Stop Bengeo Quarry Group are delighted that Hertfordshire County Council have unanimously and unambiguously rejected the revised Planning Application.

Aska Pickering chair of Stop Bengeo Quarry said: “This is amazing news. It is wonderful that the committee so firmly rejected this dreadful quarry proposal. We were all heartened by the robustness of the committee’s response and the strength of their support. It is testament to our many volunteers and the incredible amount hard work and effort that has gone into fighting this proposal over a period of two years. We now need to redouble our efforts to fight against the quarry in the Public Inquiry which is to take place between the 1st and 4th of May and the 9th, 10th and 11th of May. We have been preparing for this Public Inquiry for months. So please come along if you possibly can to give us your support”

The proposal was rejected on 5 key grounds:

  1. Inappropriateness of the development in the Green Belt. Case Officer Felicity Hart said in her report that “any benefits of mineral extraction… do not clearly outweigh harm to the Green Belt and any other harm, including harm to landscape, rights of way, noise and health.”
  2. Harm to the landscape, in particular damage caused by the construction of an access road
  3. Negative impact on users of the much loved and used public right of way. The report said that “the development would impact on the use of the local rights of way network and could therefore have an adverse effect on health and wellbeing”.
  4. The proposed development includes land outside the preferred area – in particular for the access road
  5. The proposal has not demonstrated that noise would not have a detrimental impact on nearby residences

Additionally, two advisory notices were added to the refusal the first on concerns over dust and secondly over concerns of contamination of Hertford’s water supply. These could not be given as grounds for refusal as doing so would have involved further meetings which the timescale would not permit, given that the public inquiry is opening on the 1st May.

The committee also expressed surprise and some annoyance that the applicant did not attend the meeting for a second time.

Stop Bengeo Quarry are delighted that we will now be working with Hertfordshire County Council to stop a quarry that is both damaging to the local environment, to the Green Belt and to the health of local residents.