Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    CPRE - Breachwood GreenPeter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, warned a packed meeting of local residents that the threat of large scale housing development east of Luton has not gone away, even though the developers, Bloor Homes, have shelved a planning application.

    He said: “This is just a pause in the battle to preserve some of Hertfordshire’s most beautiful countryside. We must gear up and be ready to fight when a future bid is made.

    “The developers say they have withdrawn their application on legal advice, but only for the present. This is certainly not the end of the matter.”

    Peter Lilley told a public meeting held at Breachwood Green village hall, organised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, that Luton Borough Council, South Beds District Council and Bedfordshire County Council were working on plans to build 5,000 homes east of Luton.

    “It is outrageous that these authorities are contemplating meeting their government housing targets by building in Hertfordshire rather than their own areas. They (rightly) exclude large areas of Bedfordshire from consideration on the grounds that they are of outstanding natural beauty, but they do not give this classification to any part of their neighbouring counties! Yet, by common consent, the Lilley Bottom area is one of the most beautiful parts of either county. What is more, it is classified as Green Belt, the whole purpose of which is to maintain a green lung between existing towns and villages.

    CPRE - with Kevin FitzGerald Herts CPRE“These Councils may think it is an option to build in Herts, but if they carry on with their proposals they will be met with overwhelming resistance. Local people, including residents of Luton who value having such beautiful countryside on their doorstep, will not accept this plan. And they will have the backing of North Herts District Council and Herts County Council, as local councillors made clear at this meeting.

    “The next important part of the process will come when the Beds/Luton planning committee put forward their definitive proposals for consultation in the autumn. It is important that we use the intervening period to prepare a massive and effective campaign. Anyone wishing to get involved should contact me at the House of Commons.”

    * Attached are two pics: 1 Peter Lilley addressing the public meeting at Breachwood Green village hall,

    2 Peter Lilley (right) with Kevin FitzGerald, Honorary Director of the Hertfordshire Society of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.