Hatfield regeneration project’s concrete crushing plant seen as ‘cruel joke’

PUBLISHED: 12:48 26 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:48 26 June 2020

County and borough councillor Paul Zukowskyj in front of the High View regeneration project. Picture: Welhat LibDems

County and borough councillor Paul Zukowskyj in front of the High View regeneration project. Picture: Welhat LibDems

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A controversial concrete crushing plant, which is often described as a muncher, will be used at a new housing development in Hatfield.

Work is set to begin on the High View neighbourhood centre in Hatfield. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough CouncilWork is set to begin on the High View neighbourhood centre in Hatfield. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

The £45m regeneration of the Hilltop area will involve the demolishing of a number of vacant buildings in preparation for the development of 146 new homes, shops, and public spaces.

But borough councillor for Welham Green and Hatfield south Paul Zukowskyj said the developer, Lovells, does not have to place a crushing plant on site when it could be dealt with at a facility near the A414.

Cllr Zukowskyj, who is also the county councillor for Hatfield south, explained concrete crushing plants are notoriously noisy and dusty, but WHBC approval of the plan suggests they think the noise and dust will be “acceptable”.

He continued: “Siting this sort of plant next to residents’ homes, with zero effort to reassure residents their concerns would be unfounded, demonstrates the low regard WHBC has for south Hatfield residents. It’s just not acceptable.”

The shops before it became a building site in the Hilltop area a few weeks ago. Picture: Alan DaviesThe shops before it became a building site in the Hilltop area a few weeks ago. Picture: Alan Davies

“We had all expected some noise and disturbance, but this facility could well be a cruel joke. Why can’t the material be taken to a permanent, dedicated, facility such as that on the A414? If WHBC had any regard for the residents of our area this plan would have been refused, or at least some reassurance given to residents about the potential impacts of this plan.”

In response, a WHBC spokeswoman has said that a small concrete crushing machine “is standard practice” in a development like this.

She added: “There are stringent measures in place, and agreed as part of the planning application, to minimise its impact, including the position of the equipment, dust suppression and noise controls. The full list of measures is available to view on the council’s website.

“The demolition contractor has made contact with all local residents and businesses and provided contact details should they need to raise concerns.”

However Cllr Zukowskyj believes he should have been made aware of the crusher, by WHBC, and only found out too late.

The borough council has pointed out that this was approved in a planning application, which can be found here: planning.welhat.gov.uk/Planning/Display/6/2020/1064/PN14.


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