Constituency Councillor Lends Support

ehc_picCouncillor Paul Phillips, who represents Bengeo on East Herts District Council, has submitted his letter of objection to the County Council.

His comments highlight the impact of pollution, traffic, and the health and wellbeing of his constituents.

He also comments on the merits of the plan overall:

… this application does strike me as opportunist when you consider the Consultation of the new Mineral Local Plan and I wonder if the application had been made 5 or 10 years ago whether the impact would have been as great.

His full letter appears below.

Dear Ms Hart,

I am writing to express my profound objection to the application above.

I am a local Councillor for East Herts Council and have been presented with over 240 letters and emails of concern, many of which I am sure you will have also now seen.

As a Councillor, I am well aware of the needs of the larger communities, within Hertford, Hertfordshire and the Country as a whole. I also appreciate that as a County we have mineral deposits that we have an obligation to make available so that they Country can prosper, however with this application I do believe the risks greatly outway the benefits.

Having read through many of the Application documents on the County Council website, I find a number of things stand out.

Continue reading →

Campaign Song

Local singer/songwriter Mike Excell has written a song in support of the campaign titled No To The Quarry. Mike is a regular performer around the county at acoustic events and local festivals.

Mike Excell

Mike commented: “After living in Bengeo for 40 years I still love to walk across these fields. It was a great place to bring up our sons, who went to Bengeo School. That, and the woods and open countryside just around the corner were the main reasons we moved here – what we’ve got is precious and we should fight to preserve it.”


Join The Campaign

Our campaign is quickly gathering momentum and we are keen to grow where we can.

In order to ensure that we can put the best possible case forward to planning decision makers we urgently need people who can fill the following roles:

  • Those who can provide administrative support to the working groups and help to collate and format reports using Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Those who are willing and able to be part of a small fundraising committee to raise funds to pay for consultancy, including legal advice, and communications materials. There will be a number of roles needed on the committee, including those who can lead on working with local businesses and those who can take the lead on organising specific fundraising events over the next few months.
  • A treasurer and vice-treasurer who will ensure the campaign remains solvent, can set up and manage the bank account and provide regular reports on our financial position to enable the campaign to progress.

Please do let us know if you would like to come forward for these roles. We will be posting shortly with other opportunities for getting involved in the campaign!

Campaign Featured on Bob FM

BOB FM news recently included an update about Stop Bengeo Quarry Campaign. Joanne Lewis was interviewed and did an excellent job – urging all to send their personal letters to HCC with factual objections by 2nd May.

Also Libby Mountford, Head of Governors in Bengeo Primary School, was interviewed between 7.30-7.45am by BBC 3 Counties Radio, speaking on behalf of the school.

Residents Pack Public Meeting

It was standing room only at Bengeo School when local residents attended a public meeting to find out more about the application for gravel extraction and our campaign against it.


Hertford residents once again showed overwhelming support for the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign mounted earlier this month against proposals for a quarry just 320 metres from the local primary school and only 30 metres from some houses.

Libby Mountford, the Chair of Governors at Bengeo Primary School reiterated how important it was for residents and parents with children to object, and confirmed that the school is objecting to the proposal on the grounds of health issues and road safety. She urged everyone to write their letters of objection

County Councillor Andrew Stevenson once again showed his support for the campaign by addressing residents and answering questions.

He said that the application and accompanying expert reports raised a large number of questions and he would be asking the various departments at the County Council to respond to these questions. The questions include public health, pollution of groundwater, highways impact ,environmental impact and the sheer proximity to the well established urban area of Hertfordshire County Council.

Where appropriate he would expect them to seek external expertise from organisations not connected in any way to the applicant.
Residents also heard from members of the campaign committee about specific points of objection, which include:

– Dust levels and the effect that silica particles generated by extracting gravel have on health.
– Traffic and road safety issues caused by 100 lorries entering and leaving the site six days a week.
– The impact that a quarry will have on the local environment and landscape.
– Water levels on the proposed site behind BengeoNurseries and the likelihood of flooding if the quarry gets the go ahead.


Further information on these areas is available on this website.

East Herts District Councillors Paul Phillips and Michael McMullen also expressed their support for the Stop BengeoQuarry campaign. However, members of the audience also expressed their disappointment that East Herts District Council had not opposed the quarry proposal, and compared this unfavourably with the Council’s strong opposition to previous gravel extraction schemes.

Anyone who wants to object to plans needs to do so by 2nd May.


Campaign Meets Mark Prisk MP


The Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign has been promised local MP Mark Prisk’s ‘full support’. In a meeting on Friday with members of the group and East Herts District Councillor Patricia Moore, Mr Prisk said that he would look into the national context regarding demand for gravel and the issues around its extraction.

He expressed concern over the effects the quarry would have on the health of residents as well as the strain it would place on roads and the water supply to the area.

300 Residents at Public Meeting


More than 300 local residents and families from Bengeo Primary School attended a meeting on Sunday in support of a campaign against proposals for a quarry in Bengeo. The meeting, held on the playing fields next to Sacombe Road, was a great opportunity to inform residents about the plans and to appeal to them to make their objections known to Hertfordshire County Council before the deadline on 2nd May.

Sacombe Rd resident Aska Wisniewska-Pickering, who was one of those who initiated the campaign two weeks ago, addressed the crowd, along with Councillor Andrew Stevenson and parent governor at Bengeo Primary School Dr David Adam. Aska said: “It is so important that people in Bengeo and across Hertford and the villages know about this proposal as it will create congestion, noise and disruption, and it will expose residents and schoolchildren to harmful pollutants generated by the gravel extraction. We really need everyone to spread the word and write their objections before the May deadline. This is a beautiful field that so many Hertford families use regularly for walks and cycle rides. We hope that together we can stop Bengeo quarry from going ahead.”

The site earmarked for the quarry is just 320 metres away from the primary school and as close as 30 metres to some homes. Those supporting the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign are concerned that the mineral extraction which will be carried out at the quarry could impact on the 500 young children who attend the school (in any given year) will be exposed to silica dust particles known to cause health issues.

Campaigners are also concerned that the B158 Wadesmill Road, where lorries will enter and exit the quarry will become even more congested and dangerous as it is anticipated that around 100 large lorries will be entering and leaving the site six days a week from 7am.

Campaigners have organised a meeting on Friday 22nd April at 7.30pm at Bengeo Primary School to discuss the proposals in more depth. All are welcome to attend.

Campaign Meets Andrew Stevenson

Campaign members and local residents met Cllr.Andrew Stevenson on Friday night to discuss their concerns about gravel extraction.

Campaign members and residents meet Councillor Stevenson

Matters raised included the close proximity to homes and the local primary school and health risks posed by the quarry, as well as traffic and other environmental issues. There was also discussion about site restoration following the completion of gravel extraction.

A further public meeting with Councillor Stevenson takes place on Sunday 17th April 2016.

Public Meetings

Come along to our two meetings, to find out more, ask questions and make your informed decision. The Council is inviting your comments by 3rd May.

Sunday 17th April, 3pm – meeting at Sacombe Road playground (between Buckwells Field and the Wick)

Please come and show that you oppose the quarry. Meet County Councillor Dr Andrew Stevenson, other residents and Stop Bengeo Quarry campaigners. Have an opportunity to discuss your concerns and find out how you can oppose this awful proposal just across Sacombe Road. Cllr Peter Ruffles will be there to answer any questions about the process. There will be photos taken (if you prefer not to be on the photo please let us know!) All residents and children are welcome! Children can bring their own posters and logos (as well as some felt pens).

Friday 22nd April, 7.30pm – meeting at Bengeo Primary School

This is an opportunity to find out more about the proposal and the Council planning process. You will also be able to find out more about the reasons why we oppose the proposal and how residents can get involved with the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign. We will be joined by Cllr Andrew Stevenson, Cllr Paul Phillips. Cllr Michael McMullen is also hoping to be able to join us. Residents interested to find out more about the proposal and Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign are welcome!

Site Meeting With Cllr.Stevenson

We are delighted that Councillor Andrew Stevenson has agreed to meet with the Stop Bengeo Quarry residents on Sunday 17 April on site. The exact timing will be confirmed shortly. This will be an opportunity for residents to show their opposition to the proposed quarry. We are inviting press and will also use it as an opportunity for taking photos.

Cllr Dr Andrew Stevenson is from Herts County Council. Please keep sending to him copies of your letters of objection. Cllr Peter Ruffles from East Herts District Council should also receive copies of your letters but is not able to engage in the discussion at this stage due to his role in the process.