Aerodrome Quarry

Here are some of the more common questions we’re asked about our proposals at Hatfield Aerodrome.

Two Brett staff stood by a digger

Hatfield Aerodrome Quarry

Here are some of the more common questions we’re asked about our proposals at Hatfield Aerodrome.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will continue to add questions and answers to this page throughout the planning process. If you have a question which is not listed below please contact us and we will endeavour to respond or add additional questions below.

Why is there a proposal for a quarry on this land?
The UK has a varied and complex geology and quarrying for essential building materials like sand and gravel can only take place where the right type of mineral deposits exist. Each county council or planning authority identifies potential future sources in its Minerals Local Plan and then producers like us must apply for planning permission to extract and process the mineral. Beneath the former Hatfield Aerodrome 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.
Where would all the sand and gravel be used?
Sand and gravel are essential building materials and are required for all kinds of construction. Examples include concrete for foundations and structures, in building blocks, paving and kerbs, in mortar for bonding bricks and blocks, and in landscaping for paths and driveways. The demand for materials comes from local developments, whether that’s housing and community facilities, shops, offices and places for leisure, or improvements to road and rail networks. Sand and gravel is usually used locally so it is likely that much of the material would be used in development in the surrounding towns.
Why can’t recycled materials be used instead of new aggregates?
We already recycle virtually all of the available materials for reuse in construction or land remediation. In fact as a percentage, the UK recycles and reuses more construction waste than any other country in Europe. However, recycled materials only account for around a third of the overall demand for aggregates so there is still a need to quarry new materials to meet the country’s needs.
What would be the environmental impact of the quarry?

Detailed environmental assessments have been carried out as an essential part of the planning process. These were first done in 2016 and, where appropriate, updated for our fresh proposal. The environmental impacts assessed are outlined on our Environmental Considerations page. Further detail on each of these will be included in our planning application however we welcome questions relating to any specific areas.

What are you proposing in order to prevent the risks from the bromate plume?

Significant work has gone into understanding the bromate plume and we are confident that our proposals, made in consultation with the Environment Agency and Affinity Water, address the issues raised. The bromate plume does not cross the proposed area of the quarry and no minerals will be extracted from the area of the bromate plume.

In addition, 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 plume. This was judged by the Environment Agency and Affinity Water to be more than enough distance to prevent disturbance of the plume. However, in our latest proposal we have doubled that to 100 metres to add a further layer of comfort. We have also committed to ensuring we do not pump water from the ‘lower mineral horizon’ to address concerns around drawing the bromate plume towards the site. Steps will also be taken to ensure that water from the two aquifers (in the LMH and UMH) will not be mixed.

The quarry will also maintain separation from the bromate plume by using impermeable clay barriers. Finally, our proposal will include a detailed groundwater monitoring and management plan, which has already been agreed with the Environment Agency and local water supplier Affinity Water.  

When will the proposed country park be created?

Our proposal includes the creation of a country park in phases as a part of the restoration plans for the site. Whilst sand and gravel extraction is taking place a large proportion of the total site at any one time will remain open to the public, either as land yet to be worked or as restored areas that are re-landscaped for people to enjoy.