Labour backs West Hemel Action Group’s stand against housing plans

Lee Royal, chairman of the West Hemel Action Group.
Lee Royal, chairman of the West Hemel Action Group.

A meeting to discuss controversial development plans for Green Belt land in west Hemel Hempstead was staged by the town’s Labour party on Friday.

West Hemel Action group chairman Lee Royal and Paul Eastwood of the national Labour Housing Group spoke on the issue during the summit, held at Warners End Community Centre.

Maureen Flint, the only Labour representative on Dacorum Borough Council, said: “We had a good attendance, and there was a lively discussion about Dacorum Borough Council’s proposals.

“People are very concerned about the lack of infrastructure at the development, and we will be giving our full support to WHAG as they continue to oppose the development as it presently stands.”

The constituency Labour party says it opposes the plans for land between Chaulden and Pouchen End Lane – dubbed LA3 in the borough council’s core strategy – on the grounds that the infrastructure is insufficient and that, in their view, affected residents were not properly consulted. Members believe an alternative to the plans could lie in the use of brownfield land.

Mr Eastwood said: “It was good to share Labour’s alternative approaches to what the local Tories are proposing. WHAG have done an excellent job so far in campaigning against the development, and we are the only party offering a credible alternative that would reduce the need to build on the Green Belt.”

Mr Royal of the West Hemel Action Group said: “This meeting gave us an opportunity to make sure people get the message about what is going on with LA3 and what we are trying to do to counter it.

“There was a view held by some that it was a party political broadcast from the Hemel Hempstead Labour group, but WHAG is apolitical and we would give the same message at any other meeting.”

The group plans to attend the next full council meeting in November, where it is expected their petition of 1,800 signatures against LA3 will be debated.