As hopefully you have heard by now, the Secretary of State has endorsed the recommendations of the Planning Inspector, who conducted the public inquiry last year into the Bengeo quarry appeal. This means that the Secretary of State has refused permission to quarry in Bengeo Field, quoting the risk of ground water pollution, the landscape, air pollution and noise levels among the reasons. We are, of course, delighted with the outcome – especially as it is clear that the points raised by the Stop Bengeo Quarry group were recognised by the inspector and mentioned in his report. This means that although HCC were not in a position to object to the proposed quarry on the basis of hydrology, the Secretary of State concluded that the risk is unacceptable and would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the natural environment. Additionally, it was also recognised that “the local fear and anxiety about short- and long-term health risks” are “legitimate” and “not irrational”. The Inspector also commented that the quarry would have “an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the area” and that it would harm the amenity of the area.
Thanks to all supporters and campaigners
We would like to thank you all for your help and support over the past 3.5 years. Without the amazing and consistent support of the local community we would never have achieved any of this. It is thanks to your contributions, engagements, numerous letters of objections, donations, events, and presence at the hearings that we managed to achieve what seemed to be impossible – we stopped the quarry in Bengeo. We were also incredibly lucky to have wonderful experts and passionate campaigners, who made our fight incredibly strong and evidence-based, and, therefore, ultimately successful.
Update from HCC about Rickneys
As you will recall, Hansons (who have been in discussions with the Bengeo quarry applicants) requested an extension of the old Rickneys quarry extension. The HCC Planning Officer advised us that that application is “in abeyance” and that Hansons are now considering their position in light of the Secretary of State’s decision about Bengeo Field. We have been told that the earliest the case could be potentially considered by HCC Development Control Committee is autumn – with the earliest possible dates being 26 Sept or 31 Oct. Please keep an eye out here & community notice board for an update on this.
And in the meantime – we hope there will be no further surprises and we can all enjoy a wonderful summer and plenty of walks around the Bengeo Field.
Please do let us know if you have any questions – firstname.lastname@example.org. And once again – thank you for all