A family say they feel like they "wished they never moved to Watford" after finding out about plans for a block of flats at the end of their road.

The Harper family only moved to Monmouth Road, in the town centre, in November 2018 but a little over a year later are beginning to have some regret about the move.

That's because a developer wants to demolish currently occupied family homes and a vicarage and replace the buildings with 57 flats rising to seven storeys.

Santok Homes submitted a planning application to Watford Borough Council on December 20 and neighbours and councillors have since formally expressed their concerns.

Chloe Harper and her husband Tom said they were unaware of any possible development in their road until they were invited to a public exhibition last year by Santok Homes.

The homes on the left would be demolished if the plans were approved

The development site is just off Beechen Grove so would be visible to drivers travelling towards the ring road

Mrs Harper said: "We moved our young family from London to a traditional family residential area in Watford to enjoy a better quality of life and raise our family.

"I’m now expecting our second child, and the stress and anxiety of living on a construction site and then among a development such as this proposal with a newborn and toddler, makes us wish we had never moved to Watford."

Mrs Harper has also raised serious concerns about the scale of the development, which she says is in "stark contrast" to the predominantly two-storey Victorian character of the area.

The Harper's have support from neighbours and their local councillors.

Watford Observer:

Campaigners hold posters as they prepare to oppose plans for a block of flats in Monmouth Road

Central ward councillor Rabi Martins said: "Allowing developments such as this sets a worrying standard for the rest of the central Watford area and opens the floodgates to demolish family residential areas to cram in inappropriate high density buildings.

"Residents will constantly fear that their area may be next and the entire character of the central Watford area that has existed since the late 1900’s will be eroded."

Watford Observer:

The view currently from Albert Road North looking towards Monmouth Road.

County councillor for Central Watford, Stephen Giles-Medhurst, has also hit out the scheme because it does not include any affordable or social housing.

He said: "Watford desperately needs more family homes and affordable housing rather than adding to the oversupply of one and two-bed units.

"If the developers cannot afford to provide much needed social housing and family homes, then it should not go ahead."

Santok Homes claims it cannot provide affordable housing. A private and confidential development viability assessment has been undertaken which the developer says demonstrates the scheme cannot support the provision of any affordable housing.

The proposed scheme comes with four parking spaces and 60 cycling spaces. Four existing street parking spaces would be lost.

Santok Homes say: "The proposed redevelopment at 9-19 Monmouth Road is a sustainable and high quality development, designed by award-winning architects, Assael Architecture.

"The development will deliver 57 much needed housing units, including family housing, to help meet Watford Borough Council's current shortfall, within a highly accessible town centre location."

To view the planning application, click here

To see some images of the proposal, click here