Resist the house builders

PUBLISHED: 11:14 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010

I was disturbed to read that the proposal to develop land to the west of Hitchin has raised its head again. The map suggested that land from the A505 all the way to the Icknield Way could disappear under housing, with the loss of agricultural land, and mo

I was disturbed to read that the proposal to develop land to the west of Hitchin has raised its head again. The map suggested that land from the A505 all the way to the Icknield Way could disappear under housing, with the loss of agricultural land, and more importantly Oughtonhead Common and the associated Nature Reserve. Our local rural environment is already under threat from west of Stevenage, and Luton Expansion, and the resistance to these is already well established. While I am not against development in principle, I do object to any proposal that leads to the loss of Green Belt land, in North Herts or elsewhere. Green Belts were established to protect the lungs of the great cities and prevent their continued expansion, and the concept worked well until the last decade or so. Now developers and some politicians seem to think that any open space is fair game, especially if it is next to an existing town or village.

That this idea has been raised again means the threat is real, and there is a continued search for a space to put 8-10,000 houses somewhere in the north of the county where house prices are high and associated profits would be as well. If not west of Hitchin then it will be somewhere else, perhaps south of Baldock, filling in behind their new bypass, or if Hitchin gets a bypass, how about filling in there? Green Belt is there for a reason, to prevent the gradual cementing over of our environment. If one piece goes locally, then it potentially creates a precedent, and future incursions are more difficult to resist.

JOHN HORTON, The Paddock, Hitchin


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