Campaigners turn out in fancy dress for Letchworth march to save North Herts Green Belt
PUBLISHED: 17:02 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:42 29 January 2018
Danny Loo Photography 2018
Activists turned out in Letchworth on Saturday to protest against plans to build on Green Belt land across the North Herts district.
Members from campaign groups Save the World’s First Garden City and Say No To GA2 were among those out on the streets to oppose North Herts District Council’s proposals to build homes – including on land near Letchworth’s Grange Playing Field and in the Great Ashby area of Stevenage which falls under NHDC’s jurisdiction.
An organised march saw protestors – some wearing animal costumes – carrying banners complete a circular route around Letchworth town centre, starting and finishing in Broadway Gardens.
En route, the group paused at the Ebenezer Howard masthead to give three cheers and lay a wreath which read ‘RIP Garden City Principles.’
Before the march, there were speeches by Kevin Fitzgerald from Campaign for Protection of Rural England, and Pete Perry for Friends of Forster Country – land under threat to the north west of Stevenage – where they stressed the environmental importance behind protesting against the proposed developments.
Anthony Burrows, chairman of Save the World’s First Garden City, said: “We thank the people from Graveley, including their parish councillors, as well as the Friends of Forster Country for their help in the organisation of the march.
“It was encouraging to see the number of pedestrians in the town centre who joined our march on the way. They showed their support of us in our trying to defend North Hertfordshire’s Green Belt against development.
“We also have to thank Letchworthians, including Grange residents, for standing up against the undermining of our Garden City’s principles.”
Alongside the march efforts a number of petitions have been signed and submitted in response to NHDC’s Local Plan – which will shape the future of the district through to 2031 – including one by the Say No to GA2 group which looks to protect land north east of Great Ashby.
Save our Green Belt, Letchworth Heritage Foundation, Save the World’s First Garden City and others will be attending an examination hearing on NHDC’s Local Plan which focuses on Letchworth on Monday, February 5.
The hearing starts at 9am at Letchworth’s Icknield Centre, with Baldock due to be discussed at the same venue on the Tuesday morning, followed by Hitchin that afternoon.
For the full schedule visit www.north-herts.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/local-plan/local-plan-examination/hearings-timetable.