Support from Cllr.Ken Crofton

We’re delighted that County Councillor for Hertford Rural, Ken Crofton, has voiced his support for the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign.

In backing the campaign he writes: “This further application will have many of the harmful effects as the last scheme which was roundly refused by the County Council Planning Committee. The proposed extraction of 1.23million tonnes of sand & gravel over a period of 8 years would be an unacceptable intrusion for local residents and Bengeo school. My experience indicates to include restoration of the site to its beautiful current aspect will take much longer. This Green belt land will be harmed forever and is a price not worth paying as the county has a minimum of 16 years sand and gravel supply already The traffic impact will be undeniable for the substantial lorry movements for abstraction and restoration. I believe this site in this location will have an unacceptable air quality impact for local residents. I do not believe the water pollution concerns have been adequately considered.

Latest Support from Mark Prisk MP

Local MP for Hertford & Stortford, Mark Prisk, has again written to the County Council stating his objection top the proposed quarry north of Bengeo.

In his letter to Planning Officer Felicity Hart, he writes: “I am writing to reiterate my objection to this application. Many of the underlying problems with the previous application, which the council rejected, remain with this application: the impact on air quality; traffic generation; the risks of pollution to the water supply. I understand the applicant has sought to provide additional information concerning soil contamination; a cumulative impact assessment and a Non- Technical Summary.”

He continues: “I support local residents’ views that these are inadequate and fail to satisfactorily answer concerns related to the original application. The desk-based soil contamination study fails to provide a full survey of surface chalk which would be the minimum required in these circumstances. The impact assessment is incomplete, lacking as it does any account of the impact on the landscape or Green Belt land. The NTS has several omissions or contradictions, not least over the increase in traffic.  Most significantly, the applicant has still not addressed the threat to Hertford’s water supply. Given this I wish to record my strong objection to this second application for a quarry on this site.

Calling All Artists & Poets

Calling All Artists & Poets

Together with Bengeo Primary School, we are organising a childrens’ poems and posters competition.

How does the idea of a huge quarry on Bengeo Field make you feel?

Does it make you sad? Or angry? Or both?

Do you want to stop in happening?

The DO something about it – during the Easter Holidays!

Stop Bengeo Quarry is organising a competition for the best poster or poem that celebrates how you feel about the Bengeo Field and presents your ideas about losing it.

There will be prizes for the best entries and we will use them in our campaign  to stop the quarry happening!

If you design a poster, it should be in colour and in A4 size. It should be bold and easy to photocopy. It should use words and images.

If you write a poem, remember all the lovely things we could lose (even the skylarks) and what we will get in return!. You could illustrate your poem.

Give it to your teacher, straight after the holidays. Why not walk across the field on a fine day to be inspired.

All children living in Bengeo are encouraged to bring their posters & poems to a coffee fundraising event on 15th April at The Bengeo Club; or to Bengeo School on 17th April. They can also be emailed to The deadline for all competition entries is end of 18th April.

Oliver Heald MP Supports Campaign

Member of Parliament for North East Herts, Oliver Heald, has written to the Planning Inspectorate and Hertfordshire County Council fully supporting the objections of Hertfordshire County Councillors Andrew Stephenson and Ken Crofton and District Councillor Michael McMullen to plans for a quarry north of Bengeo.

We welcome Sir Oliver’s support as he joins our own local MP Mark Prisk in objecting to the plans, along with local councillors, civic groups and residents’ associations.

Archaeology Found Across Bengeo Field

Our latest film looks at possible Roman remains identified in Bengeo Field.

Decision time come in April and May and we encourage everyone to lend their support by coming to County Hall for both the 2nd Planning Application meeting and the Appeals lodged by the applicant.

We are fighting on three fronts – the revised (or second) planning application, the appeal against refusal of the first (and potentially the second) planning application; and the Minerals Local Plan Review. The processes are becoming increasingly hard for local people to understand and engage with but we are determined to fight and protect Bengeo Field and the wider community.

Have You Signed Our Footpath Petition?

Have You Signed Our Footpath Petition?

Over 580 people already signed the petition calling to protect the footpath across Bengeo Field. Unfortunately, the landscape planning assessment focuses on the potential impact of the latest quarry application on the landscape from the roads surrounding the Field. We argue, that the quarry along the footpath will be unacceptable and will permanently damage the amenity of the bengeo Field. Look at the photo attached – taken by CAGE in 1990-ies in one of the quarry areas around Rickneys.

Please sign the petition to protect the landscape and views North of Hertford.

» Click here to view and sign the petition

Updated 18/3/18 with revised figure for people signing the petition (was 360 when originally published)

Minerals Plan: Make Your Voice Heard

Minerals Plan: Make Your Voice Heard

Herts County Council listened to our concerns and refused planning permission for the quarry last year. They are now recommending that Bengeo and Rickneys are removed from the Minerals Local Plan as a “preferred area for minerals working”.

You can now help to protect Bengeo from quarrying for good. All you have to do is add your name, address on page 1 of the attached Representation Form, sign and date on page 2, then post it to the address on page 2, or deliver the form to County Hall before 5pm Friday 9th February. This form supports the plan to remove Bengeo and Rickneys as a “preferred area for minerals working”.

Once the Minerals Local Plan is adopted and the area is no longer designated a “preferred area” it is very unlikely that any future applications for quarrying in the area would be approved.

By signing and returning this form you will play a vital part in ensuring that Bengeo never again has to face the risks posed by quarrying to our water supply, health and well-being.

Help preserve our clean air, fresh drinking water, rolling landscape, rights of way and the public amenity of our beautiful countryside for future generations.

Please do not hesitate. Make sure your voice is heard. Please complete and return the Representation Form today.

» Download Omission Sites Representation Form (Microsoft Word format)

» Download Omission Sites Representation Form (PDF)

Remember – this is a separate process to the revised second planning application for a quarry to be decided in early Spring 2018.

Landscape Officer Expresses Concerns

The County Council’s Landscape Officer has expressed concerns about access to the quarry site and the negative effects on Bengeo Field.

Whilst not opposing the planning application in principle, The Officer states: “… there is concern for the permanent negative landscape and visual effects as a result of the proposed access and haul route that lies outside the preferred area and requires further mitigation.

The report also raises concerns about restoration and a lack of detail in the planning application.

» Click here to read the Landscape Report