Victorian villa in Clarendon Road to be demolished to make way for flats and offices

Watford Observer: Victorian villa to be demolished to make way for flats and offices Victorian villa to be demolished to make way for flats and offices

Developers have been given permission to tear down a Victorian villa in central Watford to make way for a six-storey office and flats development.

Watford politicians said they would "mourn" the loss of 36 Clarendon Road but that new plans for the 34-flat development were difficult to turn down.

The scheme has met with strong opposition from councillors who say the former registry office, which was built in the 1860s, is an important part of the town’s heritage.

Watford Observer:

The approved proposals for the office and flats.

People living in the neighbouring Garlet Road also objected to the development saying it would invade their privacy.

Last night’s decision came after the council’s development control committee rejected a previous application for a 36-flat development in March.

The applicants, Hertfordshire County Council and V Fund Limited, then submitted plans for a smaller version, which removed two seventh-floor penthouse flats.

At the committee’s meeting, John Berrisford, from nearby Gartlet Road, said the new design was still unacceptable to neighbouring residents.

He said: "This creates a massive visual intrusion into our privacy."

The Gartlet Road residents were backed up by central Watford Liberal Democrat councillor, Helen Lynch, who urged the committee to reject the plans because of the villa’s historical significance.

However Douglas Bond, who spoke on behalf of the applicants, said the only grounds the committee had rejected the original proposals on in March were the building’s bulk and height.

He said these issues had now been addressed in the new application.

During the ensuing debate, Nigel Bell, a Labour councillor for Holywell, said he felt the new plans were better than the original ones but that development would still affect the privacy of residents in Gartlet Road.

Oxhey Lib Dem, Iain Sharpe, said he felt the committee did not have strong enough grounds to throw out the new proposal.

He added: "I feel on an emotional level sympathy with the neighbouring residents but I feel this scheme has crossed a line from being unacceptable to one we would find hard to turn down."

Watford Observer:

The initial seven-storey theme, which was rejected in March.

Yet Rabi Martins, a Liberal Democrat for central Watford, said he was not happy about losing the villa, which used to the home of Sir Dennis Herbert, Watford’s MP between 1918 and 1943.

He said: "I would regret very much losing any locally listed building. It is unfortunate that English Heritage did not agree with us (that it should be nationally listed) and I will mourn its loss significantly as I am sure other residents will. But we cannot protect it."

Comments (25)

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7:07pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Watfordengineer says...

will they demolish the 60's building behind it? as that would be a fair trade.
If only they can rebuild the revenue building as well then Clarendon road would look very smart!
will they demolish the 60's building behind it? as that would be a fair trade. If only they can rebuild the revenue building as well then Clarendon road would look very smart! Watfordengineer
  • Score: 2

8:41pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Monstermunch17 says...

If we kept things, just because they are old, we'd all be living in a load of mud huts
If we kept things, just because they are old, we'd all be living in a load of mud huts Monstermunch17
  • Score: -26

10:09pm Fri 6 Jun 14

gusgreen says...

More Bloody flats!

How about getting the message across that we just have too many people in this country. Another 200,000 coming in this year and the idiot politicians just don't get it ENGLAND is FULL raise the Bloody drawbridge before what is left is totally destroyed!!!!!!!!!
More Bloody flats! How about getting the message across that we just have too many people in this country. Another 200,000 coming in this year and the idiot politicians just don't get it ENGLAND is FULL raise the Bloody drawbridge before what is left is totally destroyed!!!!!!!!! gusgreen
  • Score: 25

10:56pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Watford's loss.

Just look what the LibDems are replacing beautiful buildings with.

Vandalism.
Watford's loss. Just look what the LibDems are replacing beautiful buildings with. Vandalism. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 12

11:46pm Fri 6 Jun 14

LSC says...

Monstermunch17 wrote:
If we kept things, just because they are old, we'd all be living in a load of mud huts
Housing estate on Stonehenge for you then. St Paul's? Office blocks. Westminster Cathedral; block of flats.
They are all under-used things that could be MAKING MONEY instead.
Short term money admittedly, but who cares? Make hay while the sun shines, right?
Let our grandchildren mourn our moribund landscape.
[quote][p][bold]Monstermunch17[/bold] wrote: If we kept things, just because they are old, we'd all be living in a load of mud huts[/p][/quote]Housing estate on Stonehenge for you then. St Paul's? Office blocks. Westminster Cathedral; block of flats. They are all under-used things that could be MAKING MONEY instead. Short term money admittedly, but who cares? Make hay while the sun shines, right? Let our grandchildren mourn our moribund landscape. LSC
  • Score: 24

7:30am Sat 7 Jun 14

TRT says...

What's the point in local listing and conservation areas? And what a surprise mr developer is the pro voice in all this.
What's the point in local listing and conservation areas? And what a surprise mr developer is the pro voice in all this. TRT
  • Score: 20

8:59am Sat 7 Jun 14

MaryShabti1 says...

They always replace these lovely old buildings with horrible designs that look jaded in 5 years and dreadful in 30 Charter Place for example. If they need flats so badly how about utilising some of the empty office and shop space. Clarendon road has lots of buildings with 'to let' signs on. The developers must be delighted oh and penthouse flats? Affordable housing? Hahaha
They always replace these lovely old buildings with horrible designs that look jaded in 5 years and dreadful in 30 Charter Place for example. If they need flats so badly how about utilising some of the empty office and shop space. Clarendon road has lots of buildings with 'to let' signs on. The developers must be delighted oh and penthouse flats? Affordable housing? Hahaha MaryShabti1
  • Score: 15

9:29am Sat 7 Jun 14

Cuetip says...

Monstermunch17 wrote:
If we kept things, just because they are old, we'd all be living in a load of mud huts
I suppose you are think living in a 'rabbit hutch' is an improvement or the back to back housing where there was little space very much like providing drippings for those of a certain socio-econ status.
[quote][p][bold]Monstermunch17[/bold] wrote: If we kept things, just because they are old, we'd all be living in a load of mud huts[/p][/quote]I suppose you are think living in a 'rabbit hutch' is an improvement or the back to back housing where there was little space very much like providing drippings for those of a certain socio-econ status. Cuetip
  • Score: 2

9:41am Sat 7 Jun 14

POVIEW says...

More ruination of our Watford by the ruling Liberal Dictatorship.
Mayor Dorothy always listens to the silent majority, she never listens to the people it concerns. More of the towns heritage gone. It's so safe in her hands.
So sorry for those residents who have objected and not been listened to.
Watford residents, BEWARE THE MONSTER YOU HAVE CREATED.
More ruination of our Watford by the ruling Liberal Dictatorship. Mayor Dorothy always listens to the silent majority, she never listens to the people it concerns. More of the towns heritage gone. It's so safe in her hands. So sorry for those residents who have objected and not been listened to. Watford residents, BEWARE THE MONSTER YOU HAVE CREATED. POVIEW
  • Score: 19

11:22am Sat 7 Jun 14

LocalBoy1 says...

"Oxhey Lib Dem, Iain Sharpe, said he felt the committee did not have strong enough grounds to throw out the new proposal"........... Ian Sharpe and Dotty, the human bulldozers! Lets ruin what's left of Watford before the Lib Dems totally collapse!
"Oxhey Lib Dem, Iain Sharpe, said he felt the committee did not have strong enough grounds to throw out the new proposal"........... Ian Sharpe and Dotty, the human bulldozers! Lets ruin what's left of Watford before the Lib Dems totally collapse! LocalBoy1
  • Score: 12

4:57pm Sat 7 Jun 14

pr76uk says...

To be fair, it's a Tory proposal because it's HCC land. The planning rules are set by the Tory government.

UKIP want to build more social housing, it's what Farage pledged.

It will be a shame to lose this property; I got married there. But unfortunately there's nothing to be done to stop it. The county council only cares about getting the money - hopefully they will start actually spending it on the roads!
To be fair, it's a Tory proposal because it's HCC land. The planning rules are set by the Tory government. UKIP want to build more social housing, it's what Farage pledged. It will be a shame to lose this property; I got married there. But unfortunately there's nothing to be done to stop it. The county council only cares about getting the money - hopefully they will start actually spending it on the roads! pr76uk
  • Score: -1

6:46pm Sat 7 Jun 14

LocalBoy1 says...

pr76uk wrote:
To be fair, it's a Tory proposal because it's HCC land. The planning rules are set by the Tory government.

UKIP want to build more social housing, it's what Farage pledged.

It will be a shame to lose this property; I got married there. But unfortunately there's nothing to be done to stop it. The county council only cares about getting the money - hopefully they will start actually spending it on the roads!
I was married there too, photos taken under the tree. Your comments are my sentiments exactly, especially spending money on the roads.
[quote][p][bold]pr76uk[/bold] wrote: To be fair, it's a Tory proposal because it's HCC land. The planning rules are set by the Tory government. UKIP want to build more social housing, it's what Farage pledged. It will be a shame to lose this property; I got married there. But unfortunately there's nothing to be done to stop it. The county council only cares about getting the money - hopefully they will start actually spending it on the roads![/p][/quote]I was married there too, photos taken under the tree. Your comments are my sentiments exactly, especially spending money on the roads. LocalBoy1
  • Score: 0

9:54pm Sat 7 Jun 14

drunkenduck says...

THIS IS TOTAL PATHETIC & DAM BLOODY ARROGANCE, fully agree to TRT reply. Wonder what building is next for the chop?

What is the point? So why don't they demolish the Town Hall, including the county Hall in Hertford and any other 100+ year old listed building and replace with ugly flats. Of course Fib Dems was fully aware of this but nothing was mention in the up & running mayor elections, who cares right. Then saying that these buildings may own by the council but it's the tax payer own the council. So why is council selling off public land to become private land. Greed and profits and sod the rest of us.

Oh yes forgot, history says it was the same right wing party in the 1960's (Tories) that ruining and demolish many building including a grand old cathedral, church in Watford so they could build a subway in it's path. History is repeating itself again.

These ONLY a housing shortage in the south east and/or near & in London, as that's where most people like to live (unsure why). But as all these LYING MP's don't tell the truth do they. As other areas in the UK/England these many houses standing empty - Fact.
THIS IS TOTAL PATHETIC & DAM BLOODY ARROGANCE, fully agree to TRT reply. Wonder what building is next for the chop? What is the point? So why don't they demolish the Town Hall, including the county Hall in Hertford and any other 100+ year old listed building and replace with ugly flats. Of course Fib Dems was fully aware of this but nothing was mention in the up & running mayor elections, who cares right. Then saying that these buildings may own by the council but it's the tax payer own the council. So why is council selling off public land to become private land. Greed and profits and sod the rest of us. Oh yes forgot, history says it was the same right wing party in the 1960's (Tories) that ruining and demolish many building including a grand old cathedral, church in Watford so they could build a subway in it's path. History is repeating itself again. These ONLY a housing shortage in the south east and/or near & in London, as that's where most people like to live (unsure why). But as all these LYING MP's don't tell the truth do they. As other areas in the UK/England these many houses standing empty - Fact. drunkenduck
  • Score: -2

10:23pm Sat 7 Jun 14

LocalBoy1 says...

This beautiful Victorian villa, with so many memories for local people is to be demolished to make way for flats, ugly flats no doubt.... Now correct me if I'm wrong please folks, but did I hear that the concrete monstrosity at 47 Clarendon Road (The Tax Office) is a listed building? If so, some one has their priorities muddled (If my information is correct?)
This beautiful Victorian villa, with so many memories for local people is to be demolished to make way for flats, ugly flats no doubt.... Now correct me if I'm wrong please folks, but did I hear that the concrete monstrosity at 47 Clarendon Road (The Tax Office) is a listed building? If so, some one has their priorities muddled (If my information is correct?) LocalBoy1
  • Score: -2

8:42am Sun 8 Jun 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

LibDem vandalism. Nothing more, nothing less.

Our town is going to the dogs.
LibDem vandalism. Nothing more, nothing less. Our town is going to the dogs. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -3

8:53am Mon 9 Jun 14

garston tony says...

Mostly negative responses to the building being knocked down, not necessarily disagreeing but just wondering what would people suggest be done with it instead?

Old and pretty as it is those very qualities dont make it practical for office use (and yes i've been in it several times) and who would want to live in it as a home on that road surrounded by office blocks etc.

Its okay to want to save it but no one has given any suggestions as to what to do with it or the site
Mostly negative responses to the building being knocked down, not necessarily disagreeing but just wondering what would people suggest be done with it instead? Old and pretty as it is those very qualities dont make it practical for office use (and yes i've been in it several times) and who would want to live in it as a home on that road surrounded by office blocks etc. Its okay to want to save it but no one has given any suggestions as to what to do with it or the site garston tony
  • Score: 4

9:49am Mon 9 Jun 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

What about turning it into a registry office? It's nice looking enough.
What about turning it into a registry office? It's nice looking enough. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 1

10:32am Mon 9 Jun 14

garston tony says...

Its surrounded by office blocks, I always felt it weird when i've been to registry weddings there to be overshadowed by the surroundings and it also felt cramped and not fit for purpose
Its surrounded by office blocks, I always felt it weird when i've been to registry weddings there to be overshadowed by the surroundings and it also felt cramped and not fit for purpose garston tony
  • Score: 4

11:48am Mon 9 Jun 14

Cuetip says...

garston tony wrote:
Mostly negative responses to the building being knocked down, not necessarily disagreeing but just wondering what would people suggest be done with it instead?

Old and pretty as it is those very qualities dont make it practical for office use (and yes i've been in it several times) and who would want to live in it as a home on that road surrounded by office blocks etc.

Its okay to want to save it but no one has given any suggestions as to what to do with it or the site
Certainly not the scale of unparallled cheap architectural ugliness that surrounds it which sums up the vision that carpetbaggers have for the people of Watford.

Let's hope that brutalist Stalinist design menatality has been eradicated.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Mostly negative responses to the building being knocked down, not necessarily disagreeing but just wondering what would people suggest be done with it instead? Old and pretty as it is those very qualities dont make it practical for office use (and yes i've been in it several times) and who would want to live in it as a home on that road surrounded by office blocks etc. Its okay to want to save it but no one has given any suggestions as to what to do with it or the site[/p][/quote]Certainly not the scale of unparallled cheap architectural ugliness that surrounds it which sums up the vision that carpetbaggers have for the people of Watford. Let's hope that brutalist Stalinist design menatality has been eradicated. Cuetip
  • Score: 1

12:10pm Mon 9 Jun 14

garston tony says...

Cuetip wrote:
garston tony wrote: Mostly negative responses to the building being knocked down, not necessarily disagreeing but just wondering what would people suggest be done with it instead? Old and pretty as it is those very qualities dont make it practical for office use (and yes i've been in it several times) and who would want to live in it as a home on that road surrounded by office blocks etc. Its okay to want to save it but no one has given any suggestions as to what to do with it or the site
Certainly not the scale of unparallled cheap architectural ugliness that surrounds it which sums up the vision that carpetbaggers have for the people of Watford. Let's hope that brutalist Stalinist design menatality has been eradicated.
But thats my point, its okay saying not what they are planning but give an alternative. Something has to be there and unless someone comes up with a better idea (although admitedly its probably too late in this case) then developers are going to get their way
[quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Mostly negative responses to the building being knocked down, not necessarily disagreeing but just wondering what would people suggest be done with it instead? Old and pretty as it is those very qualities dont make it practical for office use (and yes i've been in it several times) and who would want to live in it as a home on that road surrounded by office blocks etc. Its okay to want to save it but no one has given any suggestions as to what to do with it or the site[/p][/quote]Certainly not the scale of unparallled cheap architectural ugliness that surrounds it which sums up the vision that carpetbaggers have for the people of Watford. Let's hope that brutalist Stalinist design menatality has been eradicated.[/p][/quote]But thats my point, its okay saying not what they are planning but give an alternative. Something has to be there and unless someone comes up with a better idea (although admitedly its probably too late in this case) then developers are going to get their way garston tony
  • Score: 3

12:54pm Mon 9 Jun 14

LocalBoy1 says...

Monstermunch17 wrote:
If we kept things, just because they are old, we'd all be living in a load of mud huts
A rather naïve and extreme view. Surely we must preserve some of our historical buildings. I would have thought given the history of this Victorian villa it would have qualified.
[quote][p][bold]Monstermunch17[/bold] wrote: If we kept things, just because they are old, we'd all be living in a load of mud huts[/p][/quote]A rather naïve and extreme view. Surely we must preserve some of our historical buildings. I would have thought given the history of this Victorian villa it would have qualified. LocalBoy1
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Tue 10 Jun 14

angryangryangry says...

If it were a tree in the park it would be saved!
If it were a tree in the park it would be saved! angryangryangry
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Tue 10 Jun 14

LocalBoy1 says...

angryangryangry wrote:
If it were a tree in the park it would be saved!
It would indeed, Some of my wedding photos were taken under this tree. Ahhh well....... Come to Watford, the east German building site!
[quote][p][bold]angryangryangry[/bold] wrote: If it were a tree in the park it would be saved![/p][/quote]It would indeed, Some of my wedding photos were taken under this tree. Ahhh well....... Come to Watford, the east German building site! LocalBoy1
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Tue 10 Jun 14

D_Penn says...

Is anyone at all surprised by this?

Have a walk around Watford and see how many areas have been flattened and replaced with blocks of flats. They are everywhere now.

Beautiful buildings and green spaces are gone forever. They will never come back. And it hasn't finished. The Lib Dems will never, never stop. Their building targets, on the council website for all to see, is to keep building at a high rate until at least 2030!

When Watford looks and feels like a cramped inner city borough and you cannot move for traffic, cannot find a parking space, have joined the back of a massive hospital queue for treatment, found the nearest primary school place for your children is three miles away, remember this; if you voted Lib Dem you got all you deserved because you should know by now that they always put the needs of those already living in Watford as a lower priority than those who want to move here.

The local Lib Dem party is an out of control wrecking ball and Watford is their target.
Is anyone at all surprised by this? Have a walk around Watford and see how many areas have been flattened and replaced with blocks of flats. They are everywhere now. Beautiful buildings and green spaces are gone forever. They will never come back. And it hasn't finished. The Lib Dems will never, never stop. Their building targets, on the council website for all to see, is to keep building at a high rate until at least 2030! When Watford looks and feels like a cramped inner city borough and you cannot move for traffic, cannot find a parking space, have joined the back of a massive hospital queue for treatment, found the nearest primary school place for your children is three miles away, remember this; if you voted Lib Dem you got all you deserved because you should know by now that they always put the needs of those already living in Watford as a lower priority than those who want to move here. The local Lib Dem party is an out of control wrecking ball and Watford is their target. D_Penn
  • Score: 0

8:47am Sun 15 Jun 14

phil mitchel says...

It appears that the mayor and her cronies suffer from a concrete fetish, next to go is a huge piece of Oxhey Park.
It appears that the mayor and her cronies suffer from a concrete fetish, next to go is a huge piece of Oxhey Park. phil mitchel
  • Score: 0

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