Can Ware and the Environment cope with more houses and people?

Land East & North of Ware

Green Belt land North & East of Ware has been allocated for a mixed-use development of 1500 homes. The Green Belt was established in 1955 to stop urban sprawl, but the Conservatives are allowing increasing development in Hertfordshire’s green belt as part of their plan to suburbanise the London to Cambridge corridor. Green Party policies on the green belt are clear and unambiguous:

The farmland and woods to the north of Ware are a beautiful part of our green and pleasant land. The woods, hills, rivers, and meadows are a resource for us all. Generations of Ware residents have enjoyed walks across these fields, have played there as kids, and watched crops grow and wildlife thrive as the seasons came and went. Now that’s all under threat from developers’ greed putting profit over people and the places they love. It’s time for a counter-attack.

The Green Party will make it easier for communities to block the wrong type of development. The planning system is based on a presumption in favour of development, which loads the dice in favour of speculative developers seeking high profits. We will repeal this presumption and replace the current National Planning Policy Framework with spatial plans that preserve ecological habitats and prioritise council house building on brownfield land. A new developer’s duty will ensure that a greater share of the profits that are created when new homes are built goes back to the local council, to be spent on planning new council homes and accessible green spaces for the community. We will strengthen existing Green Belt planning protections, prohibiting all inappropriate development. The Green Party has never, and never will, accept funding from commercial vested interests.

Nicholas Cox says:

“I’d like to express my extreme regret over the potential loss of our precious green belt, but the land isn’t lost until it’s built on. Green Party Policy is to encourage applications from communities for Green Belt designations. This would be my preferred method of stopping the Ware North & East Development and I commit to working towards this objective. If we can’t stop Ware North, and with Tories in control of government and councils and determined to push ahead it will be very hard, then we have to fight to make it as green a development as possible in every sense and maintain access to the countryside for us all. Looking to the future we must make sure this can’t happen again in East Herts. “

Tom Day says:

“The Green Party recognises a universal human right to shelter which is affordable, secure and to a standard adequate for the health and well-being of the household. The housing crisis is complex and the dogmatic Conservative policy of allowing market forces to provide is causing misery, distress, and social injustice whilst enriching landlords, investors and property developers. Meanwhile we have over 25 million unoccupied bedrooms in British homes. What we need is a functioning housing market, not more sprawling housing estates suburbanising our countryside. Where new housing is required, mid-rise integrated housing as used in Barcelona and Paris is a more efficient use of limited land area, achieving more than 50,000 people per km². To meet our housing needs without loss of green belt, Stevenage, Hatfield, and Harlow should all be redeveloped to provide high quality, decent, and attractive homes that the community can be proud of.”