Green Belt housing scheme could establish link between Harpenden and Luton

Green Belt land in Harpenden along Luton Road, earmarked for possible urban expansion in St Alban di

Green Belt land in Harpenden along Luton Road, earmarked for possible urban expansion in St Alban district council's draft Strategic Local Plan - Credit: Archant

Potential new housing figures which could lead to thousands of additional homes in the Green Belt could result in Harpenden being ‘joined up’ with Luton.

Harpenden Green Belt Society, which is battling proposals in the draft Strategic Local Plan (SLP) for 500 new homes to the north west of the town, fears that with Luton borough council struggling to meet its housing targets, it will look closer to the Herts/Beds border for development.

A spokesman for the society, who lives near the site which is vicinity of Luton Road, Cooters End and Ambrose Lanes, said there were only one and a half fields between the north of Harpenden and the Bedfordshire border - one of which was proposed for the 500 new homes.

Although Luton Hoo acted as a bit of a barrier, there was talk of a huge development around Slip End and Caddington which would not only coalesce Harpenden and Luton but would lead to a huge increase in traffic density and increased pressure on the town.

The spokesman said: “The new housing needs assessment is going to have to be considered and it puts the district council in a bit of a jam because although the SLP has been constructed to achieve an end, we have a new needs assessment now.

“There are councillors who are quite happy to see 2,500 homes built in Redbourn and 500 in Harpenden because it means their areas will not have to take so many houses.

“If the housing needs assessment shows there will have to be many more homes, it puts all district councillors in the spotlight.”

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He also criticised the council for not going out to consultation over the new housing figures - although the council maintains it is having them assessed by an expert before a report is made to a future planning policy committee.