Hertfordshire council is challenging East of England Plan to build over 80,000 homes in the county

Hertfordshire County Council is to challenge the government’s housebuilding targets through the courts.

Under the East of England Plan, approved by the government in May, 508,000 homes will be built across the East of England by 2021, with at least 83,200 in Hertfordshire.

The council says the plan cannot be supported by Hertfordshire’s infrastructure and that it has no choice but to mount a legal challenge.

Robert Gordon, leader of the council, said: "The government has presided over a flawed process and has left us with no choice but to challenge the plan through the courts.

"We believe that the government has failed to consider alternatives to the proposed growth areas and has failed to carry out adequate environmental assessments under the relevant regulations and directives."

The plan includes developments in Hemel Hempstead and Welwyn Garden City/Hatfield and in East Hertfordshire, which the council says will require large scale loss of greenfield and green belt land.

Derrick Ashley, executive member for planning, said: “Hertfordshire is already one of the most densely developed counties and our roads can hardly take the current traffic. This development would bring huge pressures on our environment.”

The government said extra homes were needed to meet housing shortages.