Council officers recommend mineral extraction plans for Pynesfield land, in Maple Cross, be refused

A view looking north-eastwards across the site from the Tilehouse Lane end.

A view looking north-eastwards across the site from the Tilehouse Lane end.

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Officers have recommended that politicians refuse planning permission for mineral extraction and sand and gravel processing at a field in Maple Cross.

The application is to extract minerals, process and import sand and gravel and reclaim materials from Denham Park Farm.

Proposals then seek to restore the land to agricultural use and create a new access road on land at Pynesfield, off Tilehouse Lane.

Hertfordshire officials have recommended that county politicians at tomorrow’s Development Control Committee reject the application, which has already been lambasted by Three Rivers councillors.

Not only is the Maple Cross land located within the Green Belt, the site is within a safeguarded area for HS2.

In reports submitted to the county council, officers stated that: "It is recommended that the application for mineral development on Land at Pynesfield is refused."

Officials then go on to state that the site is in a "highly sensitive location" and that the development would "physically disturb a significant aquifer resulting in an unacceptable risk to groundwater quality and potable water supplies".

The report outlines that: "Landfilling activities during the reclamation phase using materials which would be classified as inert landfill from Denham Park Farm are inappropriate within a Source Protection Zone 1.

"The silt lagoon will be a new waste activity, which poses an intrinsic risk to both the quantity and quality of groundwater.

"The proposal is inappropriate development within the Green Belt and the very special circumstances do not outweigh the harm to the green belt and any other harm, where other harm is considered to be very great in this respect."

The application is due to be heard at County Hall, in Hertford, tomorrow morning.

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