James Clappison MP backs protests over 'gross over development' flats plan in Merry Hill Road, Bushey

Watford Observer: James Clappison with residents opposing the plans on Monday James Clappison with residents opposing the plans on Monday

Hertsmere MP James Clappison joined more than 50 residents on Monday to oppose plans to demolish four houses and build more than 20 flats in Bushey, on the grounds that the apartments would "stick out like a sore thumb".

Shanly Homes has submitted plans to Hertsmere Borough council to demolish 203-209 Merry Hill Road and replace them with two three storey blocks containing 22 two bedroom flats with 29 parking spaces, and a bin and recycling store.

Claire Chandler, a resident of Wren Crescent, said the development would impact on the residents’ lives and environment.

She said: "The proposed buildings amount to gross over development of the site which would be seriously harmful to the character and appearance of the area.

"The site will be almost completely covered by the buildings, access road and car park, the design does not fit in with any of the other dwellings.

"This development will stick out like a sore thumb. It will be placed far closer to the roads and the surrounding properties than the existing four houses and it will tower over everything around it. It takes no account of privacy, overlooking, overshadowing or the amenity of current residents.

"Merry Hill Road is narrow and is used for access to local schools, it is already a traffic nightmare in peak periods and the gross under provision of parking spaces will make it even worse. I and many other local residents are very unhappy about the effect this proposal will have upon our lives and our environment."

Alan Bobroff, 75, organised a residents meeting on Monday which was attended by around 50 people including Hertsmere MP James Clappison and Bushey Heath councillor Brenda Batten.

He said: "This is a lovely area of wide open space, with lots of green land and we do not want to lose that.

"The residents have really come together to oppose the application and save this lovely area, at the end of the day we all want the same thing.

Watford Observer:

The houses earmarked for the development.

"The whole thing would spoil the look of the place. This is the thin end of the edge because if this is approved, how long is it before developers want to do this to more houses on the street?"

Hertsmere MP James Clappison said he believes this is an "inappropriate development that will have an unhealthy effect on the environment".

Bushey Heath councillor Brenda Batten said she would be very disappointed if the application is not refused. She said: "The proposal is a huge overdevelopment of the site and is completely out of keeping with the surrounding area.

"I will be very disappointed if it is not refused. It would be a great shame if the area was to change, and I will be speaking at the planning meeting as the community advocate."

Amer Alkhalil, managing director of Shanly Homes North London, said: "Our outline proposals for Merry Hill Road have been informed from our detailed knowledge of the area and we are seeking to ensure that this is a sensitive development, which will integrate well into the existing community. "Our detailed traffic studies conclude this development of 22 two-bedroom apartments would result in a minimal increase in traffic which would not have any adverse effect on the local road network.

"Bushey is a very popular place to live and demand for quality two bedroom apartments is very high, we believe that this site will help to provide much needed housing in a sensitive and sustainable way."

Residents have until January 27 to submit comments to Hertsmere Borough Council. To date 57 objections have been received and two neutral comments.

Comments (5)

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2:00pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Andrew1963 says...

I remember when Wren Crescent was open fields. The current houses and bungalows are low grade, low density late 20 century buildings. Unfortunately with their big plots and unfashionable looks they are prime targets for this sort overdevelopment. It will get planning permission, the proposal is not unattractive retains the height lines, and clearly the owners of the houses and gardens to be used are expecting a pretty good price. 22 flats will generate £11 million for the builder and generate about £5 million profit.
I remember when Wren Crescent was open fields. The current houses and bungalows are low grade, low density late 20 century buildings. Unfortunately with their big plots and unfashionable looks they are prime targets for this sort overdevelopment. It will get planning permission, the proposal is not unattractive retains the height lines, and clearly the owners of the houses and gardens to be used are expecting a pretty good price. 22 flats will generate £11 million for the builder and generate about £5 million profit. Andrew1963
  • Score: -2

2:31pm Thu 23 Jan 14

TRT says...

No doubt they will be replaced with rabbit hutch apartment blocks of a similar low grade build quality. 30 year life span? Pushed to 50 perhaps? I can't see permission being refused forever - but I do say that overcrowding a building site is detrimental to the residents and most developers will sacrifice 3/4 bed housing stock in favour of 1/2 bed, so 50 years down the line, will we be seeing an impossible price gap for growing family homes stepping up from singles and starter homes?
No doubt they will be replaced with rabbit hutch apartment blocks of a similar low grade build quality. 30 year life span? Pushed to 50 perhaps? I can't see permission being refused forever - but I do say that overcrowding a building site is detrimental to the residents and most developers will sacrifice 3/4 bed housing stock in favour of 1/2 bed, so 50 years down the line, will we be seeing an impossible price gap for growing family homes stepping up from singles and starter homes? TRT
  • Score: 5

7:26pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Andrew1963 says...

No seen the plans, it is not a bad design, not the space of houses of 50 years ago except the bathrooms are much bigger. My top property tip is buy a 1960s detached 4 bed house, get cavity insulation and you get more space and a bigger garden than a new build and you save yourself about £200,000. More than enough to put in that ensuite to master bedroom your purchase will lack. My mum still lives in hers, but houses were not that well built in the sixties in that building boom quality suffered. Just up the road on the corner of hartsbourne road a 1960s block of flats has been replaced with a new block. There are lots of flats being built because there is demand.
No seen the plans, it is not a bad design, not the space of houses of 50 years ago except the bathrooms are much bigger. My top property tip is buy a 1960s detached 4 bed house, get cavity insulation and you get more space and a bigger garden than a new build and you save yourself about £200,000. More than enough to put in that ensuite to master bedroom your purchase will lack. My mum still lives in hers, but houses were not that well built in the sixties in that building boom quality suffered. Just up the road on the corner of hartsbourne road a 1960s block of flats has been replaced with a new block. There are lots of flats being built because there is demand. Andrew1963
  • Score: -6

4:46pm Fri 24 Jan 14

perfectionist205 says...

Andrew1963 if you have seen the plans why say it retains the height lines?
It is almost 3 metres higher than current houses and 4 metres closer to the nearest neighbour. If you want to make comments get your facts right please!
Andrew1963 if you have seen the plans why say it retains the height lines? It is almost 3 metres higher than current houses and 4 metres closer to the nearest neighbour. If you want to make comments get your facts right please! perfectionist205
  • Score: 5

10:17am Tue 11 Feb 14

Yarrah123 says...

It's amusing and ironic how some of the opposition to this development has come from residents living directly opposite in blocks of flats! In my humble opinion the proposed dwellings are an improvement and if the development "sticks out like a sore thumb" that will probably be because it looks modern and more attractive than the 1960s housing currently on the site.
It's amusing and ironic how some of the opposition to this development has come from residents living directly opposite in blocks of flats! In my humble opinion the proposed dwellings are an improvement and if the development "sticks out like a sore thumb" that will probably be because it looks modern and more attractive than the 1960s housing currently on the site. Yarrah123
  • Score: 1

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