Campaigners are urging people worried by proposals for thousands of new homes in the area to make sure they don’t miss next week’s vital North Herts District Council meeting on the Local Plan.

The meeting is taking place at North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth at 7.30pm on Thursday, November 27, to discuss the council’s ‘preferred options’ for Local Plan sites to meet the district’s housing requirements until 2031.

Nine sites making up 3,414 houses have been allocated to be built in and around Baldock, including one of 2,800 dwellings at the Blackhorse Farm site to the north of the town.

Letchworth’s draft allocation contains 11 sites making up 1,537 homes which are still to be built, including 1,000 dwellings on land north of the Grange estate.

Save Rural Baldock campaigners are holding a 7pm public meeting at Taste Cafe Bar on High Street tonight to discuss the plans and prepare for next week’s meeting.

Save Rural Baldock campaigner Stephen Proops said: “Speculation about the Local Plan is finally over. It has been very difficult to get definitive answers from the planners but publication of their draft papers has confirmed our worst fears for the town’s future. They make it happen by removing our Green Belt.

“Now our councillors have to decide whether to allow these proposals to move forward into the long, official process of approval and acceptance. We need to be there at the meeting to tell them to reject the plan.

“As it stands the plan is an attempt to take the easy option. It is a flawed, one-off, long term plan making sweeping assumptions about population growth and rolling back very precious Green Belt land which can never be undone.

“Come to the meeting and bring your placards! Let’s show the councillors that Baldock residents will stand firm against this plan.”

Save The World’s First Garden City campaigners are hoping their 7.30pm public meeting tonight at Highfield School in Letchworth gets a big turnout.

Steve Paffet of Save the World’s First Garden City said: “If you care about your town, I urge you to come along to both meetings. Letchworth will never cope with hundreds more cars every day and the people that live in these new homes are far more likely to commute than work here.

“So, where will they park when your road has no space left? We do not have enough car parks, but we do have enough congestion.

“I am passionate about keeping the world’s first garden city from being destroyed. It really is a one-off that is under threat.

“Putting this town within one field of Stotfold, losing all of this regularly farmed land, destroying Ebenezer Howard’s concept and eradicating almost all of the appreciable Green Belt north of the town would be an irreversible sin.

“Nick Clegg is an avid supporter of garden cities, so tell me how we build new ones if the very one everyone should copy is lost in urban sprawl. “Stop it now before it’s too late.”

Councillor Tricia Cowley, chairman of NHDC, said: “The local plan is an important issue for many of the district’s residents and so we have decided that a larger space is needed for the meeting. This will allow those interested people, from across the district, to come along and find out what is going on for themselves.”