Don't overlook the effects of this housing scheme
PUBLISHED: 12:13 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010
THE plans to develop the former railway station site in Buntingford has come as quite a shock to the people who are directly affected by them. It is without doubt a site that would benefit from the right kind of development, taking into consideration the
THE plans to develop the former railway station site in Buntingford has come as quite a shock to the people who are directly affected by them.
It is without doubt a site that would benefit from the right kind of development, taking into consideration the surrounding area, and how such a development will affect the properties and people's lives already there.
I am resident in the houses in London Road and myself along with all the properties from No3 to the 11a and 11b will be directly overlooked by a three-storey block.
In addition, any seclusion or privacy, previously enjoyed in our beautiful Victorian gardens, will be totally gone.
The same will apply to the residents of Fairfield - a huge invasion of our privacy.
The plans read as if these will bring affordable homes to the area, but, of course, the developer has stopped short of the requirement to provide low-cost housing, by keeping the number of flats to under 25. Buntingford has enjoyed, so far, some excellent planning decisions, the Fairfield estate being one of them.
Recently, I decided to walk the streets around and look in more detail at other planning decisions, and up to now I have yet to find any development, recent or past, that has one house or flat overlooking directly on to another property.
I had to slightly laugh at the plans comments that 24 flats would not cause any additional traffic from the site.
First, the amount of cars will be an unknown factor, as some people will have one car and others in the two-bed flats could have three, taking the average case scenario, I estimate, to 48 vehicles parked in the underground area and the surrounding area.
I would suggest closer research on this point, as the number of vehicles in and out do not get to this level.
Looking at the issue of being three-storeys high, I can see that the pitch on the old station building is being used as the guidelines for this. But as this is the only property around with three storeys, why is it that this creates a precedent and not the overwhelming number of surrounding properties that are simply two-storey?
The one good thing about the plan is the refurbishment of the station building, but of course when this was built there were no properties for its windows to overlook, and Fairfield was built knowing that the station was an industrial unit and not residential. This along with strict control of the hours worked by the factory units made the difference.
There are several other issues - light blocking, light pollution, noise pollution, safety and security issues relating to the underground parking, and the luxury of having all of the waste from these flats at the end of the block.
I sincerely trust the planners have consideration now, as they have in the past, so as not to ruin the area with these flats, and of course, so as not to bring what would appear to be misery to residents who are already there.