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Former Windmill Nursing Home site in Bushey to be replaced with new houses
Residents are "outraged" after controversial plans to build 53 flats and houses on a former Bushey nursing home site were granted at a meeting held last week.
Bushey-based developer Heronslea bought the Windmill Nursing Home site, in Everett Close, after it was sold by the NHS two years ago.
The company then submitted an application to Hertsmere Borough Council to demolish the existing building to construct 31 flats and 22 houses, as well as associated car parking and landscaping.
At a meeting held at Hertsmere Borough Council on Thursday night two councillors voted against the plans and seven voted for them based on conditions - including the removal of permitted development rights.
Nearby residents strongly oppose the proposals, saying they are worried about the volume of housing and traffic the development will bring. Terence McSweeney, 77, of Priory View, said: "I am extremely disappointed at the outcome of the meeting.
"The local residents don't want the new flavour this flagship will bring to the neighbourhood.
"The reason that the inhabitants live there is because they like it as it is. They should take these multi-storey buildings and build them in towns where they belong. They have no idea what village life means."
The planning officer said at the meeting: "Assessing these developments in terms of local residents can be very emotive and I think one of the things is that we are here to assess against our planning policies that helps to move that emotional element and to consider purely on its planning material merit.
"In terms of the planning material merit in this case officers were clearly of the opinion it meets our local planning requirements and so from my perspective I would discourage and advise members not to refuse this application because I would be of the reasonable view, in light of the officers report, that we would be unsuccessful, and that can always expose us to cost."
James Craig, Heronslea Director, said: "We are extremely delighted that this innovative scheme has received planning consent and that the detailed work that we have undertaken over the past eight months has resulted in this landmark residential development becoming a reality for completion by Spring 2015.
"We want to create something unique and different from the staid formulaic developments that we see too often in our towns and villages.
"This large and important development for Bushey will add a new flavour to the area and provide both new and existing residents with a flagship neighbourhood of which they can all be proud. The mix of homes - houses and apartments - plus the quality of Heronslea design and build, will bring much needed new life to a corner of Hertfordshire that will soon echo to the sound of residents enjoying life on and around their new ‘village green’".
Mayor of Hertsmere Councillor Paul Morris was asked by Bushey Heath Residents association to speak at the meeting on their behalf.
Speaking after the meeting Mr Morris said: "This was an extremely difficult planning application, and the result is very disappointing for residents.
"I was asking for a deferral to give officers the opportunity to work further to alleviate the problems the development would cause for residents."
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