RESIDENTS have to “stand up and be counted” to prevent open spaces being built on when a referendum is held over joining Hull, a mayor said yesterday.
Thousands of voters in 12 parishes, including Hedon and Swanland, will be offered a postal vote in September on whether they wish to remain in the East Riding and whether they believe there should be new developments in the green belt.
Hedon’s 668th mayor John Dennis said he would call for volunteers to visit every single home in Hedon to ensure there was no apathy when the paperwork arrives.
At stake are several tranches of land, including the 213-acre former Hedon Aerodrome which Hull Council owns and on which it wants to build 450 houses as well as a £500m eco park including a biomass power station and data centre.
East Riding Council wants to preserve it as a “key open area” and is refusing to allocate it for development in the draft local plan, along with a site south of Cottingham, earmarked by Hull Council for around 200 houses.
Earlier this year Hull Council resolved to establish a commission to look at extending the city’s boundaries. Coun Dennis said: “Without doubt this is the greatest challenge we in South West Holderness have had to deal with since the dreaded joint waste authority’s incinerator project was first mooted back in 2005. The city council are at it once more and once again local residents, not just at the eastern side of Hull, but across to the west, have to stand up and be counted literally if we don’t want to be swamped by Hull’s urban sprawl.”
Cottingham councillor Geraldine Mathieson said: “The residents I know are determined that we keep separate identities in all respects. We are very happy to work with Hull as friends – but good fences make for good neighbours.”