Jenny Chalmers and Chris Gannaway from the AHDA met with representatives from Brett Ltd and Redbridge on a walkabout round the latest gravel working site in Aldborough Hatch.
This was the first face to face meeting since before Covid.
A number of concerns were raised including the slow progress Brett is making. We are now half way through the 8 years they said they would take and still haven’t finished the preparatory work. Excuses have been the weather and of course Covid.
A tour of the Processing Area in Hainault Road showed that machinery is in place for sorting the gravel and we were told about the Earth friendly concrete being produced on site which used about 20% recycled materials.
The soil bunds are still being built and the bentonite wall is yet to be finished. The contractor employed to do this last job disappeared when the weather got bad, but we were told that they should be back soon to finish it by July.
The Haul Road is still to be finished and we were told there will be a very short, temporary diversion on Footpath 94 near the Barkingside entrance to Fairlop Waters in July. Gravel extraction proper may not start until next year.
The old tree nursery at Barkingside will be, as we recommend, absorbed into the wider Country Park but they will have to come to a decision on the dilapidated fence as it is a Health and Safety concern.
The following concerns were raised.
- The speed of vehicles on the haul road and the need for vehicles to stop/slow down where it crosses the footpaths
- The lack of maintenance and management of paths and hedges on Footpath 93, 94 and Aldborough Road North. The fact that we had to walk in single file along Aldborough Road North demonstrates how dangerous the path is here with speeding traffic. Any children walking or anyone in a pushchair or wheelchair is forced onto the road or scratched by brambles and overgrown nettles. We have been on about the need for widening the footpath for years but still no action
- Dead and dying trees growing in the ditch on Aldborough Road North still need to be removed and the ditch cleared out.
- The need for regular, cutting off the grass at the backs of houses in Applegarth Drive and the cut material removed. This is essential to make a fire break and prevent the spread of fires, particularly in this dry weather
- The need for managed cutting of the long grass on Aldborough Hatch farm to prevent a recurrence of the fires we had here last year. We were told that this would probably happen in July after the ground nesting bird season was over.
- The need to remove the fly tipped material on Aldborough Hatch farm, which again could be a possible fire risk
- The maintenance and repair of the hedge on footpath 93 to make it safe for people who walk along it. There have been drug users making dens between the wall and the hedge in the area after the graveyard.
- Also some people living in or near Saint Peters close seem to think, it would be a good idea to rip down an area of the hedge, making an exit onto the footpath 93 rather than use the gate 10 m away!
- We have asked for future meetings to be face to face rather than online.