'Council Mislead Public' - Claim

A LEADING councillor has blasted a neighbouring council for misleading the public and ignoring their own expert advice over plans to build on Herts Green Belt. David Barnard, southern rural committee chairman at North Herts District Council, has criticis

A LEADING councillor has blasted a neighbouring council for misleading the public and ignoring their own expert advice over plans to build on Herts Green Belt.

David Barnard, southern rural committee chairman at North Herts District Council, has criticised senior officers at Luton Council for the "uninformed" advice given at a public exhibition of plans to build 5,500 homes, a ring-road and a park-and-ride on Herts countryside. The huge development to the East of Luton is planned to meet Government housing targets which Beds councillors say they cannot fit in Bedfordshire.

Cllr Barnard criticised the council after he asked officers at the Arndale exhibition in Luton on Saturday about alternatives to building in Herts.

"When asked about alternative sites, especially to the West of Luton," he said, "Employed officers of Luton Council, who manned the exhibition, stated that the site has been fully investigated and that it was totally unsuitable not least in transport infrastructure provision.


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"This is a blatant attempt to deceive the public and further flaws the consultation process. Senior officers at Luton have stated that they have not fully considered the West of Luton proposals, as they were 'late coming into the process'. Why then do they send uninformed or misinformed employees out into the public to lie on their behalf?"

The councillor went on to question why the Luton and Central Beds joint planning committee behind the building plan which would destroy 10,000 hectares of Herts countryside had also ignored their own independently commissioned research. One report said the area to the East of Luton was of "strong character and high quality, such that it is not considered appropriate for development to take place".

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Cllr Barnard said: "Why then has the planning committee chosen to ignore the expensive and extensive survey and research results commissioned by them?"

Roy Davis, vice-chair of the Luton and Central Beds joint committee, said: "The proposals are a considered view about how we will live and work in this area for the next generation, how we will ensure our economy prospers, and how we will address many of the problems, like transport, which we already have.

"The proposals have been drawn up as a result of a very great deal of research and consultation, and are backed up by considerable base of evidence which is available for those who want to delve more deeply. Cllr Barnard saying things that are not true will not change the facts, although I suspect the facts will never change his mind.

Our campaign to Stop The Luton Invasion is going strong but we need all the help we can get so that we can take all your opposition emails to Parliament.

So sign up and have your say at our website www.thecomet24.co.uk

Just hit the Stop The Luton Invasion button and tell us why Beds councillors should keep their hands off our rare, important and beautiful countryside. Once it is gone we will never get it back.

And don’t forget to voice your opposition on the Beds planning committee website www.shapeyourfuture.org.uk

You can also have your say in person at the:

Beds exhibitions –

* May 14: Putteridge Recreation Centre 5pm-8pm

* May 16: Bedford Square, Houghton Regis 10am-3pm

NHDC public meeting –

*May 20: Breachwood Green Village Hall, 7.30pm

Keep East of Luton Green public meeting –

*May 21: Stopsley Primary School, 8pm

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