Campaigners say ‘No’ to greenbelt houses

Marchmont Fields housing plan protest by residents from Piccotts End.

Marchmont Fields housing plan protest by residents from Piccotts End.

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Campaigners fighting to save greenbelt land on the outskirts of Piccotts End and Grovehill from housing development staged a protest at the proposed site.

More than 100 householders of Piccotts End have signed a petition opposing development of Marchmont Fields, which has been identified as a likely plot for 350 new homes.

The latest public consultation on the Site Allocations Plan for Dacorum, which will allocate land for housing for the next 20 years, closes at 5.15pm today (Wednesday).

Ahead of the deadline a team nominated to represent the opposing residents gathered at the 50 acre site to say a symbolic ‘No’.

They say that the development will not only destroy a large tract of the ‘green lungs’ that characterise town 
planning in Hemel Hempstead but also threatens the integrity of another cherished asset, the conservation area of Piccotts End.

Leading the protest Michael Nidd said: “It’s a lazy option when the council is sitting on a huge land bank of sites they are holding back from industrial development.

“They have been rushed into this action to meet government housing targets, but the fact is that they have easily enough brownfield sites without resorting to this piece of urban vandalism.”

In total, six greenbelt plots have been identified as likely sites for housing by Dacorum Borough Council. Alongside Marchmont Fields, around 900 homes have been earmarked for West Hemel Hempstead on land near Chaulden and 80 homes near the Old Town.

Additionally, 200 properties could be built west of Tring at Icknield Way and 40 new homes may appear near Shootersway in Berkhamsted, while Chesham Road and Molyneaux Avenue in Bovingdon are earmarked for a further 60.