Disappointment as Secretary of State refuse to step in over Hitchin-Codicote B656 concrete plant plans
PUBLISHED: 11:50 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:12 13 June 2019
Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami and Highbury ward councillor Sam Collins, have both expressed their disappointment after the Secretary of State declined to intervene over plans for the concrete plant off the B656 between Hitchin and Codicote.
Along with Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, Mr Afolami wrote to the Secretary of State, MP James Brokenshire, back in February, asking him to call in the application from Breedon Southern Ltd to build on an existing salvage yard at Rush Green.
They raised concerns over the impact the plant will have on the environment, infrastructure and Green Belt, due to the proposed number of lorries travelling to the site.
However, the Secretary of State has refused to step in over the plans for the plant - which North Herts District Council's planning committee approved in February - much to the disappointment of Mr Afolami.
"There is no doubt that an increase in HGV traffic will decrease safety on our roads and increase the pollution on our Green Belt," he said.
"While I am disappointed by the decision, I respect the government's commitment to give more powers to local councils and communities on planning issues.
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"I will continue to work with local councillors, North Herts District Council and Stephen McPartland to try and mitigate the issues that are going to arise from this development."
Councillor Sam Collins - who represents the Hitchin Highbury ward on North Herts District Council - also expressed his disappointment, but pledge to work on mitigating the issues surrounding the plant.
"This is really disappointing," he said.
"It seems that nobody has been willing to consider the traffic impact on the already congested Three Moorhens roundabout," he told the 'Comet'.
"This is an area of real concern with a very high level of poor air quality, and I don't believe that regular large trucks passing though this point will help the situation.
"It is a real shame that the Secretary of State was unwilling to consider this application."
The Comet contacted Breedon Southern Ltd for comment about the proposed concrete plant plans, but is yet to receive a response.The Comet contacted Breedon Southern Ltd for comment about the proposed concrete plant plans, but is yet to receive a response.