Housing development given thumbs up and thumbs down by council

One of the roads that run through the common, near Harpenden and Kinsbourne Green.

One of the roads that run through the common, near Harpenden and Kinsbourne Green. - Credit: Archant

Plans for two new housing developments in Harpenden have gone before the district council for consideration.

An application to build a four-bedroom home on High Elms was granted planing permission, as council officers considered it to be acceptable, but they did advise adding conditions to the permission.

These conditions included protecting trees, strict guidelines on sticking to the plans, and glazed windows on some first floor rooms to protect neighbours’ privacy.

Neighbour Jan Caines, who lives at Cedar Lodge and shares a boundary with the development site, said at the meeting: “I have grave concerns if permission is granted as the developer will not adhere to plans and will apply for revisions of planning permission as has happened locally on three separate occasions.”

Cllr David Heritage said he wanted the strictest conditions possible put on the permission to stop the developer altering the property and then applying for retrospective permission, however council legal expert David Edwards said the conditions setting strict guidelines on sticking to the plans will mean the developer would have to apply for permission before making any alterations.

Meanwhile an application to build two four-bedroom homes on The Common was refused.

The latter was because officers believed the development on The Common would have represented an inappropriate development of the Green Belt, despite applicant Steven Meeks saying: “We do not have enough houses and there is an exemption in national planning policy to allow infilling.”

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Infilling is where homes are built in a pre-existing neighbourhood.

Mr Meeks’ application and argument failed to convince the planning committee, who refused permission with Harpenden councillor Mike Wakley saying granting it permission would “drive a horse and cart through our policy because developers could use the argument about infilling in an awful lot of arguments and basically infill everywhere”.

• A previous article published on March 18 said this application was called-in to the committee by Cllr Beric Read. It was in fact Cllr Victoria Mead. This mistake was due to a misprint in council documents.