Hatfield
Aerodrome Quarry

Detailed environmental assessments of key areas such as water, transport and ecology have been carried out as part of our proposal at Hatfield Aerodrome.

Two people on a edge of a pool

Hatfield Aerodrome Quarry

Detailed environmental assessments of key areas such as water, transport and ecology have been carried out as part of our proposal at Hatfield Aerodrome.

Environmental Considerations

Detailed environmental assessments have been carried out as part of the original planning application for a proposed quarry at the former Hatfield Aerodrome. These cover the lifetime of the quarry from initial site preparation, through the operational phases, to progressive restoration of the site.

As part of our new planning application, the environmental assessments have been reviewed and updated where appropriate. Below is an outline of each of the key environmental considerations and the proposed measures to address the potential impacts. Full details of the environmental assessments and mitigations are included in our planning application.

Archaeology

The land on the aerodrome site has been subject to disturbance over many years, primarily through the construction, operation and demolition of the airfield, as well as the site’s subsequent use as a set for military films.

A geophysical survey and trial trenching found few archaeological remains and it is likely that there is not much of archaeological merit beneath the surface. However, as a matter of course, during soil removal activities we pay close attention to identify anything of archaeological interest revealed by the work and this is collected, recorded, analysed and findings published in agreement with county archaeologists.

Dust Control

Studies to examine the potential for finer particles of material to become airborne from the extraction, processing and restoration operations have found that there will be no impact on air quality at the perimeter of the site.

The inherent moist nature of the sand and gravel from the ground means it is damp when it is extracted. Furthermore, washing the aggregates maintains moisture during the production process and the plant itself will be designed to prevent material becoming airborne.

As part of our operational permission and commitment to being a good neighbour a number of other measures will also be taken to control dust.

Ecology

During the studies carried out, detailed information has been gathered in relation to the ecology on the site. The current habitats are mainly rough grassland and scrub and although this land is of limited species-diversity it has some ecological value due to its size and scale. Some of the waterbodies support great crested newts and there are also badgers on the site.

Under our proposals, these and any other identified species will be sensitively relocated in accordance with strict Natural England guidelines before any development can begin.

The ecological assessment also takes into account the fact that the progressive restoration of the site following quarrying provides opportunities to enhance local biodiversity with the establishment of new habitats. Brett has a long history of award-winning quarry restoration to enhance biodiversity and the net long-term effect of the proposals will be positive for local ecology. See section on Restoration

Landscape

The landscape and visual assessment examines the landscape character as a result of extracting minerals and installing plant and machinery, and the ability of the surrounding landscape to accommodate this change. It looks at the potential visibility of the development from various ‘viewpoints’ to help inform the design and layout. Overall no significant landscape or visual effects are predicted as a result of the proposed development, influenced in part by the proposed mitigation and landscape strategy.

Previously, concerns were expressed in relation to the appropriateness of the development, given the site is within designated Green Belt land. The National Planning Policy Framework  identifies mineral extraction as an example of the type of development that is ‘not inappropriate’ in the Green Belt.

Noise Control

Noise levels resulting from proposed site activity have been modelled and assessed in the context of recognised standards and guidance. In considering noise effects, existing background noise levels have been taken into account at key points around the site.

As a result of the assessment, the noise levels generated by operational activities, including lorry movements on the access road, will be below the noise limits derived in accordance with the relevant guidance.

Nevertheless, a number of good site practice measures are proposed to further reduce the risk of any potential adverse noise impacts and we are confident that the proposals have demonstrated that no significant noise intrusion will arise from the development.

Transport

The proposals include a new access onto the A1057 Hatfield Road, with the proposed quarry generating around 164 lorry movements per day on the A1057. Assessments show that this represents an average increase in traffic of approximately 1.3%, which is within the daily fluctuations in traffic levels seen on the road. The Highway Authority has also confirmed that the impact on these junctions will not be significant and the use of the A1057 as a result of the development is an appropriate use for this status of road.

Regarding our vehicles and drivers, the entire Brett fleet of trucks complies with the latest European emissions requirements (the only ones approved for use in Ultra Low Emission Zones) as well as conforming to the standards of FORS (Freight Operators’ Recognition Scheme) and CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) to maintain the highest standards of safety for all road users.

Water

A detailed independent analysis of various aspects of hydrology and hydrogeology across the site confirms that the operation of the site will not adversely affect water. In addition, an extensive water management plan has been agreed with the Environment Agency and Affinity Water. We appreciate that concerns have been expressed in relation to ground water and the bromate plume which is beyond the north east corner of the extraction boundary.

The bromate plume does not cross the extraction area of the quarry and no minerals will be taken from the area of the bromate plume. We previously proposed a 50-metre stand-off between the edge of extraction in the Lower Mineral Horizon (LMH) and the nearest location of the bromate plume (which is also located in the LMH). This was judged by the Environment Agency and Affinity Water to be more than enough distance to prevent disturbance of the bromate plume. However, in our latest proposal we have doubled that to 100 metres to allow for an additional layer of comfort.

Download a plan showing the site boundary in relation to the bromate plume.