A planning application for extra flats has been green-lit despite 55 letters of objection.

The proposal, submitted to Watford Borough Council on August 25, will see an extra floor added to two identical blocks of flats, called Biskra, in Langley Road, after the council granted prior approval yesterday (November 1).

Once the work is complete, each block would gain three extra two-bedroom homes.

Watford Observer: The Biskra flats.The Biskra flats. (Image: Google Street View)

Adding up to two additional floors to existing flats (of at least two storeys) can be classified as permitted development, and the planning officer involved agreed with the developer that it would be in this case.

Permitted development rights allow changes to be made to buildings and use of land without needing planning permission. Prior approval from the council was still required, but the scope of issues the council can consider when making its judgement is more limited than with a full planning application.

Watford Observer: CGI showing the proposed design.CGI showing the proposed design. (Image: Planning Insight/Watford Borough Council planning portal)

The main issues to consider for the extra floor were transport and highways impacts, external appearance, and impact on amenity for neighbouring buildings.

The planning officer judged that because the location is accessible and a sizable distance from neighbours, and the extra floor is in keeping with the rest of the building, it was “acceptable” in terms of the issues approval could be decided on.