More than 500 people have called for a "precious" piece of land that is home to horses to be saved from being built over.

Hundreds of residents have signed a petition signalling opposition to Three Rivers District Council's decision to list an Abbots Langley site in its upcoming local plan.

Last month, the council unveiled more than 70 sites across the district which officers deemed "appropriate" to be redeveloped into housing to meet Government housing targets.

Many of these sites are green belt including land off Woodside Road, where just over 300 homes have been proposed.

The petition - 'Stop housing development on precious green space in Abbots Langley' - has been signed by 522 people and says the proposed development would mean the "irreversible loss of valuable countryside and green space".

Watford Observer:

The petition adds that the site is a "sanctuary" for horses, plants and wildlife, and the paths are used daily by walkers, dogwalkers, joggers, and cyclists.

It is also visited by nursery and schoolchildren, including YMCA Charters Nursery.

Among those leading the campaign to stop development is Deborah Fenton, who lives in nearby Fraser Crescent.

Ms Fenton, who moved to the new development in 2017 from Bricket Wood, said: "We wanted to move to a small quiet development with a community feel and this does have it.

"The council really needs to think again on its decision. Covid has changed everything - there is such a big emphasis on outdoor space and to manage one's mental health. The land is used on a regular basis.

"This would also result in an increase in traffic. We already have significant issues on Woodside Road and High Elms Lane.

"The number who have signed the petition show the strength of feeling."

Watford Observer: An outline of the land that could see 303 homes built on. Credit: Three Rivers District CouncilAn outline of the land that could see 303 homes built on. Credit: Three Rivers District Council

Three Rivers Lib Dem councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst has told residents that because of landowner Taylor Wimpey's relatively new Fraser Crescent development and the proposed field's "sustainable" location, it has been listed in the local plan.

The council were opposed to the Fraser Crescent development but a Government planning inspector overruled the council's refusal in 2014.

Cllr Giles-Medhurst said: "Only if the government reduces our housing targets could we be realistic in stopping this site (off Woodside Road) being developed."

Three Rivers District Council's local plan is currently out for consultation.

Lead member on the local plan, Cllr Matthew Bedford, has confirmed the consultation period has been extended until August 20.

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