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Bushey residents express anger over 'monstrous' development plan
More than 50 residents who are opposing plans to build a new independent living scheme overlooking their homes attended a public meeting to voice their concerns about the "monstrous" development.
Abbeyfield has applied to demolish two buildings it already owns in Bushey Hall Road and construct two three storey buildings, comprising of 22 flats for elderly residents, connected by a further two storey building.
The flats could replace the two existing buildings, 61 and 63 Bushey Hall Road, which have been deemed "unfit for purpose", and the facility will provide "modern specialist homes" - independent living in self-contained flats, with a provision of communal facilities.
Residents residents attended the meeting in Bushey last Saturday, organised by resident Ian Shermer.
Mr Shermer lives in Grove Hall Road and his house would be overlooked by the new development.
The 52-year-old said: "The meeting went well. It was well attended considering it was arrange at such short notice. Around 50 percent of homes were represented and I received apologies from many others who could not make it.
"Everybody agreed that this development should not be allowed to go ahead due to the numerous reasons."
Resident’s main objections relate to the plans being an "overdevelopment".
Mr Shermer continued: "This is a horrible development, and we will fight it all the way.
"We have several objections, one of which is the fact it is an overdevelopment.
"Another issue is parking. The road is already packed and there is no room for more cars."
Conservative councillor for Bushey North Leslie Winters said he will speak as advocate at the planning meeting.
He attended the meeting on Saturday and said it was "positive". He said: "The meeting was very well attended.
"Residents who will be directly affected attended and we discussed how to move forward.
"We will meet with planners this week to see where to go next."
Abbeyfield put in a similar application in 2012 but withdrew its plans after Hertsmere Borough Council planning officers indicated it would not approve the proposals.
A report by planning officers said there was confusion over proposed usage - it was believed the build would fall under a residential institution, but now falls under a residential development.
As such, the development would have implications for affordable housing, parking provision, and amenity provision.
Abbeyfield said this new application takes into account the detailed issues raised by those living around the site.
Richard Virr, head of development at Abbeyfield, said: "As a country we need to provide ever increasing amounts of specialist accommodation for our current and future older people and this scheme will make a significant contribution to this community’s needs.
"We have taken on board the detailed comments from residents and made a number of changes to the proposals to address them.
"For independent living schemes like this to be able to include essential communal facilities there needs to be a minimum number of residents to make it viable. The scheme therefore balances the competing demands of the needs of our residents and the requests of our neighbours."
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