Harpenden homes plan rejected for second time

PUBLISHED: 13:01 17 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 06 May 2010

The site in Yeomans Avenue

The site in Yeomans Avenue

A SECOND application to build 10 new homes on a site near a school in Harpenden has been turned down. Catton Homes had again applied to build eight six bedroom detached homes and two four bedroom detached homes with access in Yeomans Avenue but councillor

A SECOND application to build 10 new homes on a site near a school in Harpenden has been turned down.

Catton Homes had again applied to build eight six bedroom detached homes and two four bedroom detached homes with access in Yeomans Avenue but councillors voted unanimously to reject it at a planning meeting this week.

They felt it would be an overdevelopment of the site and out of context in terms of siting, size, scale and bulk as well as posing road safety problems.

The earlier application, which generated 60 objections when it went before a planning committee earlier this year, has gone to appeal.

The new application, which attracted a similar number of objections, reduced the bulk of the houses through amendments to the roof design.

The site has been in contention because Mr Catton won outline permission 35 years ago to build nearly 100 houses on the site.

But no time limit was imposed so he has been able to build small groups of homes on an ad hoc basis - three houses in 2003 and five in 2004.

Because the number of houses he builds at any one time does not exceed 15, he is not liable to pay Section 106 money towards the provision of an infrastructure for the people living in the new homes.

Committee chairman Cllr John Chambers said the site was very unusual because the usual rules and regulations surrounding planning law did not apply.

His main objection towards the latest application was the congestion already being experienced in that area with even more traffic being generated by the new homes. He said: "It's already very dangerous near Roundwood and Wood End schools with people picking up and dropping off their children. This site is very close to Wood End primary school."

Cllr Judy Shardlow, who also sits on the planning committee, said that because of the outline permission, the committee's refusal might very well be overturned by a planning inspector if the application went to appeal.

She said: "To be honest the developer has addressed some of our previous concerns vis a vis the heights of the housing and shape of the roofs."

She pointed out that new rules were being introduced shortly that would require developers to pay a contribution to infrastructure requirements for every house they build.

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