Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, challenged the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) official at the East of England Plan Public Consultation held on Monday as to why they were going ahead with the launch of the Plan despite EERA withdrawing its support. The EERA bureaucrat admitted that the policy was now a Government policy and no longer that of the Regional Assembly.
Peter Lilley then asked the officials how many of the 166,000 extra houses planned for the whole Luton catchment area are intended to be built in Hitchin and Harpenden. No figures were available. He also asked whether the housing projections were based on the assumption of continued mass immigration into Southern England. Officials finally admitted that the Government is projecting a continued large inflow from abroad primarily into London which leads to a roughly equivalent outflow of people from London into the Home Counties.
Peter Lilley said: “The Government?s own figures indicate that as much as a third of the additional houses needed in London and the South East are due to an expected increase in the population largely due to the excess of immigration over emigration. This strengthens the case for setting a national limit on the total inflow of immigration into this country. The vast majority of immigrants are decent, hard working, law abiding people who make a positive contribution to this country. But England is the most densely populated major country in Europe. For centuries this country has been a net exporter of people. It is absurd that we are a now a net importer of people.?