Planned Quarry that posed life-and-death health risks successfully voted down by local Liberal Democrat County Councillors

2 Nov 2023
Cllr John Hale at the Ellenbrook site

The proposed quarry on the site of the former Hatfield Aerodrome would have seen the extraction of up to 8 million tonnes of sand and gravel, including dangerous silica dust.

Due to the production of silica dust, and the site’s proximity to the largest known bromate contamination plume in Europe, the application posed a risk to the health of local residents and students at the neighbouring University of Hertfordshire. The health risks posed by the site included, but were not limited to, an increased risk of silicosis, kidney disease, COPD, and cancer.

In his argument, County Councillor John Hale who represents the site, highlighted the impact of the application on local communities, highlighting the loss of greenbelt land, and the loss of promised amenity. Councillor Hale also raised the consequential irreparable damage to biodiversity, wildlife, and environment.

During a Development Control Committee on the 31 October, Liberal Democrat Hertfordshire County Councillors voted against a planning application that proposed a new quarry for the extraction of up to 8 million tonnes of sand and gravel from the former Hatfield Aerodrome.

Whilst two Conservative Councillors voted for the application, Liberal Democrat County Councillors cast all three of their votes against the proposed application.

The final vote was 8 – 2 against the application.

Liberal Democrat County Councillor John Hale, who opposed the planning application, said, ‘I am very pleased that the County Council has voted against the planning application that would see a quarry built on the former aerodrome site. The application would have undoubtedly had long-term ramifications on both the local community and environment.

‘’This success is down to the hard work of residents’ groups who have petitioned tirelessly to stop this application from going through. This is a win not only for the local community, but for the local environment, and will have positive consequences for years to come.’’

Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans, said ‘This is a fantastic outcome that has been years in the making.

‘’Local residents’ groups and Councillors should be incredibly proud of their hard work. Together they have protected this vital green space from a big quarry, safeguarding the local environment and the health of residents and students for years to come.’’

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