Page12 - Planning: your Association is here to help

Overview

In recent months there have been fewer planning applications. It seems likely that the current financial situation has had a direct effect on the housing and building industries, with owners reluctant to sell in a falling market and expensive alterations put on hold.

Since April this year there have been 88 planning applications compared with 165 for the same period last year, comprising a mix of new developments and extensions or alterations. Of the 88 applications submitted to TRDC, 71 have been passed, 6 refused and 11 withdrawn. These figures tell their own story.

We continue to see applications to cram quarts into pint pots involving the replacement of one house by two or even three units. As well as being regarded as "overdevelopment" these proposals can often be seen as out of keeping in the street scene and also resulting in the loss of amenity space. Your Association is usually opposed to such developments and will continue to support residents' objections and requests to have these applications refused.

Objections

The Cottage, Homefield Road, appeal. 
This application was to erect two pairs of two storey semi-detached dwellings (4 houses) with detached garage and associated access, parking and landscaping. Despite our best efforts in support of the opposition and much support from the residents of Homefield Road the appeal was approved.

The developers subsequently put a further application in for one pair of semi-detached houses (2 houses) on the same plot, demolishing the garage in front of the main house. So if it was cramped before this further application, it certainly will be now with the additional application, bringing the total to six new houses on this plot. We did of course contact TRDC objecting to this latest additional application but, sad to say, this appeal was also approved.

Micklefield Hall
This application for the conversion of the bam from agricultural use to an events and function venue was comprehensively reported in the Spring 2009 issue of our Newsletter. It finally went to appeal and permission was approved. However, somewhat softening the blow, a condition was imposed to reduce the number of event days. 

Beulah and Wainhill, Common Road
Demolition of existing dwellings and erection of four-storey building with basement level incorporating 14 x 3 bed flats with balconies, alterations to land levels, and associated landscaping, parking (including underground parking area) and alterations to existing access. This went to appeal and we are pleased to report that the application was dismissed. 

Beulah and Wainhill date from the late l9th and early 20th centuries. Although there is nothing to link either dwelling directly with
the railway, both were built during the early stages of the railways induced growth. The planning inspector ruled that the buildings make a positive and significant contribution to the special architectural and historic interest of the Chorleywood Common Conservation Area and concluded that unacceptable harm would be caused to the character and appearance of the Chorleywood Common Conservation Area, due to the loss of the existing buildings, and due to the design and layout of the proposed new development.

Chorleywood Football Club 
Appeal for an extension to the existing football club grounds including change of use of grassland to create 2 x ll a-side pitches, 1 x 7 a-side pitch and grasscrete/shale car park. Your Association spoke in support of the club at the public enquiry held in September but sadly the appeal was dismissed.

New planning regulations
Changes to the planning system have been introduced which, to the uninitiated, could well be confusing. If you need help putting in an application you can get advice, prior to submitting your plans, from a  planning Officer at Three Rivers District Council. They have an officer available every weekday from 10am to 1pm to give guidance to the public on planning matters.


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