Grounds for concern
EAST Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby says he remains "suspicious" over a move by the city council to drop opposition to possible future development on open land between the two authorities.
The two councils have traditionally agreed on joint planning policies aimed at protecting open spaces between the city boundary and settlements such as Hessle, Anlaby, Willerby and Cottingham.
But Hull City Council's cabinet recently agreed to relax the authority's stance over the issue.
Senior city councillors have said the move is meant to give more flexibility in deciding future use of the land.
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However, East Riding councillors yesterday voted unanimously to back a motion "deploring" the city council's decision.
The motion also supported a letter being sent to both the city council and MPs confirming the East Riding's view that the open spaces should remain undeveloped.
Mr Parnaby said: "I get a bit suspicious when this comes up because it always coincides with some form of local government re-organisation.
"We had the Hands Off Haltemprice campaign in the 1970s when Humberside County Council was created and when Humberside was abolished in 1996, we had the same rumblings.
"Maybe the timing is a coincidence but we seem to have this every 20 years.
"There is no blueprint for this."
He said Hull's new position over the open space issue was at odds with the whole concept of a jointly-agreed statement on planning policies between the two councils.
Mr Parnaby said: "There is a duty of co-operation placed on neighbouring councils in drawing up these plans and Hull is in a bit of a unique position because it only has one neighbouring authority to co-operate with.
"We are saying we do not agree with their view and when it comes to a planning inspector looking at the planning statement, the hearing is not going to last very long if that is still in place."
Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Brian Jefferies, who represents Hessle, moved the motion.
He said: "It has always been the case that these open spaces should be protected.
"The people living in Haltemprice are very proud of the area and its history and have no wish to be taken into a greater Hull."
Mr Jefferies said all councillors wanted to see economic growth in the area but not at the expense of green fields being developed.
"There is still plenty of development land available in Hull without spreading out and ruining the green corridor between the East Riding and Hull."
Councillor Mike Whitehead, who represents Willerby and Kirk Ella, said: "We love being in the East Riding and do not wish to be part of anything else."
He said examples of land such as the Hull-owned Springhead golf course, which borders the East Riding in west Hull, should not be sacrificed for development.
He said: "That is probably a 100-acre site, which is big enough to fit 2,000 new houses on. We have got to make sure these sort of sites do not even come up for discussion."