Fresh bid to create large quarry on Green Belt site

PUBLISHED: 13:30 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16 04 September 2019

Brett Aggregates has applied to quarry Green Belt land at the former Hatfield Aerodrome site, in Colney Heath parish: looking towards the application site. Image supplied

Brett Aggregates has applied to quarry Green Belt land at the former Hatfield Aerodrome site, in Colney Heath parish: looking towards the application site. Image supplied

Image supplied

A slice of Green Belt land is once again in danger of becoming a large quarry.

Brett Aggregates has applied to quarry Green Belt land at the former Hatfield Aerodrome site, in Colney Heath parish, near Notcutts Nursery in Smallford.Brett Aggregates has applied to quarry Green Belt land at the former Hatfield Aerodrome site, in Colney Heath parish, near Notcutts Nursery in Smallford.

An application to turn a 87.1ha site on the former Hatfield Aerodrome, to the east of Oaklands College between Ellenbrook and Smallford, into a large quarry is once again on the Hertfordshire County Council's Development Control Committee's agenda.

The Brett Aggregates plan, which includes the extraction of eight million tonnes of sand and gravel to the east of Oaklands College over about 30 years, was originally approved in January 2017 on the condition that a trust was set up to mange a country park on Ellenbrook Fields.

This has not happened, and the application is back before HCC. It has been recommended that planning permission be granted subject to a new S106 agreement and "coordinated action" to ensure the landowner establishes a park trust and lease for the 418 acre Ellenbrook Field.

In light of this, Smallford Residents Association (SRA) and Ellenbrook Area Residents Association (EARA) has called on the public to have their say on the plans.

HCC has recently added new documents to the consultation, including an Environmental Baseline Report and a Bromate Plan and Dataset.

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This is because the potential quarry site is very close to what is believed to be one of Europe's largest underground bromate plumes.

This was accidentally created under a 20th century manufacturing plant in Sandridge called the Steetley Chemicals Works, which was redeveloped as St Leonard's Court in the '80s.

EARA's John Jackson claims the environmental report is "misleading" as it says boreholes in the ground do not contain bromate.

A report by the Environment Agency showed high concentrations of bromate supply between 2011 and 2017.

Colney Heath and Marshalswick councillor at HCC, John Hale, said: "The dangers of the bromate plume are known to the Environment Agency and the local water company. Increasing those dangers by quarrying is reckless."

Prospective St Albans Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats, Daisy Cooper, added: "It is bad enough that yet another quarry is being proposed for this area, but to destroy a potential country park and to do so in the vicinity of the bromate plume is madness."

Comment on the application before September 6 using reference 5/0394-16.

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