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Protect our GReen Belt

Protect our Green Belt

Article submitted by Kruna Vukmirovic

North Herts District District Council (NHDC) wants to permit building on selected sites within the Green Belt because of the ever increasing need for new housing. As outlined in its Local Plan 2011 -2031, NHDC enables the delivery of 14,560 new homes from 2011 to 2031. This includes building 1065 new homes  on five Green Belt sites in and around Hitchin, including planned developments in St Ippolytes and Ickleford,  and further 2100 new dwellings on the Green Belt around Cockernhoe, called ‘East of Luton’.

The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework  promotes sustainable development and it states that Green Belt boundaries should be altered only where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified. Alarmingly, the low number of new houses in North Hertfordshire is deemed to be such an exceptional circumstance: NHDC refused to grant permission for 160 new houses on Green Belt land outside Codicote, but this decision has now been overruled by a planning inspector, stating that the district’s housing need was so extreme as to justify the ‘moderate-significant harm’ being done to the open countryside.

Building on Green Belt will lead to destruction of the areas of  biodiversity and wildlife habitat in the affected areas and subsequent  increase in noise and air pollution due to the increased traffic. If accepted, these development proposals will lead to further erosion of the Green Belt areas in the future.

North Herts and Stevenage Party opposes the unsustainable development that leads to reduced Green Belt land.

Save our Green Belt campaign:

Article about the Codicote ruling: