County should investigate carcinogenic bromate at Hatfield Aerodrome site before quarry agreed

PUBLISHED: 06:58 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:03 28 November 2019

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

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

Archant

A carcinogenic bromate plume should be investigated before Herts county council considers a quarry on the Hatfield Aerodrome site, the borough council urges.

In a meeting of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's development management committee on Thursday, councillors said they would respond to the county council consultation by calling for a full independent investigation into bromate at the Colney Parish site.

Liberal Democrat borough councillor Frank Marsh, who sits on the committee, said not "one single independent expert" has produced a report about where the bromate plume is now.

Deputy leader of the council Duncan Bell, who raised the matter with the committee, said it should not even be on the agenda of HCC until it can be understood how the bromate would affect the area.

Cllr Bell also urged councillors to consider the increased impact of the A1057 - the road from St Albans to Hatfield and the A1(M) - and the potential to "undermine trust" in the planning process if Ellenbrook fields does not become a country park.

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.

Herts county and Hatfield Town councillor Margaret Eames-Petersen said she was in agreement with Cllr Bell and added the committee's decision could prevent "catastrophe in the future".

Cllr Eames Peterson said many residents "feel betrayed by broken promises, and added "now is the time to have a Hatfield Park".

Gregory Mulch, the agent for Brett Aggregates, also told councillors that the sand and gravel company has been working with Affinity Water and the Environment Agency to make sure the new quarry will lie outside the bromate plume.

All councillors agreed that the concerns were valid but noted that they are responding to the HCC consultation as the final decision rests with the county.

Park runners route could be affected by Ellenbrook quarry. Picture: Michael Howarth.Park runners route could be affected by Ellenbrook quarry. Picture: Michael Howarth.

They decided to express a "strong objection" to the plans, reference the country park agreement, transport, environment issue and need for an investigation.

Affinity Water and the Environment Agency have also told the WHT that they are monitoring the situation and have no concerns about the bromate plume at present.

St Albans City and District Council, Colney Heath Parish Council and Hatfield Town Council have all raised concerns about the plans.

The meeting of the county development management committee has been delayed until December 18, at 10am.

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