Housing association to rethink 'East German' Garston homes plan

Angry residents opposing the plans on Boundary Way

Angry residents opposing the plans on Boundary Way

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Plans to build 70 new homes on a Garston estate are being withdrawn after councillors slated the proposals and residents raised more than 100 objections.

Watford Community Housing Trust has decided to withdraw its two applications, which included knocking down garages on the Boundary Way estate and building new multi-storey flat blocks on existing green spaces, after Three Rivers District Council planning committee said the designs looked "East German and Russian".

Residents and councillors objected the plans would exasperate the parking pinch points on the estate and create antisocial behaviour hotspots.

However the Trust is set to resubmit an altered application, combining its new plans for both sides of the dense estate which straddles the Watford and Three Rivers border.

Euan Barr, the Trust’s head of New Business, said they have reduced the number of new homes and removed external walkways to the flats in the new plans.

Leavesden councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who has been fighting the plans alongside Boundary Way residents, said it was clear the current application would never have been accepted by the council.

He said small changes would not be enough, but a dramatic revision of the application would be needed for the development to get planning permission.

He said: "It’s a step in the right direction. The current plans were over the top and utterly opposed by local residents and councillors.

"We will have to see what the revised plans are, but it doesn’t seem enough.

"I hope they have been willing to take on board the comments from residents.

"These plans needed radical changes not just tweaking."

The plans were due to be decided on by Three Rivers District Council planning committee at its next meeting in June.

However, the Trust’s new application will not be ready in time.

Euan Barr said they would resubmit plans for Boundary Way next month.

He said: "The planning meeting in May was a helpful opportunity to hear the committee’s views on our proposals for Boundary Way.

"As this raised some new points, we have decided to withdraw the original applications and submit one combined application in June which will take on board the comments we've received to date.

"Changes we have made include removing the external walkways to the flats, reducing the number of new homes and altering the landscaping proposals."

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