Public meeting over threat to the Green Belt in southern Beds and northern Herts

  |  Published: Mar 14th 2015
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Public meeting over threat to the Green Belt in southern Beds and northern Herts

 

A public meeting to spell out the threat to communities posed by development plans in the Green Belt  in southern Bedfordshire and northern Hertfordshire has been organised by leading conservation groups.

The Herts and Beds branches of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the Chiltern Society want people to be fully aware of the impact that building thousands of houses will have, and how they can help protect the countryside.

The main speaker at the meeting on 25 March at Cardinal Newman School in Luton is Shaun Spiers, national Chief Executive of the CPRE. 

Kevin FitzGerald, Director of CPRE Hertfordshire said: “Our Green Belt land is at risk as never before from huge levels of unsustainable development. All of our communities will be affected by these unprecedented threats.”

CPRE Bedfordshire’s Vice-Chair Mike Stonnell added: “The two CPRE branches and the Chiltern Society have come together to campaign to save our countryside from this irreversible damage.”

Local authorities in this area are under pressure to provide tens of thousands of new homes in the next 15 years, many of which would have to be built in the Green Belt.

North Herts District Council has already said over two thirds of the 14,200 houses it needs to build will have to be on Green Belt.  It also wants to reserve a Green Belt site west of Stevenage for another 3,000 after 2031.

Meanwhile, in Central Bedfordshire around five square miles of Green Belt land is targeted for development.  Plans to develop on Green Belt land have already been agreed for 4,700 homes north of Houghton Regis, plus 2,500 homes east of Leighton Buzzard. In addition 1,500 houses are still to come at Houghton Regis and 4,000 north of Luton.  A total of 12,700 - all in Green Belt.

Chiltern Society spokesman Tom Rodwell  said: “We feel that people need to know how their communities will be affected and the steps they can take to protect them. We hope every community in the area will be represented on 25 March, and we are expecting election candidates to attend as well. We all need to take the Green Belt seriously and do all we can to protect it.”

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