Residents rebuffed as Luton invasion moves closer
The destruction of a massive area of North Herts Green Belt moved a step closer today after neighbouring councillors ignored thousands of opponents and pressed ahead with the scheme. At a meeting of the Luton and South Beds joint committee this morning (
The destruction of a massive area of North Herts Green Belt moved a step closer today after neighbouring councillors ignored thousands of opponents and pressed ahead with the scheme.
At a meeting of the Luton and South Beds joint committee this morning (Friday), councillors who plan to meet government housing targets by building 5,500 homes outside their authorities in the beautiful Lilly valley, dismissed over 7,000 respondents who had written to object.
The agenda - "to enable the members to consider the responses received and officers suggested responses and actions relating to them" - was largely ignored as councillors rejected the opposition arguments as not impinging on the technical detail of the plan.
And in a move which caused outrage among members of Keep East of Luton Green in the chamber, the almost 5,000 postcards printed by the opposition group and filled in and posted by residents, were treated as one complaint.
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The only opposition to the plan on the committee came from the Liberal Democrat contingent who put forward a motion to scrap the plan on the strength of "the overwhelming public response". This was called "inappropriate" and heavily defeated by the Conservative and Labour members.
Council officers continue to work on the detail of the plan, which they recognised as having problems, particularly on the issue of transport infrastructure. But if these can be resolved in their eyes, the committee will be asked to approve the plan in December.
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If approved, the plan, which is also opposed by MPs in the area and North Herts District Council, will then go before a government adjudicator who will decide whether it can go ahead.