Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, launched a strong attack on proposals floated by the Labour Party to abolish the Green Belt. The Labour Party is reported to be drawing up policies for a future Parliament which include scrapping Green Belt protection. Peter Lilley said “this confirms fears raised by the government decision to call in the planning application for building up to 10,000 houses between Hitchin and Stevenage that government is now willing to sacrifice the Green Belt”.
Peter Lilley added: “There have been pressures on the Green Belt throughout my time in Parliament, but so far we have been able to resist them. Not a single acre of Green Belt has been sacrificed to house building over the last 20 years.
“Labour‘s plans to let rip with the bulldozer and concrete mixer will provoke huge outrage across Hitchin and Harpenden. We all want to see more affordable housing; yet abolishing the Green Belt would just result in more executive homes being dumped on our green spaces, rather than addressing the demand for more housing to buy and rent near existing communities that have schools, hospitals and other amenities. It is essential to retain the green lungs between Hitchin and Stevenage and between Harpenden and Luton and St Albans.
“I shall continue to support the Green Belt vigorously and will be speaking in April at the Public Inquiry into the proposed development west of Stevenage.”