Hertfordshire threatened by massive homes development, warns campaign group

COUNTRYSIDE campaigner CPRE Hertfordshire is warning that the review of the East of England Plan being carried out by the Regional Assembly could lead to thousands more homes in the county over and above the 83,000 in the original plan. The review takes t

COUNTRYSIDE campaigner CPRE Hertfordshire is warning that the review of the East of England Plan being carried out by the Regional Assembly could lead to thousands more homes in the county over and above the 83,000 in the original plan.

The review takes the plan up to 2031, and could result in as many as 165,000 new homes in that period, claims CPRE.

Its director Kevin FitzGerald said: 'Yet again Hertfordshire is in the firing line for massive development resulting in loss of countryside, increased congestion and strain on services. We could be looking at numbers equivalent to two Stevenages.

"I wonder how many people are aware of this review and its implications. People were shocked by the scale of development called for in the original plan, but the review calls for far, far more."

He added: "It is difficult for non-experts to follow these complex plans which will have such an effect on quality of life, but the review is out for public consultation and it is essential that people take this chance to let the planners know what they think. They have until November 24 to do so. CPRE Hertfordshire has produced some background information and guidance to help you respond. Visit www.cpreherts.org.uk"

The East of England Regional Assembly is consulting on the housing growth options it is considering for Hertfordshire as part of a review of central government's East of England Plan.

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The options range from building between 75,000 and 107,000 new homes for the county between 2011-2031.

To help residents respond, the county council has set up a special website. One feature of this is a short webcast - a Rough Guide to the East of England Plan 2031 - which outlines the proposals as well as providing details of how to participate in the consultation process. People can log on at www.speakuphertfordshire.org.uk The webcast can also be viewed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1QTdah8v9c

People can also 'become a fan' of 'Speak Up' on Facebook to follow the latest updates from the county council on the consultation as soon as they are available.

"This is an important opportunity for us to tell the Regional Assembly what we think about housing growth in our county," said Derrick Ashley, the county council's executive member for planning. "Although the planning framework may be radically reviewed if there is a change of government after the general election next year, the views expressed by Hertfordshire residents in response to this consultation will be extremely important in shaping future policies. Please don't miss your chance to have an input into the future of our county.

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