Land News

'BP set to make £6bn in Green Belt land deal'

Lawson Fairbank, 23rd March 2007

BP is set to make around £6bn by building homes on green belt land in East Herts, campaigners claim.

It is believed that the oil firm's pension fund bought 1,000 acres of countryside between Hunsdon and High Wych in the 1970s for around £1m.

A proposal for up to 25,000 new homes has been put forward, extending Harlow. Should the development be approved thus paving the way for more homes to be built on a further 2,700 acres of surrounding countryside, pressure group Stop Harlow North (SHN) believes BP will make around £6bn.

SHN secretary Nigel Clark said: "It has always been clear to us that BP has been promoting Harlow North for selfish financial reasons. BP has never committed to funding any specific infrastructure to accompany its money-making scheme."

Ruth Kelly, Government minister for local government and communities, reinstated Harlow North into the draft East of England Plan (EoEP), a public consultation on which ended on Friday March 9.

A spokesman for BP's PR firm Good Relations denied that profit figures of up to £11bn reported in the Guardian newspaper last week were true.

Ten of Hertfordshire's 11 local authorities have written to the Government expressing their "extreme" concern about the EoEP's proposal to build 83,200 new homes in the county by 2021.

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