Residents demand 'sensible' development of former builders' merchant site
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Neighbours are calling for common sense to prevail over the size of a new housing development on a former builders' merchant.
Councillors have approved plans by developers Cresswick for 37 homes on the site, which is adjacent to Cape Road, despite receiving 48 objections to the scheme, which included concerns about a loss of daylight to nearby properties and whether the new units are too small.
Justine Elbourne-Cload of Burleigh Road said: "I am all for regeneration, however this plan is double what should be built for this area and the size of the land available and our written objections at consultation were completely ignored. Unfortunately the power of the large developer has once again been prioritised over the needs and wishes of local residents."
Sally Martin said: "The streets in question are already densely populated compared to much of St Albans. The developers are seeking to cram in homes which will intensify this situation. Those with homes right up against the new development will be most severely impacted by loss of privacy and overpopulation of this area. The number of dwellings should be reduced to take this into account."
Burleigh Road resident Matthew Box said: "The number of residences proposed for the development is inappropriate for the size of the plot. Too many houses and flats have been crammed into what is a relatively small plot. Very little of the proposed plans accommodates green space.
"The proposed density of additional residences will put unsustainable pressure on the physical infrastructure of the local area. Schools are all currently oversubscribed as are local medical facilities. The proposed number of new residents to the area will exacerbate pressure on such local amenities."
Jenny Tonge of Castle Road fumed: "We understand that the site will be developed on, but to put flats on such a small site is just developers being greedy and not thinking about the impact on the community and out of keeping within a majority terraced housing area. We for one do not want to look out onto flats or be overlooked by flats."
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"I am not so naïve to think we can block this application (especially as it has been improved) and don't get me wrong, developing the site will be an improvement to what is there now. I am however hopeful that a bit of publicity will lead to more positive and constructive engagement with the developer and perhaps further mitigations to the local residents’ concerns."
Fellow Castle Road resident Alison Mayne agreed: "No one is naive enough to imagine that the site would not be developed but this is overdevelopment and I fear that the flats will remain empty for some time."
Paul Blessing, who lives in Burleigh Road, said: "The biggest issue I have with the development is the amount of flats/apartments they are building on what is a small site. There are 25 units going in there, which means that there will be a lot of additional traffic and cars.
"In addition as this is a family area where people move for the schools they will not want to buy flats, they want family houses, so you have the potential for there to be lots of unoccupied flats/units. I’m all for redeveloping the site but lets do it in the same style as the current housing."