Controversial plans for 12-storey flats in Hemel AXED

Controversial plans to build a massive block of flats close to Maylands Avenue have been rejected by council bosses.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 10:34 am
The proposed site: HSBC building, Maylands Avenue

The development of 268 flats at Kier Park, Hemel would have included six blocks – ranging between six and 12 storeys high.

And planners had said the proposed development would make a significant contribution to the borough’s housing target – without encroaching on the Green Belt.

But dozens of residents – backed by Hemel MP Mike Penning – had complained that the blocks were too high, would be “out of keeping” and that roads were already too busy.

The proposed site: HSBC building, Maylands Avenue

Some residents had also suggested the current provision of schools and doctors’ surgeries wouldn’t be enough for additional residents.

At a meeting of Dacorum’s development management committee on Thursday (June 13) councillors agreed the development should not go ahead.

And that decision has been welcomed by Mr Penning. Following the meeting, he said: “I am very keen that the concerns are listened to – and I objected with them.

“The sheer height means their’s would be completely overlooked and would have lost all of their sunlight.”

But Mr Penning also warns applicants could still go to appeal, where the application would be reconsidered to approval.

“The fear is they go on to appeal,” he said.

“At least we have won this skirmish in the battle to stop their properties being blighted.

“... We have learned over the years – you win skirmishes, you don’t necessarily win the war.”

At the meeting, a report by planning officers had recommended that the decision was delegated to them, with a view to approval.

That report also suggested negotiations continue to increase the amount of office space within the development – reflecting an expected increase in demand in the future.

According to the proposals, around 35 per cent of the flats would have been ‘affordable’ – with 75 per cent of that ‘affordable’ housing being rented and 25 per cent shared ownership.