Shock as prankster claims 7,000 homes to be built in Hertfordshire village

PUBLISHED: 09:47 20 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:47 20 February 2015

Northaw and Cuffley Council clerk and proper officer Jason Grocock with one of the

Northaw and Cuffley Council clerk and proper officer Jason Grocock with one of the "fake" planning permission notices put up around the area

Archant

A prankster who put up bizarre fliers claiming thousands of homes could be built in a Hertfordshire village sparked alarm.

Notices pinned up around Cuffley, headed by the Welwyn Hatfield Council logo, claimed to be notification of reciept of a planning application to build 7,236 new homes.

The village’s clerk said neighbours were shocked by the posters, with tensions already high over proposals to build more than 600 new homes on Green Belt land between Cuffley and Northaw.

After discovering the notices, Northaw & Cuffley Parish Council clerk Jason Grocock said he was “concerned” but thought they were fake.

The ‘development’ would nearly treble the size of the village, 
which currently has just over 4,000 homes.

Mr Grocock told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “We were very concerned when we found out about these planning notices, but, because of the very substantial numbers of houses proposed, did not for a moment believe that they could be genuine.

“On checking with the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council planning department, we found that, sure enough, they were not valid notices.

“Following the recent huge local opposition to the proposed major housing development by Metropolis on Green Belt land between Cuffley and Northaw, these notices are obviously causing some alarm among local residents.”

A spokeswoman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “We would like to reassure everyone that these planning notices are fake.

“Residents can refer to the Local Plan consultation document, go to the weekly list of planning applications online, or sign up to the ‘alert-it’ service to find out what applications and proposals are currently being considered for the borough, including Cuffley.”

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