Accusation of ‘lack of consultation’ on Coopers Green Lane quarry expansion between St Albans and Welwyn Garden City made
PUBLISHED: 14:55 13 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:06 13 November 2020
A county councillor has claimed that plans to expand a quarry – adjoining Coopers Green Lane, a commuter route between St Albans and Welwyn Garden City, – was not properly consulted on.
Margaret Eames-Petersen, a Labour councillor, explained as the member for the division where this is quarry is located, Hatfield North, she was not notified of the development control committee meeting that made the decision last month.
At an October 22 meeting the go-ahead for 3.5 million tonnes of sand and gravel to be quarried at a 177-hectare site, located near the existing Hatfield Quarry, was given by Hertfordshire county councillors.
This means over a 10-year period sand and gravel would be excavated from the site, before being put on a conveyor to be processed at the existing Hatfield Quarry processing plant, on Oaklands Lane.
Cllr Eames-Petersen added the lack of notification about the meeting also extended to other stakeholders.
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She said: “Nor were residents in the road, the shops, Hatfield Town Council consulted and nor in particular was the head of Green Lanes Primary school, which are right next to the quarry, whose primary school children will be the most adversely affected by the silica dust, and PM2.5 particles and traffic from the extra quarry lorries using Green Lanes, a very narrow residential road.”
An objection was received from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council due to a lack of information and the impact the quarrying could have on plans for the urban extension into the area and for the construction of a new secondary school.
The meeting also raised concerns about traffic, air quality, noise and ecology, as well as the impact on green space and on groundwater.
A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “We are confident that we have followed the normal and proper procedures for consulting residents on this planning applications.
“We consulted neighbouring residents in 2018, when the planning application was submitted, and their comments and feedback were included in the report considered by the development control committee when determining the application.
“Although there was a gap between this consultation and the meeting where the application was determined, the proposals hadn’t significantly changed, so there was no need to consult twice.”
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