PRESS RELEASE FROM THE RT HON PETER LILLEY MP
Tuesday December 8th 2009
LILLEY SET TO FIGHT RENEWED THREAT FROM HOUSE BUILDERS
Property developers Bloor Homes have revealed that they are forging ahead with plans to build 1000 houses to the east of Luton without waiting for the official backing of Luton or mid-Bedfordshire councils.
Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, was told by Bloor Homes on Monday that the company intend to put in a planning application “imminently”.
He said: “This is a smaller development than the one originally put forward, and the developers claim they do not intend to extend house building down into the Lilley valley.
“Even so, I remain very afraid that this is just the thin end of the wedge. The proposal would create zones on the outskirts of Luton which other developers would soon hope to fill in. Also, Luton Council apparently remain keen on the idea of a far larger development
“I am seeing the Local Government Minister, Rosie Winterton, next week to discuss a loophole in the law which apparently allows a local authority to meet its housing needs by proposing to build on land outside its own area. This strikes me as the antithesis of local accountability.
“There should be no prospect at all of building in North Hertfordshire to meet the housing targets for what planners call the Milton Keynes and South Midlands sub region.
“North Herts District Council was never involved in the consultation process which led to this proposal and it defies belief that we should be made to accommodate a neighbouring authority’s new homes when we have housing targets of our own.
“Bloor Homes want to extend Luton to the east from Wigmore between Cockernhoe, Mangrove Green and Tea Green.
“Apart from the loss of a swathe of beautiful English countryside supposedly protected as Green Belt, such a development threatens the essential character and identity of these individual settlements.”
Further information from John Allen