We’re no threat to listed church say gravel firm
PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 February 2016
A company, hoping to extract gravel and sand near a Grade II listed church, is holding a public exhibition for passionate campaigners today.
Brett Tarmac, based in Hainault Road, Little Heath, want to move their quarrying site from Fairlop Plain to Aldborough Farm, in Aldborough Road, Aldborough Hatch.
But the proposals are opposed by the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA) through their campaign ‘Enough is Enough’.
Chairman Ron Jeffries says the dust and noise will disturb children going to nursery in St Peter’s Church, and could damage the building’s old foundations.
Prior to the event the company gave the Recorder exclusive access to the exhibition and their gravel extraction points.
Estates manager Simon Treacy explained why Brett Tarmac wanted to move their operation to Aldborough Hatch.
“London uses 10 million tonnes of sand and gravel each year in the construction industry, and 95 per cent of that is imported from different parts of the country.
“There are only four boroughs which can extract gravel here, and at the moment it is missing targets set by the Mayor.
“It is important London and Redbridge makes its contribution.”
But the area is not just turned into a quarry and left an eyesore.
After extracting the sand and gravel, which is scheduled to take place for around eight years in Aldborough Hatch, Brett Tarmac restores the land and leave it in its original state.
Fairlop Waters Country Park and golf course was quarried in the 1950s and the company have also extracted and restored RSPB land in Nottinghamshire.
So what of campaigners concerns about the future of Grade II listed St Peter’s?
Mr Jeffries, 82, of Spearpoint Gardens, Aldborough Hatch, says: “The church was built in 1862 without proper foundations and, in the view of experts who attended a similar exhibition in 2011, would almost certainly suffer irreparable damage due to changes in the water table.”
Mr Treacy explained there would be no work less than 100metres from the church, and Brett Tarmac will dig a borehole so the water level (the blue line in the diagram) can be monitored and adjusted to ensure the building is not damaged.
“We do not want anything to happen to St Peter’s, if it did we would be liable and have to repair it,” Mr Treacy said.
“It would damage our public image and affect whether we could extract at other locations in the future.”
Quarry manager Jason Tomlins commented that bunds – soil ridges which block out the sight of the quarry – were very effective at reducing noise and dust.
“I’ve never had a complaint,” he claimed.
Another issue is the possible release of leachates (to the left in the diagram) – toxic water which has built up as rain has run through an old council landfill site, under Fairlop Waters Golf Course.
Environmental assessor Dan Walker said the company were building a wall into the ground to protect the area for the substance, saying it’s “a proven procedure”. Mr Treacy added they would be liable if the leachates did leak.
Brett Tarmac are aiming to submit a planning application in May, with the hope of starting work in autumn.
For more information head along to the exhibition today at Redbridge Football Club, Station Road, Barkingside between 12pm and 8pm.
Shuttle buses will be running from St Peter’s Church every hour.
What do you think about gravel extraction? Email email@example.com.
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