Aerodrome Quarry

Hatfield Aerodrome has been identified in the Hertfordshire Minerals Local Plan as having potential for sand and gravel extraction since 2007.

Hatfield Aerodrome Quarry

Hatfield Aerodrome has been identified in the Hertfordshire Minerals Local Plan as having potential for sand and gravel extraction since 2007.


The site for the proposed quarry is approximately 87 hectares in area and was formerly the southern half of Hatfield Aerodrome which closed in 1994. It lies north of the A1057 (Hatfield Road which runs between St Albans and Hatfield). To the west of the site is a garden centre, nursery and residential properties of Smallford, whilst to the east is the edge of Hatfield itself (University of Hertfordshire and residential areas).

The application site comprises a broadly rectangular area of land that is partly used as an informal public open space for recreation and partly for grazing – it has not had any formal or dominant land use since the closure of the aerodrome.

Local geology

Beneath the surface are glacial deposits of sands and gravels which are ideal for use in building. For this reason the site is allocated within the Hertfordshire Minerals Local Plan which was ‘adopted’ in March 2007.
The mineral which we propose to quarry is deposited in two separate ‘horizons’ beneath the soil layers – the Upper Mineral Horizon (UMH) which lies predominantly above the water table, and the Lower Mineral Horizon (LMH) beneath the water table. The two mineral horizons are separated by a seam of impermeable boulder clay (referred to as ‘interburden’).

Illustration of geological layers beneath the Hatfield Aerodrome site (not to scale)

Current Landscape

Based on the ecological assessment, the vast majority of the site comprises various types of grassland, which is dominated by unmanaged neutral grassland, but also includes species-poor mown grassland, grazed neutral grassland. There are a few isolated trees, some remnants of pre-aerodrome hedgerow and newer dense scrub with areas of more recent planting. In addition the site includes a number of small waterbodies, watercourses and drainage ditches, and is scattered with patches of recently disturbed bare ground and hard-standing areas.

A number of earth works are present on site, primarily from decades of activity on the aerodrome. A public footpath is routed in the area of the western boundary of the proposed application site and other permissive footpaths cross the site. The site can be accessed on foot from Hatfield Road, Coopers Green Lane and Albatross Way.

View of the site

Previous Application

Despite its allocation in the Hertfordshire Minerals Local Plan (in 2007) and an initial resolution to approve (in January 2017), the planning application was subsequently refused by the Hertfordshire County Council Planning Committee at its meeting on 24 September 2020, despite officer’s recommendation to approve it, with the decision notice issued on 6 January 2021.

Making a fresh application means we are able to review the environmental assessments in light of the latest available information and update the studies where appropriate.

About Brett

Brett is the UK’s largest independent construction and building materials group. Formed in 1909 and privately owned, we pride ourselves on taking a long-term view. Our business is based on acting responsibly, delivering quality in everything we do and building relationships to underpin our status as a trusted partner.

We specialise in a number of areas of aggregates and construction related activity:

  • Material supply such as aggregates, asphalt, concrete and specialist pre-cast products such as safety kerbs, pavement products for use in housebuilding, commercial development and infrastructure projects
  • Processing of marine dredged aggregates and operation of rail linked wharf facilities
  • Supply of highly specialised concrete mixes to precast concrete products including manufacture of concrete tunnel lining segments
  • Spoil disposal (significant rail, road and water connected capacities)

For further details about Brett visit https://www.brett.co.uk/about

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A Responsible Operator

At Brett, we take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously, and we believe that risk minimisation, legal compliance and responsible sourcing, together with the continuous improvement of our operating methods, are fundamental to the way we do business.

This approach is achieved through the specific policies which are supported by our integrated management systems QHEST (Quality, Health, Environment, Safety, Together Sustainably). We promote responsible sourcing throughout our supply chain in line with our business values and to ensure the Brett values of Customer Care, Quality and Integrity are maintained. Brett Group businesses are audited regularly and hold certification to recognised standards as appropriate to their business; these include:

  • BS EN ISO 14001 – Environmental management
  • BS EN ISO 9001 – Quality management
  • BS OHSAS 18001 – Occupational health and safety management
  • BES 6001 – Responsible sourcing of products

These accreditations and certifications are of industry standard and give our customers, landowners and neighbours the confidence that we take our operational safety, quality and environmental responsibilities seriously.

A person recieving paperwork from a Brett lorry driver