We believe that it is important to question the plans for gravel extraction in Bengeo. 

There are a number of reasons we think that it is fair to object to an open quarry. 

  • Concern for residents’ health
  • Child health and safety concerns over quarries close proximity to Bengeo Primary School
  • Nuisance (noise, dust and air pollution etc)
  • Road and traffic concerns
  • Concern for negative impact on environment, infrastructure and countryside
  • Loss of natural habitat for wildlife
  • Threat to water supply

We question whether:

  • There has been sufficient open and fair consultation with the community.
  • There is the ‘need’ for gravel extraction when gravel sales appear to be falling and the current landbank meets legal requirements .
  • The benefits outweigh the externalities.

Within our campaign a working group has been co-ordinated to: 

  • Research technical details of Dust pollution
  • Research the impact on traffic, road safety, and rights of way.
  • Research technical aspects of HCC planning relating to Water.
  • Ensure that residents and other stakeholders are informed of all relevant information relating to planning and consultation.

DOES THIS ISSUE AFFECT YOU? Stay in contact with us and get involved via our contact page – we would love to hear from you!

Information relating to our concerns:

Health

Stop Bengeo Quarry campaigners are concerned about the possible direct health effects of silica dust on local residents, particularly children, the elderly and those with breathing problems.  In our estimation:

– The closest residents will be an estimated 30m away from the proposed site boundary.

– Bengeo Primary school is approximately 400m from the site boundary.

There is incontrovertible evidence that small particles from dust quarry operations (blasting, crushing, screening and stacking quarry operations,  as well as conveyor belts and transport vehicles) is related to increases in cardiopulmonary disease, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumoconiosis and premature death in those with pre-existing conditions.  The elderly and the young will be most affected in the short term, but the effect on the health of the local community over a period of approximately 15 years is unquantifiable.   Crystalline silica dust is common product from processing and is a known carcinogen, which is a real health risk.

At almost every single part of the extractive and downstream processing stages of a quarry operation some level of noise, and dust and pollution may be generated. The extractive sequences of overburden removal and storage, drilling and blasting, loading and transportation (by dump trucks or conveyor belts) of the quarried minerals to the processing plant will all generate both mobile and static noise sources. The normally static processing plant consisting of the primary crushing and secondary processing of the mineral products will also present a source of noise.

Large scale sand and gravel extractions can only be economical with the use of high powered diesel earth moving machinery (such as drills, bulldozers, dumpers, shovels etc) and explosives, which will create a potentially high level of noise that may be transmitted to the immediate surroundings causing nuisance to the local community.

» Background information

Traffic

Wadesmill Road serves our local community as an important road, and we believe the added burden of numerous and slow turning lorries will see a potential  increase in road accidents and fatalities. We strongly believe that roads used by quarry vehicles will become extremely dangerous. Wadesmill road has a 60mph limit and has bends and blind spots in it. Our campaign is drawing attention to the addition of the 100+ additional daily lorry movements as a result of the proposed quarry.  Support vehicle movements and staff driving to work in addition to this will have a profound effect upon the area. We believe that traffic congestion will increase and have a negative impact on the local community. We believe that Hertford is ideally situated to create a ‘perfect storm’ of congestion between the A10 and A414 leading to the M25 & A1. Moreover, the A602 is already congested due to other industrial plants within the area, and an increase in HGV traffic and the additional dirt it will bring onto the roads will likely make this road a new hotspot for road accidents.

» Read our formal Traffic & Road Safety response to the County Council

Land Use

We strongly believe that any proposal for the deployment of a quarry must address the issue of Environmental Sustainability. The proposed site of Bengeo Quarry is on Greenbelt land. As Stop Bengeo Quarry campaigners we believe the all quarry works will have a negative effect upon the local environment, and that these will  disproportionate to the assumed benefits of the Bengeo quarry. The proposed location of Bengeo Quarry is on Greenbelt land and immediately adjacent to Waterford Heath Nature Park.  We will be seeking to support our objections to the proposed quarry in Bengeo with empirical evidence showing the profound effect upon the local environment and wildlife, as well as on local water supplies.