The areas around Hertford feature substantial deposits of sand and gravel that are ideal for use in the construction industry.
The County Council is obliged by law to formulate a Local Plan for the extraction of local minerals, such as sand and gravel. The Minerals Local Plan sets out the development planning framework for future minerals extraction and associated development whilst providing for environmental protection. The plan also designates Preferred Areas for minerals extraction. The current Minerals Local Plan 2002-2016 was adopted on 27 March 2007 and is currently under review prior to being submitted to the government in the Spring or Summer of 2019. Any new plan would cover the period 2016-2031.
Over the decades a number of local sites have been used for gravel extraction, including Panshanger, Rickneys, and Waterford Heath.
Waterford Heath has been returned to nature as has much of Panshanger, although parts of the area are still being worked.
The Rickneys site is currently "mothballed". Planning permission for further working of the site expired at the end of 2017. However, a planning aplication to re-open the site was submitted in late 2018 and a decision on this is expected in January or February 2019.
Stop Bengeo Quarry Campaign
In Spring 2016 a planning application was submitted to extract gravel from an area north of Bengeo.
Local residents formed a campaign to oppose the quarry.
In March 2017, the Development Committee of Hertfordshire County Council voted unanimously to refuse planning permission for the quarry.
In October 2017, a second planning application for a smaller quarry was registered. Around the same time, an appeal was registered against refusal of permission for the first planning application. The applicant also included the second application as part of the appeal, despite the application not having been determined.
The County Council's Development Control committee voted to refuse the 2nd planning application in April 2018.
In May and October 2018, a public enquiry was conducted at County Hall by the Planning Inspectorate. Following the enquiry, in January 2019 the Government Inspector sent a report and recommendation to the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire. On Thursday 4th April 2019 it was announced that the Secretary of State agreed with the Government Inspector that the appeal should be dismissed and planning permission be refused.
Local Aggregate Assessment 2014
This article was last updated on 7th April 2019.