Residents hail Hatfield quarry triumph – against the odds

PUBLISHED: 10:38 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:01 28 September 2020

Ellenbrook Fields. Picture: Jon Brindle.

Ellenbrook Fields. Picture: Jon Brindle.


Residents who have fought an “arduous” four years to prevent the quarry between St Albans and Hatfield were pleased “common sense has finally prevailed”.

Ellenbrook playing fields discussion with former MP Anne Main and residents. Picture: John Andrews.Ellenbrook playing fields discussion with former MP Anne Main and residents. Picture: John Andrews.

Both the Ellenbrook Area Residents and Smallford Residents Associations are “delighted” that Hertfordshire County Council rejected the application for the quarry on Ellenbrook Fields, off Hatfield Road on Thursday.

The EARA committee said: “We have had an arduous four-year fight against this application.

Cross party politcians oppose Ellenbrook quarry. Picture: Michael Howarth.Cross party politcians oppose Ellenbrook quarry. Picture: Michael Howarth.

“The reasons for rejection were sound and numerous, and the combination of all those reasons – including the bromate [a carcinogenic compound] plume health risks, the cumulative impact of so many quarries in one small area, the air, noise and traffic pollution, and detriment to the Green Belt were clearly too big a risk for councillors to take.

“We would like to thank everyone that has supported us, in particular all the residents of Ellenbrook and Smallford and our local councillors.

Presentation to HCC

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Similarly, Hugh Burrell of SRA said: “The decision was a great result for us all and was the culmination of countless hours of research, preparation and overall teamwork between Ellenbrook Area Residents Association, ourselves and key County Council representatives.

“We are fortunate to have two first-class leaders of our residents associations in John Jackson for Ellenbrook and Craig Tallents for Smallford who both delivered very forceful arguments to the Development Control Committee.

The bromate plume is spreading. Picture: Care of Cllr Eames-Petersen's presentationThe bromate plume is spreading. Picture: Care of Cllr Eames-Petersen's presentation

“Our reaction is one of massive relief and euphoria in voluntary organisations resisting the professional resources of a heavyweight aggregate extraction company supported by another large land-owning company in the form of Arlington.

“We are grateful in particular to the untiring work and support of Colney Heath and Hatfield North county councillors John Hale and Margaret Eames-Peterson.”

Hatfield mayor Cllr Eames-Peterson, who also expressed that Hatfield Town Council and Hatfield residents have won a great victory, facilitated Dr Michael Rivett’s contribution to the Thursday meeting and showed “how dangerous the Ellenbrook location is for a quarry, with the worst bromate pollution of a chalk aquifer in Europe, underground at this location”.

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