Urgent Call to Stop Double-Threat to Bengeo Landscape and Hertford Water Resources.
Bengeo residents are now faced with a double threat to their natural landscape and the possible contamination of Hertford’s water supply, as developers continue to pursue their proposal of a quarry at Bengeo Field (along the B158 and Sacombe Road). Despite the depth of opposition against the Bengeo quarry proposal, the applicants have submitted both an appeal against the original decision to decline planning permission, and a new planning application, making it harder and more confusing for the public to fight the proposed plans. The Stop Bengeo Quarry Campaign (SBQ) is calling for an urgent public response to the matter, with the situation requiring separate letters of objection to be sent by early November.
Constituency MP Mark Prisk commented: “It’s very disappointing to see another attempt to force a quarry onto the community at Bengeo. The case against remains clear – it would be bad for air quality, bad for traffic and bad for water quality. All of us made this clear last time, and like other members of the community I remain opposed to this application, just as I did the last.”
Frustratingly for local residents, who have already done so much for the campaign, it is vital that responses are sent to two different bodies – Hertfordshire County Council and The Planning Inspectorate – to ensure the applicants’ requests for planning are denied. The deadlines for objections to the appeal and application are 2nd and 7th November 2017, giving people little time to voice their concerns. Aska Pickering, the Chairperson of the SBQ campaign, said: “We are doing all we can to raise awareness about this situation and we urge the local community to voice their objections, before it is too late.”
In the new proposal, the period and volume of the gravel extraction have been reduced. The area of the quarry will be also slightly reduced to fit within the current “preferred area” requirement. However, the character of the Bengeo Field landscape will be lost permanently, if the proposal is approved. With the entrance to the quarry from the B158, it would be in operation from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays. The site would receive, on average, a minimum of 80 lorries per day which equates to 440 lorries per week with 1 to/from the site every 8 minutes.
The new proposal is not hugely different from the previous application and most of the serious concerns regarding the impact of Bengeo quarry still remain. Bengeo residents and school children would be faced with the prospect of a large quarry on their doorstep. The repercussions of a Bengeo quarry are truly worrying not just for Bengeo residents but all those living in Hertford due to the risk that it poses through the possible contamination of the whole of Hertford’s water supply. Other equally worrying concerns include traffic and pollution (dust, noise, fumes), health concerns and irreparable damage to the landscape.
Our Campaign Leaflet (Feb 2017) also gives detailed information about our concerns, including:
- Dust, noise & health
- Impact on ecology and wildlife
- Highways and traffic
- Water supply
- Needs for gravel
Registering Your Objections
Please see below for the details for the two objection letters.
The New Application
Comments and objections should be sent to to Herts County Council by 2nd November 2017 to:
Post: Ms Felicity Hart, HCC Planning Officer, Spatial Planning & Economy Unit C, Hertford SG13 8DN
Comments and objections should be sent to The Planning Inspectorate by 7th November 2017 to:
Post (3 copies if possible but one is acceptable): Ms Holly Dutton, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 30, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN
The developer is counting on residents being “battle weary” and any signs of weakness on our part will be used against us. This is why now, more than ever, it is important that we stick together and fight these proposals.
Donate & Help Support The Campaign
You can donate and support the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign (to pay for professional and legal advice for the campaign):
NatWest bank account: Stop Bengeo Quarry Group, sort code 60-10-39, account number 14189135
or https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stop-bengeo-quarry (5% charge applies)
You can also download our campaign leaflet using the link at the bottom of any page on the website (under Downloads).