Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has criticised the way potential sites for gypsy and traveller homes in the east of England are identified. Speaking at a packed meeting at Pirton village hall he said: “The process is neither fair, balanced nor transparent.”

    Pirton has been listed as one of six possible sites in North Hertfordshire required to meet government targets. Nine sites were originally identified but three have been removed because of the impact they would have on the landscape.

    Peter Lilley told almost 300 people at the meeting that he had secured a Parliamentary debate on the whole issue of gypsy and traveller sites in the region.

    “I believe much more should have been done to make the consultation process more fair, balanced and transparent.

    The meeting, called by Pirton and Holwell parish councils, was attended by North Herts District Councillors Claire Strong and Tricia Gibbs. They heard concerns about pressure on the local primary school. The school is already oversubscribed and not all village children can secure a place there. A travellers’ site would aggravate these pressures. It was also pointed out that restrictions are already in force on housing development around Pirton.

    Representations regarding the proposal must be delivered to North Herts District Council before March 19th.