COUNCIL chiefs have described as 'disastrous' recommendations that 12,000 new homes are built in Dacorum.

The figure has been produced by government inspectors brought in to assess the housebuilding plans for the East of England.

The panel also recommends a review should take place of the green belt surrounding Hemel Hempstead.


Council leader Andrew Williams told a meeting of Dacorum Borough Council's cabinet it could open the door to landowners wishing to build on green belt land.

"It is a disastrously high figure," he said.

"Anybody with a landholding in Dacorum could see how it supports their case in an enquiry."

Planning chief Ian Reay said: "I believe Dacorum comes off badly in the recommendation.

"They have identified Hemel Hempstead as a growth area."

Currently the borough has been officially allocated 6,300 new homes by 2021, though the council says it can accommodate 7,100.

But a panel of inspectors has now recommended this figure is upped to 12,000, with many of the homes expected to be built on land between Hemel Hempstead and the M1.

The panel's recommendations will be considered by the government before final plans are published in the autumn that will then go out to public consultation.

The East of England Plan is expected to be adopted in spring 2007.

The cabinet instructed officers to carry out more research on the panel's recommendation.

hemeltoday.co.uk, 01.08.2006

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