Lib Dem plan to save the Green Belt blocked by Con. and Lab. alliance


Conservative and Labour councillors have joined forces at North Herts Council to block a Liberal Democrat plan to save the Green Belt from thousands of houses that the latest predictions say are not needed in the district.

In July the Office for National Statistics (ONS) updated their predictions cutting the expected number of new households in the district by 2031 from over 13,000 to under 7,000. Even after adding factors that might increase the number and an entirely arbitrary 10% for "market signals" the professional planners could not justify a number more than 11,600.

Liberal Democrat councillors wanted to see the number of houses proposed in the Local Plan reduced to reflect the new ONS numbers to save as much of the North Herts Green Belt as possible.

Conservative and Labour councillors disagreed and voted to keep the housing numbers at 13,800 - at least 2,200 more than the number required and possibly as much as 6,000 in excess of local people's needs.

The argument will now be tested at the much delayed Examination in Public resumes in November after which the Inspector will have to decide whether the numbers should remain so much higher than is justified.



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