A 1,300-strong petition has been handed to the Government amid claims that local green belt is a "sitting duck for developers".

It calls for Housing Secretary Michael Gove to cut Bushey's "unfair" housing targets after Hertsmere Borough Council published its local plan.

Campaigners say Bushey is threatened by the "destruction" of 220 acres of green belt land to make way for 2,900 homes.

Miles Ponder, Theresa Smith, and Andy Williams were joined by Bushey North Liberal Democrat county councillor Laurance Brass to deliver the petition to Whitehall on May 31.

Watford Observer: A banner calling for fields off Farm Way in Bushey to be saved from housing developmentA banner calling for fields off Farm Way in Bushey to be saved from housing development

Read more: Concerns over houses earmarked at Harts Farm in Bushey

It says Hertsmere’s housing target of around 12,000 up to 2037 “takes no account” that the borough is made up of 80 per cent green belt land – areas of countryside designed to be protected from development.

Each signature is said to represent a resident who is “fighting to protect their greenbelt”, and “wants their voice to be heard and who will stand up to be counted”.

Watford Observer: Sites in Bushey that were in the council's draft local plan which has since been 'shelved'Sites in Bushey that were in the council's draft local plan which has since been 'shelved'

Calling on targets in Bushey to be reduced by half, the petition concludes: “We urge Mr Gove take heed of the message this petition so emphatically conveys. Because if he believes Bushey will simply roll over and let its greenbelt be bulldozed, he’s picked the wrong community.”

Read more: Tractor blocked from ploughing Farm Way fields in Bushey

There was backlash across Hertsmere when the council last year published its draft local plan, which it is legally obliged by Government to draw up.

The plan, which revealed green belt sites most at risk of being built on, was “shelved” by the ruling Conservative party in January as a result of feedback.

In April, councillors unanimously voted to set aside that local plan but continue the plan-making process.

Read more: Next steps agreed on local plan after thousands hit out at green belt threat

Read more: Thousands take part in Hertsmere draft local plan consultation

Watford Observer: Areas in light blue showed new proposed settlements in the draft local which which has since been shelved. Credit: Hertsmere Borough CouncilAreas in light blue showed new proposed settlements in the draft local which which has since been shelved. Credit: Hertsmere Borough Council

Responding to the petition, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said it is councils that decide and how and where to meet their own housing needs.

A spokesman added protecting the “cherished” countryside is a “priority” with the £1.5 billion Brownfield Fund designed to support councils to make use of previously developed land.

The Government adds councils constrained by the green belt can work with neighbouring authorities to meet housing needs elsewhere.