Opposition to a planned 23-storey tower block is growing after more than 1,000 nearby neighbours signed a petition registering their dissatisfaction with the project.
Evensyde resident Katya Hurst has been knocking on doors speaking with people in the vicinity of the Ascot Road development, and says of the hundreds of people she has met, none were in favour of the plans.
Developer Orion is hoping to construct a 483-home “residential quarter” on the brownfield site, which will also contain a medical centre and retail units.
However the 43-year-old interpreter said she hopes the dissenting voices of Watford residents will be heeded as she handed over the petition to a planning officer at Watford Borough Council on Wednesday.
“Hard work went into collecting that many signatures. I’ve heard people are in support of it but I haven’t met a single one. Most of the people I spoke to didn’t know anything about it,” said Mrs Hurst, whose daughter goes to school in St Albans because she could not get a place closer to home.
“We care for the environment and our children, and we suffer from a shortage of services and infrastructure. This development will make it worse.
“Local people are very worried and concerned about the infrastructure in this area. It’s not fit to have such a huge development on such a small piece of land.
“There will be various problems for people, including blocking off light, privacy, more traffic, more pollution. I don’t think they have thought it through.”
Orion chairman Richard Olsen argued that many people were in favour of the development because of the benefits it would bring to the area.
"We recognise there are some strong views on what is a bold design but it should also be noted supportive comments on the planning application far outweigh negative comments from Watford residents,” he said.
“This is a significant scheme, illustrating how Watford is changing, that will deliver 485 much-needed new homes - 179 of which will be affordable.
“It will bring a tremendous boost to the local economy with over 700 new jobs created, at least 60 per cent of which will be for local people."