Harpenden luxury flats plan rejected

PUBLISHED: 07:58 07 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

A REVISED plan to build 14 luxury two-bedroom flats on the site of a former residential care home in Harpenden has been rejected. Despite officers recommendation to grant the plan submitted by developers Oakbridge Homes, St Albans council s plans (north)

A REVISED plan to build 14 luxury two-bedroom flats on the site of a former residential care home in Harpenden has been rejected.

Despite officers' recommendation to grant the plan submitted by developers Oakbridge Homes, St Albans council's plans (north) committee voted unanimously to turn the scheme down.

The committee received more than 178 signatures opposing the proposal.

The previous scheme to build 24 flats on the site of the former James Marshall House on land behind Leyton Road was rejected mainly on the grounds of the building being obtrusive, overbearing and bland in design.

Both the previous and revised scheme would incorporate the building of a new Harpenden day care centre.

Councillor John Chambers, who chaired the meeting last week (29 mar)said: "We did not feel the plan had sufficiently addressed the problems we outlined before."

The revised planning application had cut the number of flats from 24 to 14 which meant the developers did not have to provide an element of affordable housing.

Cllr Judy Shardlow said after the meeting: "I'm glad the new scheme was thrown out. It's all about providing luxury flats for fat cats. The fact that they have kept the number to 14 means they conveniently avoid having to supply an affordable housing element. We don't want to make Harpenden a place where only rich people can live. People born and bred here need homes.

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