Parnaby 'will fight tooth and nail' for greenfield gaps between Hull and East Riding
IT HAD been thought that turf wars between Hull and the East Riding were a thing of the past.
Partnership working between the two councils is now commonplace on issues ranging from waste management and tourism to housing and economic development.
This joint approach appeared to be underlined earlier this year by the united front shown over agreeing a deal with government on reforming the Humber Bridge Board and writing off £150 million of associated debt.
But the age-old debate about the greenfield buffer zone between the two authorities was recently re-ignited by East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby.
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In an unusual move, he has gone public with a stinging attack on a decision by Hull's cabinet to drop a previous policy opposing the principle of new development on open areas between the city boundary and Haltemprice settlements such as Hessle, Willerby, Anlaby, Kirk Ella and Cottingham.
It has been triggered by a review of a joint planning statement from the two authorities, which attempts to map out common policy ground between the two.
He said: "I am extremely disappointed that at the eleventh hour Hull has deleted references to strategic gaps between Hull and the Haltemprice villages in the joint planning statement. The statement seeks to set out how the two authorities work together to manage development in a strategic way, respecting key strategic planning principles.
"Removing any reference to retaining the strategic gaps could open up these areas for wholesale development, effectively extending Hull's urban area to take in the communities of Cottingham, Anlaby, Willerby, Kirk Ella and Hessle."
The city council has yet to formally respond but Councillor Parnaby said he was concerned that a possible return to the old days of border skirmishes between the neighbouring authorities was under way.
He said: "It worries me that about every 20 years or so, Hull has aspirations to extend its boundary into the Haltemprice settlements.
"The last time this was promoted was in the early 1990s, prior to local government reorganisation. It was totally opposed by East Riding residents who felt passionately about retaining individual identities and communities. I sincerely hope this does not herald another 'Hands Off Haltemprice' campaign. Strategic gaps in these areas have been identified in successive local plans for more than 40 years.
"Hull City Council should not think we will stand by and let this happen. I will fight tooth and nail to retain strategic gaps from inappropriate development that would also increase flood risk."