Radlett residents condemn plans for garden-grabbing homes

PUBLISHED: 18:11 04 November 2012

Willow Way

Willow Way

Archant

A GARDEN-grabbing development is set to go ahead despite residents’ concerns.

Plans to build four houses in the rear gardens of 3-11 Willow Way, Radlett, have been met with at least 14 objections.

But councillors and campaigners alike have predicted it will be approved at a committee meeting on November 8.

Godrey Investments of London bought garden land from homeowners to build the estate which will include a new access road and garages.

Neighbour Martin Bigg said: “So far we have been alerting neighbours in and around the area, so they are aware of what’s happening and encouraging them to write in to the council to object.

“We’ve identified a variety of reasons for it not to be approved.

“Most people are opposing the development. I can’t speak for the houses that have entered into agreement with the developers.” Opponents of the scheme said the development was in breach of the Hertsmere Local Plan, was not in character with surrounding homes and would cause a loss of privacy to nearby home-owners.

It also defies the government’s wishes to stamp out infilling and garden grabbing, and has raised fears that it could set a precedent for other developments in the area.

But Cllr Dan Griffin, of Aldenham Parish Council, who remains neutral on the planning issue, said that the proposed development was lawful.

He said: “If something is lawful it has to go through even if you hate it.”

He pointed out that there were restricted covenants in place on the site which could affect the new build.

But a spokesperson for Hertsmere Borough Council said: “The covenants on the building are irrelevant for planning law.

“You can’t take that into consideration.”

She added: “The papers aren’t out yet but it is likely to be recommended for approval.

The Radlett Society and Green Belt Association said: “We consider that this application constitutes gross overdevelopment of the proposed site.

“We believe the siting of the proposed dwellings, particularly with the first floor balconies, to be too close to the existing dwellings in Folly Close whose privacy would be seriously compromised.

The developer was unavailable for comment this week.

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