Herts warns of green belt loss
The county council has issued a quality of life warning saying that plans to build more than 65 thousand homes in the county are bound to have a detrimental impact.
The county says that, according to the plan, at least 65,720 homes must be built in Hertfordshire in the next 15 years.
That, claims the authority, is the equivalent to a city the size of Oxford being built in one of the most densely populated and highly congested counties in the country.
Herts says the actual number of homes to be built could be much higher because the figure doesn't include the threat of overspill into Hertfordshire from the separately proposed homes planned for north of Harlow and the development planned to the east of Luton.
The authority says that the scale of development will mean loss of green belt land around Stevenage and risks urban sprawl from Hatfield, through St Albans to Hemel Hempstead.
According to Derrick Ashley, Executive Member for Planning, External Relations and Waste, the homes will need a significant development to Hertfordshire’s infrastructure in order to support them.
“Hertfordshire is already dealing with over-stretched transportation routes: traffic flows are 30 percent higher than the national average and our road and rail networks are already struggling to cope.
“If the government is to insist on this scale of development, they must respond to our call for substantial investment, particularly in the local transport infrastructure, otherwise we could see the county literally grind to a halt,” he said.
Hertfordshire County Council will be reviewing its options over the coming weeks and is already working with the district and borough councils on a study to identify exactly what will be needed to support the new housing, should these numbers become a reality.
Note: (* plus a possible 10,000 north of Harlow not included in the plan). Click here if you want to discuss this issue.
25 May 2008
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