Radlett garden grab homes plan rejected

PLANS for four new houses in Radlett were said to be “driven by greed” and branded the “worst type of back garden development” before being refused last week.

The rear-garden development on Willow Way was turned down unanimously by councillors at the committee meeting on Thursday and was condemned by Cllr Dan Griffin.

Reasons for its refusal included the development failing to be harmonious with the neighbourhood, residents suffering potential loss of privacy and the risk of gross over-development.

One resident who attended the meeting, but wished to remain anonymous, said people had to stand at the meeting as the public gallery was jam-packed.

Prof Martin Bigg spoke on behalf of the community and said there was not a single person other than the developer, Godfrey Investments, who was in support of the new build.

He said the proposed development would have been a “disaster for the community” and thanked neighbours for their support.

He added: “We are particularly grateful to our councillors in Aldenham and Hertsmere for thoroughly challenging and unanimously rejecting the planning application.

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“It has further strengthened our community, even those who are tied by commitments to the developer and are prevented from objecting welcomed the news.”

On the refusal of the plans he said: “We were elated but of course you have to recognise it’s the first stage of a long-term process.”

The developer reportedly said the gardens of 3-11 Willow Way were underused to support his case at the meeting, however Cllr Seamus Quilty pointed out that children played in them.

Martin said the general feeling in the neighbourhood is one of jubilation and great relief, particularly for those who were directly affected.

But he said he will keep the campaign up and running as “you never know what the developer will do or how he will do it”.

He added: “We have already heard that the developer has said that he will appeal against the rejection.

“This will be a major test of Government ministers’ commitments to localism and local communities.”

Graham Taylor, chairman of the Radlett Society and Green Belt Association, said of the committee’s decision: “This sends out a clear message to garden-grabbing developers, schemes of this type are not wanted in our district.”

The Herts Advertiser approached the developer but they refused to comment.