These are the initial points in response to the new application for a quarry north of Bengeo. Public responses are needed by 2nd November 2017 sent to HCC Spatial Planning:
- The new application area is within the current Minerals Local Plan “preferred area” (you may recall the previous application included phase 4, which was outside the preferred). However, the new draft MLP is in the process of approval and it has been recommended by HCC that Bengeo Field is no longer considered as preferred area. The formal approval of new MLP is expected in 2018.
- It is important to point out that in the old (current) MLP this area was agreed as preferred area only as an extension to Rickney’s quarry. Therefore, we argue, the application is not compliant with current MLP.
- The new proposal suggests extracting 1.25 million tonnes rather than 1.75 million tonnes. It is proposed to last 5-8 years (originally 8-10 years). Extension can be requested once work starts.
- This proposal appears to be smaller than the original one. However, proposed hours of operation are 7.00 -18.00 Monday to Friday and 7.00 to 13.00 on Saturdays. Proposed lorry movements are estimated at 80 per day on average (40 in, 40 out). All HGVs to turn left when exiting the site to go along Wadesmill Road to the A602 and A10. This will be a huge impact on roads, traffic and the road entrance (which appears to remain the same – from B158). Concerns about queuing lorries remain the same.
- The amended application still disrupts use of the footpath because lorries will have to cross it to get to the exit onto the B158, and potentially the loss of amenity is worse because the plant operation will be adjacent to the footpath rather than down the slope next to the road (as suggested in previous application). The byway across the Bengeo Field has been registered as Asset of Community Value by EHDC and its use as a local community amenity has been huge (some data has been provided by SBQ landscape & amenity survey).
- The new application suggests a new pond (attenuation area) in the middle of the field not far from the current path. Additionally, there is no detailed profile of the landscape post quarry and it is unclear how the extracted material will impact on the overall landscape (it will be a big hole). The impact on the beautiful landscape will be immense. A dangerous pond next to the path will not enhance the landscape. The environmental impact will be unacceptable – on both fauna and flora. The applicants still plan to quarry right up to ancient St. John’s Wood.
- The impact on Bengeo Primary School children and residents of Hertford and neighbouring areas remains a huge concern. The risk of unacceptable dust and noise risk remain a huge concern for those living around the area.
- There will no stockpile area as suggested in the previous application. Instead, there will be the mobile dry-screening at the point of extraction (more noise?).
- The huge risk of polluting the water supply for the whole of Hertford and surrounding areas remains.
- Hertfordshire’s gravel needs are already met in surplus, and there is no need for more gravel or more quarries for the next 15 years at least.
The applicants have submitted this new application by presenting amended wording to the previous application. Please DO NOT respond in the same way. Please respond in full, even if you may repeat some of your previous arguments you put forward against the previous application. Please refrain from saying “all my previous arguments stand and additionally….”. It is best if you state ALL your concerns against this new application in full.
The application details should be found here (please click on documents) https://cloud1.atriumsoft.com/HCCePlann…/loadFullDetails.do…
All comments need to be received by 2 November 2017. Please send your response to Ms Felicity J Hart quoting ref: PL\0870\17 – either by email (email@example.com) or by post (Felicity Hart, Spatial Planning and Economy Unit, CHN216, County Hall, Hertford SG13 8DN). Everybody can submit their response – if you live outside Hertford it may help to explain your connection (family, visitors, tourists etc). Every letter really matters!