Contentious proposals to build more than 50 new homes on a cramped Garston estate have been recommended for approval.

Watford Council planners have urged politicians should vote through Watford Community Housing Trust’s plans to expand the Boundary Way estate.

The recommendation was made in the face of strong opposition from residents to the application for 56 new one, two, and three bedroom homes.

People in the area have described the scheme as "back-to-back concrete" and looking "East German and Russian".

The plans are set to go before Watford Council’s development control committee on Thursday.

Designs show the trust aims to demolish two blocks of flats and a shop as well as 15 rows of lock-up garages to make way for the new homes.

In its place will be a new "community facility" 55 new homes in two and three-storey buildings, two play areas will be revamped and a community garden created.

The trust is also promising to create open parking courts and on-street parking bays created as well as undertaking new landscaping for the estate.

In a report to the committee, planners said: "The proposal will achieve significant improvements to the layout and appearance of the site with the removal of poorly sited lock-up garages and the creation of open, landscaped parking courts."

The report said the estate is sat on the boundary of Three Rivers and Watford councils and if the committee does approve the plan the trust will still have to gain permission from Three Rives.

Since the council’s transferred their housing stock to private housing associations, around 35 per cent of the estate comes under the Watford Community Housing Trust and the rest is under Thrive.

The report added that the ownership is further complicated by the fact that the garage blocks on the west of the estate have remained in the ownership of Three Rivers District Council whilst those in the eastern part were transferred to Watford Community Housing Trust.  

Planners said they would be seeking contributions from the trust of around £90,000 if the project went ahead for things such as education, youth facilities and libraries.

Councillors on the committee were urged to vote in favour of the plans, with officers saying the plans would improve the appearance and layout of the estate.

The report added: "The central area of the site will also be rejuvenated with new dwellings and a new shop, community facility and community garden with improved accessibility to form a new focus to the estate."