Residents fear “industrial zone” following creation of quarry near Smallford

Proposals for Hatfield Aerodrome public exhibition

Proposals for Hatfield Aerodrome public exhibition - Credit: Archant

An exhibition of proposals to create a massive quarry on the outskirts of St Albans has done little to allay the fears of residents.

Brett Aggregates is proposing to extract sand and gravel for 32 years from an 87-hectare site at Hatfield Aerodrome before it is restored for amenity use.

The site is already incorporated in the county council’s Minerals Plan and Brett Aggregates has admitted that the exhibition and consultation is a prelude to applying for planning permission to work the site.

Residents of Smallford have spoken out about their concerns should the quarry open, citing fears about noise, dust and pollution as well as the impact on local roads of between eight and nine lorries going in and out each day.

They are also questioning the long opening hours of the site - it would operate from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and from 7am to 1pm on Saturdays - and the fact that the site is the home of great crested newts, a protected species.

So far the company has carried out surveys of 10 ponds on the site and found great crested newts in five of them.

Smallford resident Helen Askew, whose home borders the site, was among those who went to the exhibition. The bottom of her garden overlooks the proposed quarry and she is not convinced that a bank which will be put up to reduce noise levels would offer much benefit.

Most Read

She said: “The fact is there are going to be all these lorries and they are noisy. We don’t want to see this area turned into some kind of industrial zone.”

District councillor for Smallford, Chris Brazier, also went along to the exhibition at St Albans Rugby Club and raised issues about lorries turning out of the quarry entrance. He added: “I am still against this, it is a bad proposal.”