Legal action sought after Local Plan inspector backs Luton Green Belt plans

North Herts Council

North Herts Council - Credit: North Herts Council

A legal battle is likely after an inspector gave backing for 2,100 homes on Green Belt land east of Luton to cater for the town’s unmet housing needs.

Both Central Bedfordshire Council and North Herts Council are required to supply a quantity of homes for neighbouring Luton borough.

An inspector supported the development around Cockernhoe in his report into the North Herts Council Local Plan.

White Peak Planning welcomed the release of land east of Luton from the Green Belt and their allocation as a strategic housing site.

The company said on its website: “Public consultation marks the next stage in Local Plan production, moving it closer towards adoption.

“We look forward to working with North Herts Council to bring Bloor Homes’ Stubbocks Walk application to committee later this year.

“The application includes 1,400 new homes, a local centre, and education facilities.”

A social media post via the Cockernhoe Village News Facebook account referred to the “dreadful proposal to build 2,100 houses on our Green Belt land”.

Most Read

North Herts Council will soon vote to adopt the Local Plan which would then leave only six weeks to mount a legal challenge under a judicial review, the Cockernhoe page explained.

Such litigation “is being planned by ourselves and several other affected areas, once legal opinion is obtained about the strength of our case”. That would cost £5,400, with sufficient funding available to cover the £2,500 east of Luton share.

“We hope for a robust legal opinion which will lead to the judicial review,” it said. “The estimated cost of that is an extra £44,000, of which around £10,000 has to be raised for our share.

“We’ve kept you updated on our significant evidence as to why this development on our Green Belt isn’t needed.

“Luton is building far more properties than stated in its 2017 Local Plan. A further 90 new homes were approved in the town in July, bringing its real housing build through to 2031 to 15,272, compared to 8,500 in its Local Plan.

“The resulting unmet need from Luton has dropped to only 1,428 compared to 9,300 in the Luton plan, and the major contribution from CBC of 7,350 homes across 20 sites dwarfs the true unmet need."

Anyone wishing to donate towards the legal costs can email eloobjectors@outlook.com to give an indication about how much could be raised.