Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has welcomed the decision by North Herts District Council to reject as unsuitable six locations previously identified as potential gypsy and traveller sites.

    He said: “I have consistently criticised the way that the local Council was forced by government planning processes to designate sites like these. The whole process lacked fairness, balance and transparency.

    “I know from my correspondence and from public meetings I attended that there were serious concerns about the locations under consideration – not just from local residents but even Gypsy representatives considered them unsuitable.

    “I am delighted that North Herts District Council has listened to public views and decided that none of the proposed sites is suitable for such use.

    “More than 3000 people and organisations made representations to the NHDC about the six places identified as potential sites, which illustrates the degree of interest and concern the issue provoked.

    The Council is subject to government targets for the provision of gypsy and traveller accommodation, and will now focus on meeting them through the Stevenage and North Herts Area Action Plan.