Plans to build 70 new homes on a cramped estate were met with horror by Three Rivers District Council Planning Committee who described the design as "East German" and Soviet.

Councillors criticised the plans that would take away existing grass land in Boundary Way and build two and three story blocks of flats.

The already dense estate, on the border of Watford and Three Rivers, is crippled with parking pinch points - in some places there are 23 per cent more cars than spaces.

The committee particularly objected to the creation of ‘walkways’ in the new plans, fearing it would encourage anti-social behaviour, and the design of flat entrances, which include communal exterior corridors to the flats.

Councillor Paula Hiscocks said: "The plans are horrible when you see these walkways.

"We might be building on a budget but people still deserve to have separate entrances, that security and to see who’s coming in.

"I cannot believe anyone is planning to use walkways like that in this day and age.

"It looks like Eastern Germany or Russia."

Mrs Hiscocks went on to voice concerns about this increase in the density of the estate and the lack of amenity spaces for Boundary Way residents.

Councillor Amrit Mediratta added: "External walkways are reminiscent of 1920s architecture. It looks terribly over developed.

"Let’s put some imagination into it. We only get one chance with architecture to come up with something really nice."

Two planning applications have been submitted for the Boundary Way estate.

One seeks to build 46 new one, two and three bed homes consisting of two-to-three storey buildings together with new shop, community facilities including community gardens, parking and landscaping on the eastern side of the Boundary Way Estate.

The plans are to demolish 24 flats, a shop, a community building and garages and associated hard landscaping to make way for the new development.

A second planning application seeks to knock down seven garages and put up 16 new one and two bed homes consisting of two storey buildings, split over four separate areas, with asso