‘Homes planners live in cloud cuckoo land’


POLITICIANS are one step closer to launching a plan to build 10,750 homes in Dacorum as a public consultation is launched.

The Dacorum Borough Council plan covers 1,180 to be built in Berkhamsted and 480 in Tring from 2006 to 2031.

Some of the new homes have already been built.

Berkhamsted Town Council had called for the figure to be reduced to 750 in Berkhamsted – but Dacorum Borough Council planners rejected the idea.

In a report, officers write that Berkhamsted is a ‘sustainable town, where non-car use is promoted’.

But town councillor Laurence Handy, speaking as an individual, said: “I am not a NIMBY, but I do not want development to ruin this town.

“They are all in cloud cuckoo land if they think people will walk and use bicycles.”

He said in a valley town he could not picture older people heaving big bags of shopping up hills from the low-lying High Street. The town’s parking and traffic problems will only now get worse, he said.

South West Herts MP David Gauke said: “Another 800 homes for a town that currently has a shortage of school and nursery places is not the right way forward.”

Mr Gauke, who is also a minister for the treasury, warned that “the strains will show” if the development goes too far.

Nick Hollinghurst, Dacorum Borough councillor for Tring, was sad about plans to build homes on the Green Belt.

But he said: “We have to recognise that young people need homes and the population is growing. I think Tring has got off lightly.”

Dacorum Borough Council says 5,500 less homes will be built on its Green Belt after previous planning legislation was changed.

To learn more and submit your thoughts, visit www.dacorum.gov.uk/planning