A Government inspector’s "landmark" decision to strip four Three Rivers sites of their Green Belt status has evoked concern from residents.

The decision to revoke the Green Belt status of two Leavesden fields and two Croxley Green sites has been criticised by a residents’ association, who say there was not sufficient consultation with locals.

The inspector’s decision means the sites can now be targeted by developers to build hundreds of homes and two schools.

The proposed Baldwins Lane school site, currently a horse field, and Killingdown Farm, off Little Green Lane, both in Croxley Green, had their Green Belt status taken away.

Barry Grant, Chairman of Croxley Green Residents’ Association, said Green Belt preservation is the biggest issue for the community.

Mr Grant said: "Green Belt isn’t just there to keep a grassy field. It’s there to stop that coalescence between communities.

"Croxley Green has a very strong community feel because of its geographical position. It’s surrounded by Green Belt and if you take that away it’s going to have an effect, particularly in that area."

The Baldwins Lane site has been looked upon favourably by Hertfordshire County councillors to potentially house a new school, despite rising concern from Croxley residents.

Mr Grant said: "The Baldwin’s Lane site is so important because it’s situated between Watford and Three Rivers, separating the two.

"This is the first time that an area in and around Croxley Green would have been taken out of the Green Belt. It’s quite the landmark and I don’t think people believe they’ve been properly consulted."

Results of a local consultation in 2010 into the effect of a possible 160 homes being built in Killingdown Farm revealed that more than 1,300 residents opposed the plan.

Mr Grant said: "With Killingdown Farm you’re talking about possibly building more than 100 houses, which is a significant number. I would have like to have seen more debate about the reasons and against keeping it as Green Belt."

Leavesden’s Fairways Farm, off Bucknalls Lane, and fields off Woodside Road also had their status stripped.

The Government inspector’s ruling means 100 homes and a school could be built off Woodside Road and 100 homes could be built off Bucknalls Lane.