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.