Fears that new build homes in Harpenden will overshadow existing properties

An Oakbridge Homes development similiar to what will be built to the rear of 69 Roundwood Lane in Ha

An Oakbridge Homes development similiar to what will be built to the rear of 69 Roundwood Lane in Harpenden - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden neighbour has hit out at plans to build two new houses behind his home after they were initially rejected – and then approved on appeal.

Graham Pollard, of Roundwood Lane in Harpenden, has criticised Oakbridge Homes’ new development that is set to get underway in April and finish early next year.

The plans - which comprise the construction of two new detached properties to the rear of number 69, next door to Mr Pollard’s home – were initially turned down by St Albans district council because of its impact on the privacy of neighbours.

But after the developer appealed the decision to the Planning Inspectorate, the company was granted permission to go ahead with the scheme.

Mr Pollard admits the new homes “won’t affect (him) to any degree” but said he was worried they would “completely overshadow” neighbours of bungalows in Applewood Close, directly behind Roundwood Lane.

He said: “The houses will be only 11.5 metres away and these poor people are going to be completely overshadowed but to consider an appeal it would be thousands of pounds in court costs which no-one could afford to do.

“I know everyone is encouraging people to build houses because of the shortage but we have got to have some consideration for the neighbours.

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“I’ve sought advice from an ex-chief planning officer at the city council but there is only so much we can do.

“It is a shame but this is a last ditch attempt, I just don’t understand how it can be rejected and then suddenly be approved and how a developer can be given planning permission for a house that doesn’t conform to building regulations.”

Managing director of Oakbridge Homes, Martin Hemmings said: “The reasons for the initial refusal did not refer to the impact on the homes in Applewood Close but to the impact on the large newer home (also backland development) to the west of our development.

“We lodged an appeal since we thought this unreasonable and this was upheld by the planning inspector.

“We have retained the existing hedge on the eastern boundary facing Applewood Close and also brought the eaves level down on this side to reduce the impact.”