Radlett ‘garden-grabbing’ scheme back before planners

Willow Way in Radlett

Willow Way in Radlett - Credit: Archant

A DECISION to withdraw an approval for a controversial back-garden development after a “minor procedural error” has offered opponents a glimmer of hope.

The fate of the development in Willow Way, Radlett, is once again uncertain as Hertsmere borough council wanted to re-hear the arguments for its approval last Thursday, Febraury 14.

Plans for the four news houses were originally turned down back in November and described as being “driven by greed”.

But the developer, Godfrey Investments, then submitted a revised application which reduced the height of the houses and removed the rear roof lights, front windows and external balconies.

The revised application was approved by a vast majority at a committee hearing on January 10, but due to an error it was not passed.

Campaigner Prof Martin Bigg said the proposed “infill development” of the four houses was still far too big with four and five bedrooms, far too tall at 10 metres and “completely out of keeping with the neighbourhood”.

He added: “It is only wanted by those making money from it. Mr Godfrey has made minor cosmetic changes to try to get past the planning committee.

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“He has not listened to the reasons for the unanimous rejection by Hertsmere Council, Aldenham Parish Council, Radlett Society and Green Belt Association or to the community or local residents.”

Godfrey Investments confirmed they had resubmitted proposals to build “four luxury properties” after “significant modifications to the plans that incorporated community and council comments”.

In a statement they said they were “committed to being a ‘good neighbour’ to the communities in which they build and had “sought to embrace the principles of localism by incorporating local knowledge, opinion and views into the heart of the resubmitted proposals.”

Paul Godfrey, director of Godfrey Investments, said: “We are genuinely committed to listening to the concerns raised by the local community and have sought to address these as far as possible in the resubmission.

“We have also individually written to all those who objected to the previous scheme detailing how their comments have been incorporated into the changes that have been made.”

A spokeswoman for Hertsmere borough council confirmed a revised planning application had been submitted and was due to be reassessed this week.

She added: “As a matter of course, we invite comments from members of the public on all planning applications.

“In this case, the comments received have been carefully considered and form part of the officer’s report which will go before the committee on Thursday.”