Homes plan faces court threat

PUBLISHED: 12:47 30 May 2008 | UPDATED: 22:20 26 October 2009

PLANS to concrete over our Green Belt may not, just yet, be set in stone! For council bosses are seeking legal advice over whether it has grounds to challenge the proposals. News that the Government had rubberstamped plans to build at least an extra 10,00

PLANS to concrete over our Green Belt may not, just yet, be set in stone!

For council bosses are seeking legal advice over whether it has grounds to challenge the proposals.

News that the Government had rubberstamped plans to build at least an extra 10,000 homes in Welwyn Hatfield caused outrage throughout Times Territory.

Now Welwyn Hatfield Council bosses have followed the lead of neighbouring councils in rejecting the announcement made last month on the East of England Plan.

A spokesman for the council confirmed they were "taking advice" and "expecting a clearer picture within the next few weeks".

MP Grant Shapps backed the council's decision.

He said: "I'm behind the idea that the council are seeking legal advice on the decision to build up to another 15,000 homes.

"It is something that we clearly must take seriously as it has massive implications for anyone who lives in the area."

On May 12 Government officials decreed that the homes would be built by 2021.

There are no-where near enough brownfield sites in the borough to cope with such numbers, so Green Belt land would have to be sacrificed.

Paul Zukowskyj, Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield, described the plans as "half-baked" and also backed the council's move.

He cited issues such as the "delayed" town centre, the post office crisis and a lack of a major NHS service in the neighbouring vicinity as reasons why building extra homes in the area was "simply not acceptable".

"Anything that can avert these houses appearing on our doorsteps we are behind in principle," he said.


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