Residents Against Gravel Extraction (R.A.G.E)
is an umbrella organisation fighting gravel extraction in the N.W. Surrey area
and represents the Egham, Stroude, Thorpe Ward and Whitehall Lane Residents’ Associations.
3rd May 2009
A GRAVEL PIT ON YOUR DOORSTEP?
Sorry to bring you bad news – Hanson Aggregates UK Limited has submitted an
application to Surrey County Council to dig 2,400,000 tonnes of sand and gravel from
a huge site of 57 hectares (141 acres) at Milton Park Farm, Egham. It is bounded by
Manorcroft Road, the M25 motorway, Stroude Road, and Whitehall Lane. It would
stretch from Manorcroft School and the Egham Bowls Club to beyond Great Fosters
and to Procter & Gamble’s research laboratories. The extraction and filling could lastfrom between 10 and 15 years!
The application estimates that there would be approximately 230–280 HGV lorry
movements per day (each of up to 20 tonnes) entering and leaving the site at a new
roundabout to be built on Stroude Road between (a) the junction of that road with
Manorcroft Road, Braywood Avenue and Whitehall Lane and (b) the roundabout in front
of Milton Park. It is anticipated that some (5%) lorries would turn north and go through
Egham but most (95%) would turn south and then East over the M25 motorway bridge
on New Wickham Lane. The majority (60%) would turn left again into Vicarage Road
and attempt to cross the railway at Pooley Green, 30% would turn south on to Thorpe
Lea Road towards Thorpe and on to Chertsey and 5% would continue eastwards
through Egham Hythe. Some of these lorries would bring in inert waste to fill the gravel
pits for restoration to agriculture and some would bring cement to feed the concrete
batching plant located near the proposed silt lagoon behind Manorcroft School. The
view of works buildings 15 metres (49 feet) high would be a visual intrusion. Therewould be additional noise and dust; and air quality might be affected.
Before excavating each phased area, low-permeability clay walls would be inserted
around the perimeter, to enable the quarry to be pumped dry. These walls would also
later maintain a geological barrier to the inert waste fill material. Although relief drains
would be put in place and monitoring carried out, there are serious concerns regarding
any disturbance of groundwater flows and levels; with possibly an increase in the risk offlooding, or worse, subsidence.
So what can we do to stop all this happening? Yes, we’ve had these threats of gravel
raising before and we’ve successfully fought off all previous applications. This one
however looks more serious. The hard copy of the planning application, together with
its environmental statement and appendices, measures 7 inches in thickness andweighs 15 pounds!
You can write to The Director of Technical Services, Runnymede Borough
Council, Civic Centre, Station Road, Addlestone, KT15 2AH quoting reference
number RU.09/0299: Milton Park Farm, Egham; preferably by mid-May but,
please, well before the date of the RBC Planning Meeting (3 June) – the
earlier the better! Applications for gravel extraction are a County issue and thus
RBC does not determine the outcome but can raise a strong objection to
Surrey County Council.
After consideration by RBC, the application will be then be discussed and determined
by the SCC Planning & Regulatory Committee on 22nd July. (You may want to keep a
copy of your RBC letter to send to SCC.) The application can be viewed at
http://www.runnymede.gov.uk/: click on Planning, on Planning Applications Register
Online, View current and past Planning Applications, Planning Applications Archive,
Week 15 – 8th April 2009; then scroll down to RU.09/0299 Milton Park Farm; and click
on ‘Unfortunately the files…are extremely large’. The Non-Technical Summary (18 MB)is the best place to start.
I am arranging a Public Meeting on 9th June at 7.30pm in Manorcrofts School hall togalvanize local opposition ahead of the SCC review.
Chairman of Residents Against Gravel Extraction (RAGE)
32 Whitehall Lane, Egham