St Albans conservation area 'at risk' from house development

PUBLISHED: 19:09 24 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

BUILDING a bungalow in the back garden of a former Mayor s property will totally desecrate a St Albans conservation area. Andrew Perkins, who lives in Bernard Street, is determined to prevent the building of a new bungalow in the back garden of a neighb

BUILDING a bungalow in the back garden of a former Mayor's property will "totally desecrate" a St Albans conservation area.

Andrew Perkins, who lives in Bernard Street, is determined to prevent the building of a new bungalow in the back garden of a neighbouring property, which has been empty ever since district councillor Gordon Myland moved out in 2006.

An application to build the two-bedroom property in the garden of 38 Bernard Street was refused at the end of 2008 and, following the dismissal of an appeal in May last year, developers Pro-Build have now put in an application to build a single-storey bungalow there instead.

But Andrew said that even a bungalow would still be intrusive: "The developer has crammed the proposed house against neighbours' boundaries and, as well as the privacy issue, we would have added noise and light pollution."

"In addition, the design of the house is in the style of a coach-house using timber cladding and clay tiles which would be totally out of character with the surrounding buildings.

"The overwhelming opinion of local residents is that this type of desecration is totally unwelcome."

But David Lane of DLA Town planning, which is acting as agents for Pro-Build, said that the anticipated bungalow would blend nicely into the surroundings: "All that is being proposed is a single-storey detached bungalow. There is a wide variety of building styles in and around Bernard Street and the bungalow is intended to reflect that character."

Despite the fact that a decision on the bungalow development will not be made until later this month, Andrew said the developers were already moving in: "The next planning meeting isn't until later in the month but at the end of December contractors went out onto the site and stripped it of mature shrubs and trees.

"It is all very concerning for Bernard Street residents."

Cllr Myland was unavailable for comment, but Mr Lane confirmed that he was still the owner of the building: "Mr Myland is the registered owner but he has no role to play in the development. Pro-Build are the developers, and we are the agents.

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