Simon Hoare MP objects to Midgham Farm inclusion in HCC's Minerals and Waste Plan

Letter to Hampshire County Council: Minerals and Waste Planning Policy

I have had raised with me by a number of residents from Alderholt in my constituency the issue of Cemex’s plans to fill the existing quarry at Harbridge Drove Road with pollutant waste and the possible plans of extending the quarry into Midgham Farm, which would be a far larger site, and which will cut into Alderholt thereby crossing the County boundary. I am slightly surprised that neither the applicant nor your Council have raised this proposal with me.  As I am sure you can understand Alderholt residents are very worried about the nature of the proposal and the potential negative environmental and traffic implications that it creates. 

Below are I believe germane points which direct that the plans should be dismissed:

By my assessment nothing has materially changed since this site was considered as a Planning Application in June 1995 and recommended for refusal 92/NFDC/050721. Subsequently this site was not included in the previous HCC Minerals and Waste Plan of 2013.In the decade since, further housing has been developed fronting directly onto, or, within a few metres of Harbridge Drove and Hillbury Road, notably at Drove End Farm, Braemoor, the Bungalow, Primrose Cottage, Hill Crest, new dwellings at Bleak Hill Farm, Christmas Rose Cottage and Daffodil Cottage. All of these properties lie within the first 1.2km south of the proposed site access and will be adversely impacted by daily HGV movements. Given the above it seems bizarre that these plans have resurrected themselves.

This rural area on the extreme edge of the HCC authority area abuts the village of Alderholt and is very close to important biodiversity sites (as listed extensively on page 61 of the HCC M&W Proposal Study for the site and page 25 of the Ecological Statement). I appreciate that joint collaborative working between authorities can be challenging.  That said, what assurances can you give me that the views of Dorset residents and elected representatives is being given the same attention and weight as those arising from your council tax payers in Hampshire.

Were permission to be granted, what range of materials would be deposited within the site.  How will implications for air quality be assessed and monitored.  Are we aware of the views of the Environment Agency with regard to impact on the water table and infiltration into subterranean water courses through leachate.  Such issues were important considerations in the assessment of the plan’s earlier iteration.

I believe that the land is good quality agricultural grades 3a and 3b within the site – “a significant quantity of best and most versatile agricultural land, a national resource for the future”: of particular importance due the Climate Change Emergency, and the need for food security.   HM Government has recognised the need to bolster sustainable UK food production and the importance of such land for such purpose has been underscored.

The then East Dorset District Council objected to the 1995 application on the grounds of, inter alia, the “likely detriment to amenity that will be caused to the adjacent residential neighbourhood and outlying individual dwellings.”  This fundamental objection continues to resonate.

The roads leading to and from Alderholt are not of the highest calibre, being small, winding, narrow country roads with little to no pavement. Given recent changes to minimum distances motorists need to give to cyclists, I would have thought there would be little or no opportunity for large HGVs to pass legally. This restriction will have a significant and lasting impact on the viability to HGVs movements to and from the site in question, and I remain to be convinced that these roads could safely and sustainably accommodate the envisaged types and levels of traffic movements.

It must be noted that page 62 of the site Proposal Study under landscape character, states that the remaining parts of the Avon Valley that are intact i.e., that below the ridge at Midgham Farm, are becoming more important and that this is considered to be a highly sensitive area (water meadows) with regard to ecological interest and biodiversity.  Again, this would suggest refusal of the proposal.

This proposal will affect the “Quality of Life” particularly as the machinery is to be located at the northern edge of the site closest to Alderholt, so having a severe negative impact on Alderholt residents. This plan will affect adversely much of Alderholt.

Please accept this letter as an objection to the proposals submitted as the local Member of Parliament for Alderholt.  I would be grateful if you could confirm receipt.  I would be happy to attend a meeting with the applicant to discuss the concerns of my constituents, which, as I hope is clear, I share.


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Objection letter 25.01.23 (485.99 KB) 485.99 KB