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Radlett resident Stephen Oakes-Monger claims Hertsmere Borough Council are not interested in views of residents
Radlett resident Stephen Oakes-Monger has slammed Hertsmere Borough Council, claiming its councillors are uninterested in the views of local residents.
Mr Oakes-Monger, of Park Road, campaigned fervently to prevent the closure of the village’s fire station, which previously stood in Watling Street at the bottom of his road.
Developers Beechwood Homes proposed to build 16 two bedroom and two one bedroom flats, but this was rejected as an adequately-sized social or community facility was not provided in the plans.
The developer is now appealing the council’s decision.
But Mr Oakes-Monger, 53, claims the plans should have been rejected because of the parking issues the development would cause, as the proposals would only allow for one parking space per flat.
He said: "The reason they rejected the development is because there wasn’t a big enough community area, it had nothing to do with parking at all.
"It was suggested Beechwood’s residents could park in the station car park, on the other side of the railway line. But that’s a ten minute walk away.
"It’s also full during the day because of commuters and you’d have to pay a fortune to park there.
"Councillors said nearby roads wouldn’t be affected because flat owners wouldn’t have parking permits. But this misunderstands the parking problem.
"The original parking scheme in Park Road, adjacent to the fire station, was only designed to prevent commuters parking there all day.
"There is a one hour slot between 2pm and 3pm when a permit is required. The permits used to be free, but this year they cost £15. So I am paying to subsidise anyone else who wants to park in this road.
"We’re already maxed out parking here now. We were told this development wouldn’t affect local roads, but of course it will. If there’s two cars per flat, you can guarantee one will be parked in this road and one in the flats."
Mr Oakes-Monger, who has lived in the road all his life, said he was so frustrated the proposals were not rejected because of parking, he decided to write to 13 borough councillors including those who had voted on the decision.
Almost two months on, Mr Oakes-Monger claims he has had no response.
He said: "It’s obvious to me councillors just aren't interested in what their constituents have to say, and they don’t understand the parking issue here.
"The fire station served our community 100 per cent, we want something that will serve us.
"We pay the highest council tax in Hertsmere and some of the highest in Hertfordshire, yet we have no fire station, no police station. "
Hertsmere Borough Council representative Gail Anderson said the council takes residents’ views into consideration as part of the planning process.
She said: "Concerns were raised about a lack of parking provision, but as stated in the officers’ report, the proposed parking provision falls within planning guidance and so was deemed adequate.
"Under our customer service strategy we aim to respond to all letters and emails within ten working days, or let correspondents know how we are dealing with their enquiry. We cannot comment for individual councillors."