East of Luton, early 2000s to today

Countryside in the Green Belt at Cockernhoe, North Hertfordshire, east of Luton Chris Howe

The Green Belt east of Luton in North Hertfordshire district is an area of gently rolling hills with a mixture of arable fields, woodlands and ancient rural hamlets such as Mangrove Green and Cockernhoe (combined population 300).

It is a lovely area that the Chilterns Conservation Board has proposed for inclusion in an extension to the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  However, the area has been threatened for many years with large-scale housing development as an urban extension of Luton into Hertfordshire.  In 2008 CPRE Hertfordshire spearheaded the formation of a local campaign group called ‘Keep East of Luton Green’ (KEoLG) to fight the proposed development.  With our advice and assistance, KEoLG ran meetings, demonstrations, rallies, walks and fundraising events, generating widespread local support for protecting the area from development.  For over a decade this has been successful.

However, the pending North Hertfordshire Local Plan proposes 2100 new houses for the area.  If the Plan is adopted, this will engulf Mangrove Green and Cockernhoe and destroy the countryside here forever.