St Albans MP objects to plans for new quarry development

Cllr John Hale is objecting to plans for a quarry at Ellenbrook Fields.

Cllr John Hale is objecting to plans for a quarry at Ellenbrook Fields. - Credit: Ali Newcombe

The fight against the proposed development of a new quarry site on the outskirts of St Albans has won the backing of MP Daisy Cooper.

A public inquiry is currently underway over plans for a sand and gravel quarry on Ellenbrook Fields, the former Hatfield Aerodrome site off Hatfield Road, behind the Notcutts Garden Centre in Smallford.

Brett Aggregates is appealing against the decision to refuse planning permission by Herts county council (HCC), but has also put in a further application for a slightly amended quarry in the meantime.

Daisy has now written to HCC to register her objections against submitting a second application while the fight continues against the applicants’ appeal against its refusal.

She said this “does nothing to encourage the various community stakeholders who have felt tormented by continual planning activity relating to this site for almost five years”.

She also set out her objections to the development, which included hazardous air pollution, bromate groundwater pollution, increased HGV traffic and the coalescence of the communities of St Albans and Hatfield.

John Hale, county councillor for Colney Heath and Marshalswick, has campaigned against the proposed quarry since becoming elected in 2017.

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He told the inquiry: “The proposal would remove much of the park from public access and would impact the enjoyment of much of what remains – I know the applicant has said access will be maintained when areas are not being actively quarried, but that access will be marred by the presence of large embankments, known as bunds, and fences, and by the sound of activities when quarrying is taking place.

“It will no longer be the country park I cycled through to get to the inquiry today.”

John also highlighted the detrimental impacts to the environment and public health that the quarry would cause, and praised the time and effort put in by local residents’ associations and groups to understand multiple technical documents and identify the errors and inconsistencies in them.

Residents can object to the planning application until November 20. The planning inquiry is due to end on November 26.