Campaigning group vows to march on Letchworth if plans revealed tonight to build 1,000 homes on Green Belt land

Steve Paffet speaking at a Save The World's First Garden City meeting.

Steve Paffet speaking at a Save The World's First Garden City meeting. - Credit: Archant

A campaigning group has vowed to march on Letchworth if plans are revealed tonight to build 1,000 homes on land north of the Grange.

North Herts District Council’s public meeting at North Herts Leisure Centre at 7.30pm this evening is to discuss the ‘preferred options’ for Local Plan sites to meet the area’s housing needs until 2031.

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 The World’s First Garden City committee member Steve Paffet said: “Subject to the reveal tonight, if they are going ahead with the draft allocation of land to the north in Letchworth, then we will march in the town before Christmas.

“The proposal to develop over 1,000 homes on the land north of Letchworth would destroy the very concept of Ebenezer Howard’s legacy and the very concept that Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation should protect on behalf of their residents – the model many countries visit our town to see and subsequently return to their own countries to replicate.”

Nine sites making up 3,414 houses have also 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.

Christine Watson of Save Rural Baldock said: “The little town of Baldock has been shaken and stirred – shaken perhaps by the way the council has pressed on with such a flawed housing plan, and stirred into action, knowing that we must work hard to convince councillors of the need to refuse this Draft Plan as it stands.

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“The part of the plan I am particularly concerned about is the proposed overdevelopment of Baldock.

“It is time for the council to listen because the community are not going to take the desecration of Baldock lying down.

“We believe this is the council taking an easy option to tick boxes.

“We ask you to be courageous and reject this housing plan.”

There are 1,342 additional properties earmarked for Hitchin, and Churchgate will be discussed at the meeting.

The draft Local Plan at present includes building 411 homes in Knebworth, but it is not yet known where they will go.

l Follow live tweets from tonights’s meeting @Journo_JScott and @comet_layth. .

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