Herne House: neighbours describe 'total betrayal' after planning permission granted for new homes (From Watford Observer)
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Herne House: neighbours describe 'total betrayal' after planning permission granted for new homes
Plans to build 11 new homes and seven one bedroom supported living flats in Bushey Heath have been granted, to the "utter horror" of residents who have fought against the application for five years.
Kyle Smart Associates Limited has been given permission at the land contained within number three Little Bushey Lane, including being allowed access through nearby Fuller Close.
The building will replace Herne House, which was a site for residents with learning difficulties.
Steven Norris lives on Warren Road and spoke against the application at a planning meeting at Hertsmere Borough Council last week.
The 35-year-old director of online services said: "The general feeling about the application being passed is probably depression because it was the finest of margins at a committee meeting that lacked debate on measureable planning objections.
"Residents had sought compromise, understanding something had to be built there.
"Councillors in their wisdom have passed a plan to extend Fuller Close that allows for cramped family residences that dump occupants out onto a road with no pavement and into the turning circle of trucks. Passing this scheme is madness."
The site has been subject to a number of planning applications, the first of which was submitted in 1992.
In 2010 an application was refused resulting in an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. In November 2014, the developer made a new planning application which preserved the trees and retained an access to Little Bushey Lane for half of the site.
The application was meant to be decided at a planning meeting on March 6 but after councillors realised the plans were out of date and the consultation period had not ended the application was unanimously deferred.
On Thursday, April 10 at a planning meeting at Hertsmere Borough Council, four councillors voted for the application and three against.
Mr Norris continued: "The proposed addition to the spacious Fuller Close theme consists of a development that is so cramped that the houses and gardens barely exceed the minimum space for human habitation.
"You can see why Fuller Close residents have good cause to be concerned that the acres of open amenity they pay a service charge for will likely be abused in future, and this will lead to further community cohesion issues.
"Depressing describes the feeling well after a five year battle."
Councillor Batten spoke against the development and asked councillors specifically to seek the written proof from the highways authority that access for the entire site could be safely retained to Little Bushey Lane, but Councillors did not pursue proof.
Claire Marks who lives nearby said she felt "very disappointed" with the result.
The 32-year-old personal assistant said: "I am concerned that the parking issues in the road will cause endless problems for the residents living here and I strongly believe this application has been passed without due care and attention to the highway current report.
"Discussions such as parking issues and loss of pavement were raised at the meeting but sadly swept under the carpet leaving the Fuller Close residents and myself dissatisfied and shocked as parking is already currently an issue and this development will cause only future problems.
"The proposal for this development was not shown up in the searches when people brought the flats which were a total betrayal. The majority of residents living in the road regret purchasing their property as they were unaware this close would be extended as a future development it’s very sad for us all living here."
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