Watford Community Housing Trust faces opposition to Croxley View housing plan

Watford Observer: Croxley View Croxley View

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.

Watford Observer:

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."

Comments (5)

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5:36pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Boosey says...

Is the land still available near the old Watford West rail station in Tolpits Lane? That would serve better than a mosque.
Is the land still available near the old Watford West rail station in Tolpits Lane? That would serve better than a mosque. Boosey

6:37pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

I’m worried that all this talk of the pressing need for more social housing provides the moral camouflage to sweat more from the land with little reference to available services and beat back opposition.

Certain areas are more prone to this philosophy of build them and sell them cheap regardless of whether it reduces the quality of life of long term residents eg reduced car parking and play spaces. Perhaps the arrogant assumption is that some groups or areas shouldn't have car mobility as other areas or groups. This could severely hinder their career and leisure pathways.
I’m worried that all this talk of the pressing need for more social housing provides the moral camouflage to sweat more from the land with little reference to available services and beat back opposition. Certain areas are more prone to this philosophy of build them and sell them cheap regardless of whether it reduces the quality of life of long term residents eg reduced car parking and play spaces. Perhaps the arrogant assumption is that some groups or areas shouldn't have car mobility as other areas or groups. This could severely hinder their career and leisure pathways. Cuetip

6:24am Fri 13 Dec 13

KeefyD says...

So let me try to understand this for a minute, families expand, the children will then go to local schools, go to local colleges, maybe go to Uni or go out to work, then they will want to maybe either buy a house or go into social housing for whatever reason. But then there are no houses to move into, the locals will take to the street demanding housing for their families as there are no vacant houses to move into, and they will blame who?? Watford Council?? NO, because they didnt have the funds or the energy to repair/bring up to date all of their stock. So Watford Housing Association was created. The WBC stock was taken over,millions and millions of pounds were spent modernising peoples homes to bring them up to a certain standard, bring them UP to a certain standard that WBC failed to do over many years, peacemeal repairs, and the tenants complained, and rightly so. So how many families who are having problems parking only have 1 car in the household? How many of their families own another car? Some families have 3 cars!!! People will always need houses, fact. People will always appeal about change, fact. If the local do not want new houses to be built, then when they or their families have to move hundreds of miles away from where they grew up, and not through choice, then the local community will be to blame. If the locals do not want to have new homes built, then the money can be spent giving other homes new conservetories, or paying for families to go on holidays abroad.......the money has to be spent on something, so if the locals dont want it spent on new homes for familes, rent to be brought in to spend on other repairs,more council tax in the coffers,more money for local shops,new faces,new friends,new neighbours,better community all round, then someone please tell me how to provide houses for people who need houses but dont want them built????.
So let me try to understand this for a minute, families expand, the children will then go to local schools, go to local colleges, maybe go to Uni or go out to work, then they will want to maybe either buy a house or go into social housing for whatever reason. But then there are no houses to move into, the locals will take to the street demanding housing for their families as there are no vacant houses to move into, and they will blame who?? Watford Council?? NO, because they didnt have the funds or the energy to repair/bring up to date all of their stock. So Watford Housing Association was created. The WBC stock was taken over,millions and millions of pounds were spent modernising peoples homes to bring them up to a certain standard, bring them UP to a certain standard that WBC failed to do over many years, peacemeal repairs, and the tenants complained, and rightly so. So how many families who are having problems parking only have 1 car in the household? How many of their families own another car? Some families have 3 cars!!! People will always need houses, fact. People will always appeal about change, fact. If the local do not want new houses to be built, then when they or their families have to move hundreds of miles away from where they grew up, and not through choice, then the local community will be to blame. If the locals do not want to have new homes built, then the money can be spent giving other homes new conservetories, or paying for families to go on holidays abroad.......the money has to be spent on something, so if the locals dont want it spent on new homes for familes, rent to be brought in to spend on other repairs,more council tax in the coffers,more money for local shops,new faces,new friends,new neighbours,better community all round, then someone please tell me how to provide houses for people who need houses but dont want them built????. KeefyD

7:03am Fri 13 Dec 13

KeefyD says...

Just to add onto my previous comment that I used to live in Watford 28 years ago, then moved away to work in London for quite a while. I now live in Harrow. I do not shop in Harrow I always come to Watford to shop. When family or friends visit we always head to Cassiobury Park as it is superb, I have large parks near to me but they are not as good as Watford. I work in Watford and travel around the borough from time to time, and something always catches my eye, a lovely building that is being refurbished, or something will make me chuckle seeing characters around the community. I love Watford and the people and the community in general. It is amazing how much open space there is in Watford, just open an A-Z and see how many green spaces are available, how many parks that are STILL available and how much there is for the children to do and play on. I found out that there is a new Viking fish and chip shop open in Croxley View, and I travel from Harrow to visit it now and again (even though I have Pebbles in Hatch End to go to which is 2 mins away from me) Watford is great, the people and community are outstanding, but the point I am trying to make is that change may have to happen and the general layout of the community MAY have to change to keep up with what is going on in real life. Would I want a huge estate built at the back of my garden so that what I used to look out onto will change forever? The answer would be yes, if it is for houses that need to be built to home people then yes, I would. Would I wnat a large petrol station built at the bottom of my garden? NO I would not, as this does would not serve the community, the plans for the new houses are not for a huge estate. At least there is discussion and debate, dialogue has been ongoing. Back in the 70's estates were collapsing because of bad building practice and materials. Eventually when some of them collapsed, Councils then brought in new ideas to create better houses and to create communities,this then gave the tenants a voice, community centres were built, community groups were formed and the councils listened to the tenants wishes and demands. It is excellent that the local people have and are being listened to about new houses being built, but sometimes change has to happen. There is only a limited amount of space to build houses, communities expand and grow , The previous number of houses that were going to be built has been reduced dramatically, because the local people put their point across and the developers listened. There must be a middle ground to meet up and agree on, the community may suffer in years to come because there may not be enough houses for the community to keep together, as families may have to move away because of lack of housing, I hope an answer can be found quickly that makes both sides happy.
Just to add onto my previous comment that I used to live in Watford 28 years ago, then moved away to work in London for quite a while. I now live in Harrow. I do not shop in Harrow I always come to Watford to shop. When family or friends visit we always head to Cassiobury Park as it is superb, I have large parks near to me but they are not as good as Watford. I work in Watford and travel around the borough from time to time, and something always catches my eye, a lovely building that is being refurbished, or something will make me chuckle seeing characters around the community. I love Watford and the people and the community in general. It is amazing how much open space there is in Watford, just open an A-Z and see how many green spaces are available, how many parks that are STILL available and how much there is for the children to do and play on. I found out that there is a new Viking fish and chip shop open in Croxley View, and I travel from Harrow to visit it now and again (even though I have Pebbles in Hatch End to go to which is 2 mins away from me) Watford is great, the people and community are outstanding, but the point I am trying to make is that change may have to happen and the general layout of the community MAY have to change to keep up with what is going on in real life. Would I want a huge estate built at the back of my garden so that what I used to look out onto will change forever? The answer would be yes, if it is for houses that need to be built to home people then yes, I would. Would I wnat a large petrol station built at the bottom of my garden? NO I would not, as this does would not serve the community, the plans for the new houses are not for a huge estate. At least there is discussion and debate, dialogue has been ongoing. Back in the 70's estates were collapsing because of bad building practice and materials. Eventually when some of them collapsed, Councils then brought in new ideas to create better houses and to create communities,this then gave the tenants a voice, community centres were built, community groups were formed and the councils listened to the tenants wishes and demands. It is excellent that the local people have and are being listened to about new houses being built, but sometimes change has to happen. There is only a limited amount of space to build houses, communities expand and grow , The previous number of houses that were going to be built has been reduced dramatically, because the local people put their point across and the developers listened. There must be a middle ground to meet up and agree on, the community may suffer in years to come because there may not be enough houses for the community to keep together, as families may have to move away because of lack of housing, I hope an answer can be found quickly that makes both sides happy. KeefyD

2:06pm Fri 13 Dec 13

BanitaMaxxRadio says...

KeefyD wrote:
So let me try to understand this for a minute, families expand, the children will then go to local schools, go to local colleges, maybe go to Uni or go out to work, then they will want to maybe either buy a house or go into social housing for whatever reason. But then there are no houses to move into, the locals will take to the street demanding housing for their families as there are no vacant houses to move into, and they will blame who?? Watford Council?? NO, because they didnt have the funds or the energy to repair/bring up to date all of their stock. So Watford Housing Association was created. The WBC stock was taken over,millions and millions of pounds were spent modernising peoples homes to bring them up to a certain standard, bring them UP to a certain standard that WBC failed to do over many years, peacemeal repairs, and the tenants complained, and rightly so. So how many families who are having problems parking only have 1 car in the household? How many of their families own another car? Some families have 3 cars!!! People will always need houses, fact. People will always appeal about change, fact. If the local do not want new houses to be built, then when they or their families have to move hundreds of miles away from where they grew up, and not through choice, then the local community will be to blame. If the locals do not want to have new homes built, then the money can be spent giving other homes new conservetories, or paying for families to go on holidays abroad.......the money has to be spent on something, so if the locals dont want it spent on new homes for familes, rent to be brought in to spend on other repairs,more council tax in the coffers,more money for local shops,new faces,new friends,new neighbours,better community all round, then someone please tell me how to provide houses for people who need houses but dont want them built????.
If this will be happened in Poland , no one will ask other people, got planning permission from Council then go ahead! ,when Housing Association own some land they don't ask anybody , they just building, why should I ask other people when I am the land owner and I have planning permission from Council?
[quote][p][bold]KeefyD[/bold] wrote: So let me try to understand this for a minute, families expand, the children will then go to local schools, go to local colleges, maybe go to Uni or go out to work, then they will want to maybe either buy a house or go into social housing for whatever reason. But then there are no houses to move into, the locals will take to the street demanding housing for their families as there are no vacant houses to move into, and they will blame who?? Watford Council?? NO, because they didnt have the funds or the energy to repair/bring up to date all of their stock. So Watford Housing Association was created. The WBC stock was taken over,millions and millions of pounds were spent modernising peoples homes to bring them up to a certain standard, bring them UP to a certain standard that WBC failed to do over many years, peacemeal repairs, and the tenants complained, and rightly so. So how many families who are having problems parking only have 1 car in the household? How many of their families own another car? Some families have 3 cars!!! People will always need houses, fact. People will always appeal about change, fact. If the local do not want new houses to be built, then when they or their families have to move hundreds of miles away from where they grew up, and not through choice, then the local community will be to blame. If the locals do not want to have new homes built, then the money can be spent giving other homes new conservetories, or paying for families to go on holidays abroad.......the money has to be spent on something, so if the locals dont want it spent on new homes for familes, rent to be brought in to spend on other repairs,more council tax in the coffers,more money for local shops,new faces,new friends,new neighbours,better community all round, then someone please tell me how to provide houses for people who need houses but dont want them built????.[/p][/quote]If this will be happened in Poland , no one will ask other people, got planning permission from Council then go ahead! ,when Housing Association own some land they don't ask anybody , they just building, why should I ask other people when I am the land owner and I have planning permission from Council? BanitaMaxxRadio

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