Harpenden residents prepare for new fight over back garden sell-off plan

RESIDENTS are bracing themselves for a second battle to prevent backland development along their road. Having successfully fought off one effort to build four five-bedroom homes in the back gardens of two houses in Jameson Road, Harpenden, neighbours are

RESIDENTS are bracing themselves for a second battle to prevent backland development along their road.

Having successfully fought off one effort to build four five-bedroom homes in the back gardens of two houses in Jameson Road, Harpenden, neighbours are now preparing themselves for a fresh challenge.

Developers Beechwood Homes have put in a second application for the same number of three-storey homes but this time they have included Velux windows instead of dormer windows which has cut the roof height by one metre.

There have already been 50 letters of objection from residents protesting that the development is out of keeping with its surroundings and too overbearing, causing a lack of privacy and loss of amenity.


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John Sanders, of Dell Close, who is in his 70s, said: "We moved here six years ago to enjoy retirement in our quiet little garden but we will have no privacy now that we will be overlooked by these massive houses. We live in a two-storey three-bedroom terraced house like lots of other people round here. It fits in with the character of the district but this proposal is much too imposing."

Near neighbour Irwin Ferry, also of Dell Close, said he and his wife Irene Sydney-Davies, used to enjoy sitting out in their garden but if the current development went ahead they would feel like "goldfish in a bowl".

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Councillor John Chambers who has called in the plan for consideration at a meeting of St Albans Council's plans (north) committee later this month, said: "One of the problems is the terrain which slopes away and makes the planned homes look even bigger.

Most of the site, which measures just under a quarter of a hectare, is owned by Mr Roy Fielder who lives at number 12 while his next door neighbour Mr Sweeting is also hoping to sell off some of his garden

The council's planning portfolio holder, Cllr Chris Brazier, said: "In line with Government thinking we are starting to look more closely at the practice known as garden grabbing. We will be seeking to limit or ban this practice where it is inappropriate.

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