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Watford Community Housing Trust faces opposition to Croxley View housing plan
Protests against a housing association’s plan to squeeze 13 new homes onto a crowded West Watford estate have found backing from politicians in the town.
Residents in Croxley View have complained the extra houses Watford Community Housing Trust hopes to build would cause parking problems and mean the loss of green space.
The trust has already watered down its initial plans, which were for 31 homes, due to opposition from the estate.
Penelope Gower, from the Holywell Action Group subcommittee, said: "They have reduced the number of properties, there are now not going to build the three blocks on the amenity green, because we protested so much.
"There are another four they can’t build because it would mean moving a cable in the car park.
"For the most part people just don’t want it. They are creating new houses which have to be designed to today’s specification.
"They are giving them allocated parking spaces, but they want to demolish the garages leaving existing tenants without any parking.
"We agree they need to do something with the garages. Some have been refurbished and others have just been demolished, leaving unallocated parking bays.
"People have told us they rented their garage for 40 years, they don’t want to store things or use them to run a business, they just want to park their cars.
"I’m beginning to get the feeling that they are not listening to us."
A meeting will be held in Westfield Academy, in Tolpits Lane, from 6.30pm this evening.
Ahead of the meeting, Nigel Bell, Labour councillor for Holywell, said: "I am still very concerned at the level of opposition from Croxley View residents to the Housing Trust’s plans to build more House and flats.
Garages on the estate could also be knocked down to make way for new homes.
“Although the trust has backed down on the amount of houses and flats, there is still great concern at the loss of parking space and amenity space to residents.
"I have never known Holywell residents as angry at proposed plans and I want to see the Trust listen and take note of the genuine concerns of so many longstanding residents and change and modify their plans."
Elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill said she had met with residents to discuss their concerns over the proposals.
She said: "The residents I have met with are absolutely sympathetic to social housing and understand that people need homes.
"What I had not appreciated until I wandered around there was their worry is it is closing off the estate.
"I think there are concerns about parking that are very real concerns and I am more than sympathetic with."
Euan Barr, head of new business at the trust, said a consultation had been carried out in November and December, and that another meeting was due to take place tonight.
He added: "We have a duty to provide much-needed new homes in Watford and Three Rivers but we will also balance this with the needs of the local community.
"We have reduced the number of homes from 31 to 13 following feedback on our initial proposals.
"However, our plans are not just about much needed new affordable homes but also about making safer, more accessible parking areas throughout the estate."
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