The fate of Boundary Way remains unsettled after Watford councillors took the "exceptional" decision to defer their verdict on a housing trust application to build 56 new homes in the estate to carry out a site visit.

Watford Borough Council's development control committee went against council recommendations to grant planning permission for the controversial proposals and instead opted to delay their decision to see the impact of the plans on the estate and its residents.

The "extremely complicated" application from Watford Community Housing Trust includes the demolision of 15 rows of lock up garages, two blocks of flats, the shop and community facility and involves seven separate development areas for the new properties.

Residents have objected that the plans would exacerbate problems with parking around the estate and did not leave enough green space.

WCHT plans to renew two playing areas and build a new community garden, as well as a new shop and community centre as part of the 56 new home development.

Trust bosses argue a new parking court will ease parking strain from the new housing.

This is the second application for Boundary Way the trust has submitted, they withdrew the first after councillors criticised the design as East German and Russian.

However, councillors felt a decision could not be reached until the planning officer had taken them round the site.

Liberal Democrat Mark Watkin said the parking problem was "self evident" and that he had found it impossible to interpret the plans.

He said: "This is the most complex application I can recall since I have been a member of this committee.

"I think there would be plenty of benefit to having a site visit led by the officer who just briefed us to show how the plans will impact residents in the site area and which areas are a concern to Watford council."

A duplicate application has been submitted to Three Rivers District Council, as the estate straddles the boundary between the boroughs.

Labour group leader Nigel Bell agreed a site visit would be useful.
He said: "I visited the site myself to try and get a clear picture of what the development would look like, and it was difficult.

"A site visit might help us understand what the development on the Watford side actually entails."

The committee unnanimously voted to defer the application to their next meeting in order to carry out a site visit.

Three Rivers District Council planning committee is set to decide on whether it will grant planning permission for its side of the WCHT development on Thursday.