Farmer believes potential plan to double Baldock in size would wipe out their livelihood

Thousands of houses could be built on land beyond Bygrave Road.

Thousands of houses could be built on land beyond Bygrave Road. - Credit: Archant

A Baldock farmer believes a plan to potentially double the amount of houses in the town could wipe out their livelihood.

As part of North Hertfordshire District Council’s Local Plan, the authority is expected to build about 12,100 homes by 2031 – and 45 per cent of those could be in Baldock.

Potential sites, which could include a proposal for 3,500 homes on land north of Baldock and a plan for 45 homes on land east of Clothall Common, will be put forward in a draft version of the Local Plan at a full council meeting on November 27. Once agreed, housing developers will be able to submit planning applications.

Jenny Oakley said: “We tenant a county council small holding which surrounds Baldock and our business, my friends, neighbours’ businesses, our children’s futures, could be wiped out if these plans go through. Small holdings are rare and must be preserved, if these holdings disappear the future of the small farmer becomes extinct as no small farms will be created.

“Agricultural land is now far too expensive for a viable small business – the county council and the government are taking away choice and opportunities for future generations and there is no alternatives offered.”

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council, which own most of the land that houses could be built on, said: “HCC has provided NHDC with additional information on request as they review their local plan and consider several development options to meet their housing and employment needs.

“At this very early stage, the county council has said it would consider making this land available for development if these plans are appropriate and meet the total development needs of the area.”

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A consultation on the draft Local Plan opens on December 5 and ends on January 30.