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Neighbours fight 'dangerous' plan for former Windmill Nursing Home in Bushey
Residents are fighting proposals to build flats and houses on a former Bushey nursing home site, which they say will create a "nightmare" for neighbours.
Bushey-based developer Heronslea bought the Windmill Nursing Home site, in Everett Close, after the NHS sold it two years ago.
Heronslea has submitted an application to Hertsmere Borough Council to demolish the existing building in order to erect 55 residential units, as well as associated car parking and landscaping.
The proposals have received some fierce opposition from residents living near to the site.
The Bushey Heath Residents Association’s secretary, Lorraine Jonas, said the group has received dozens of complaints from neighbours who fear what the development could do to the area.
She said: "I think that the overall feeling is it’s going to be too dangerous, because there’s going to be more than 100 extra vehicles trying to find somewhere else to park, which will increase the traffic heavily. It’s going to be a nightmare.
"The density will be too high for that site. If the developers were proposing fewer units, reaching a height of just two stories on the site rather than blocks of flats, then it would probably be more acceptable.
"From a neighbours point of view the development would be awful because it just doesn’t fit in with the street scene.
"There are a lot of objections and I think Heronslea are going to have to reduce what they have proposed if they’re going to satisfy residents."
However, Heronslea director, James Craig, said parking will be provided on the site itself and the developers have worked hard to address residents' concerns following a public exhibition in June.
Mr Craig said: "It’s a lower density than you would expect and lower than other developers were planning for the site.
"It’s good that a local company managed to secure the site because we care about what we are putting on here and we care about what we are leaving behind."
More than 100 people gathered at a public meeting in St Andrew’s Church, in High Road, to discuss the proposals last Monday.
The meeting, organised by the Bushey Heath Residents Association and chaired by one of its members, was also attended by the Bushey Heath ward representatives, Councillor Brenda Batten, Councillor Seamus Quilty and Hertsmere’s mayor, Councillor Paul Morris.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Morris, said: "I think people generally accept that something is going to have to be built on the land, but the difficulty is ensuring that whatever is built is indeed appropriate for the community as well as a benefit to the applicant.
"Density is an issue for many of the residents, and the density in this application is lower than in previous ones. And, although it probably does work within the criteria, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for the area."
Councillor Morris said either he or fellow ward representative, Councillor Batten, will act as an advocate on behalf of the residents.
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