County Council. The HCC will now select the cull of preferred areas for public consultation, which is now expected to take place around October. Our ambition is to have the entire Stoney Hills area (i.e. from Bengeo to A602) excluded from MLP. We believe all the arguments against the previous Bengeo quarry proposal (including landscape protection, local amenity of the area, and the risk of water supply pollution) apply against making it a preferred MLP area for extracting gravel. However, if the land goes through to the public consultation, we will respond as strongly as we have done before.
Rickney’s Quarry in 2016
Local District Plan and HERT4 developments
The East Hertfordshire District Plan consultation has been finalised earlier this year. The Secretary of State has appointed an inspector to carry out the independent examination of the Plan. She will determine whether the Plan has been prepared in accordance with the relevant legal requirements and that it is ‘sound’ i.e. positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy.
At the same time two Statements of Common Ground relating to HERT4 have been made available on the EHDC website:
- between EHDC and Kler Group in respect of the Bengeo Nursery site (part of HERT4) for 50 houses.
- between EHDC and Gowling WLG Trust in relation to the rest of HERT4 for 100 houses.
Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan has been set up in collaboration with local Residents’ Associations (MRA, LoBRA, WERA) and Town Council representatives. It is going through the approval process and we will share further information as soon as possible.
Potential appeal against the Bengeo quarry decision
The applicant has up to six months to appeal to Inspectorate against the HCC Development Control Committee’s decision about the Bengeo quarry proposal. As far as we know no appeal has been lodged. However the Gowling WLG Trust (also the applicant for the Bengeo quarry) states explicitly in their Statement of Common Ground (section 6.6) that they intend to appeal against the quarry decision: “This application was refused by Hertfordshire County Council on the 22nd March 2017. The Applicants will be submitting an appeal against this decision to the Planning Inspectorate as well as commencing negotiations with HCC on a revised scheme to extract minerals in accordance with its designation as a Preferred Area.”
It will be another busy year it seems.