Protest over new plan for more homes in Baldock
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A CAMPAIGN group has hit out after more land was put forward to build homes on.
The Save Rural Baldock Group gained 466 signatures from residents after it launched in April, following proposals to build 419 homes on 16.7 hectares of farmland, north of Salisbury Road and Bygrave Road in Baldock.
Now land for a further 2,500 homes has been proposed by landowners, including Herts County Council, for the area off North Road.
Spokesman for the campaign group, Martin Impey, of Salisbury Road, said: “We can’t understand why they would do this after the feedback they received from the first consultation. It is clear there are major concerns for the infrastructure in Baldock if the plans were given the go-ahead, so why would they propose further land?
“We really feel like we are not being listened to. It is a real kick in the teeth. What we can’t understand too is the fact that they want to build on Green Belt land when there are lots of brownfield sites available.”
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Mr Impey said one of the major concerns for residents is the loss of crops and wildlife in the town if homes are built.
He said: “The current population of the town is 10,555 residents, and with all the proposed sites around Baldock totalling 3,500, a conservative estimate of three residents per household, which will realistically be a lot more, will double Baldock’s population.
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“Also, an estimate of two cars per home minimum – that’s another 7,000 cars in and around all the roads of a heavily congested market town.”
In March, the Comet reported another online petition was launched to stop a proposed 214 homes being built south of Clothall Common.
A former Knights Templar student, Raj Gill, of Chauncy Garden, Baldock, started the campaign saying the town would end up losing its distinctive character and village feel if over developed.
North Herts District Council is now encouraging people to respond to a further consultation on the additional sites before it prepares its Local Plan, the document that determines where new homes will be built in the district between now and 2031.
The new proposals mean sites suitable for more than 37,000 new homes have now been put forward in total in North Herts.
Based on forecast population growth, and taking into account the number of people moving into the area minus the number of people leaving it, North Herts District Council has suggested a need for around 10,700 homes over the next 18 years.
A drop-in exhibition event on July 16 for people to lodge their views on the land off North Road will be held as part of the consultation process at The Knights Templar School, Park Street, Baldock, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.