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  • "
    Andrew1963 wrote:
    inside-watford wrote:
    There have been large developments in and around the Estcourt Conservation area over the last few years and it has got out of control. Every application in the area has been approved as the council makes revenue selling the land, (if it was theirs), payments for local infrastructure and of course the eventual council taxes. Just around the corner is St Johns Church who are looking at opening a free school, this would be the perfect grounds for it. That of course does not benefit Watford Council. As usual there is not enough parking spaces being created with this development and although the residents will not be eligible for permits this will not stop them from parking on the streets after 18:30. All the schools in the area are already at capacity as with all the other strained resources in the area. The only item that will not be strained is Watford Hospital because we have the new health campus on the way.... oh wait a minute....
    To be fair to Watford Council - It is Hertfordshire County Council who own the building and will profit from redevelopment. HCC is also the Local Education Authority and could lease the building to the free school ( personally i am against free schools), or other user. Perhaps as HCC is Tory run, Harrington could chat them up over a prawn sandwich and ask them to stop the application?
    I was wrong about the ownership of the land so thanks for the correction, I do believe however Watford Council will still benefit. Whether free schools are a good thing or bad thing I cannot tell you but it would still be a better plan than yet more flats in the area. The Lib Dems actually stepped in the first time round letting the area know about the application, (amongst many), and the plans were refused. What they failed to do was spot the plans being re-submitted two weeks after the previous refusal. They were told about about it but they failed to follow it up second time round, this was a couple of weeks before the elections!"
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Renewed bid to demolish Victorian villa after 'oppressive and monolithic' plans previously rejected

Renewed bid to demolish Victorian villa after 'oppressive and monolithic' plans previously rejected

Renewed bid to demolish Victorian villa after 'oppressive and monolithic' plans previously rejected

First published in News

Developers are making a renewed bid to demolish a Victorian villa in central Watford to make way for a large flats and office development.

Hertfordshire County Council and V Fund Limited have submitted plans for a smaller building to replace the former registry office in 36 Clarendon Road.

The original proposal was rejected by politicians in March on the grounds it was too large and bulky for the location, which is next to the Estcourt Conservation area.

Watford Observer:

The old plans

The original plans ran into opposition from people in the area who complained the planned development was "oppressive and monolithic" and would dwarf nearby homes.

Councillors for the area also argued the building should be preserved due to its historical value to the town and said it could be used for a new school in the town centre.

The new proposals are due to come to Watford Council’s development control committee on Thursday and planning officials have recommended them for approval.

The revised design sees the number of flats reduced from 36 to 34, removing two penthouse flats to make the design down from seven storeys to six.

Watford Observer:

The new plans

A report on the proposal said: "This application proposes an amended design for the residential element which deletes the two roof level flats and introduces new materials to break up the visual dominance of the brickwork on the east facing elevation. It is considered that this revised design overcomes the reason for refusal and is acceptable."

The current building was built around 1865 and was the home of Watford’s MP between 1918 and 1943, Sir Dennis Herbert. In more recent times it was the town’s registry office.

Planners said although the building was reminiscent of how Clarendon Road used to look, it was now incongruous against the more modern office blocks.

They also said it was unlikely the building would find a new use in its current state.

The report said: "The proposal will result in the total loss of the locally listed Victorian villa on the site and thereby substantial harm to this asset. However, the building itself is not considered to be of significant merit due to its limited architectural and historic interest.

"It is also not able to provide the quality or quantity of modern office floorspace required by the designation of Clarendon Road as the town’s prime office area. Its potential use is very limited and the likelihood of it being brought back into use is consequently very low."

The report added that the developers had agreed to make at least 35 per cent of the flats affordable and to pay more than £150,000 towards local infrastructure, including a new children’s play area.

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