St Albans rejects Hatfield quarry plans that could contaminate water supply

PUBLISHED: 12:50 12 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:11 12 March 2020

Ellenbrook and Smallford residents associations oppose the quarry. Picture: Michael Howarth.

Ellenbrook and Smallford residents associations oppose the quarry. Picture: Michael Howarth.

Archant

Plans to build a Hatfield quarry, which could contaminate the water supply, have been rejected by St Albans District Council.

Brett Aggregates are seeking to extract up to eight million tonnes of sand and gravel from the former aerodrome site, off Hatfield Road, on Ellenbrook fields.

But there are concerns that quarrying could impact on the contamination of water below ground - due to the 'bromate plume' that flows close-by - a meeting of the planning referrals committee determined on Tuesday (March 9).

St Albans City and District Council has already expressed 'serious concerns' about the plans, which will be determined by Hertfordshire County Council, but they heard that the 'bromate plume' - which has been attributed to a leak from a former chemical works in Sandridge - is closer than previously thought.

Cllr Katherine Gardner said the contamination was recognised internationally, as 'the most serious contamination in Europe' - and was being studied 'as a example of how not to do things'.

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She said the committee was being asked to consider the proposal by the county council on data that was 'woefully out of date' and said it posed risks not only to existing residents, but to future generations too.

Cllr Garden said: 'We are potentially seeking, by agreeing to this recommendation, to condemning future generations of our local people to poisonous drinking water, insufficient drinking water and to a quarry that absolutely nobody in the local area wants.

'And we are being asked to do this on out of date data - we cant see being updated.'

At the meeting, officers recommended that the committee make 'no objections' but councillors went against that advice and instead decided to lodge a formal objection.

It will say that given a lack of sufficient information provided by the county council, they now considered this to be a formal objection.

The plans are currently the subject of an epetition on HCC's website, which closes on March 30, by Ellenbrook Residents Association.


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