Plans submitted for 8 modular homes for homeless people in Hemel Hempstead

The case is currently with the planning case officer

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 11:12 am

Plans for eight modular homes for local homeless people in Hemel Hempstead have been submitted to the council's planning department.

A proposal has been submitted by Dacorum Borough Council for the demolition of existing garages and provision of eight modular homes for the sole use of local homeless people and associated works, including landscaping works, and car and cycle parking, on the garage site at Aragon Close, Hemel Hempstead.

In the design and access statement submitted with the application it says: "The homes are intended as a stepping stone between rough sleeping or reliance on hostels, and independent living.

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"The design of the modular homes follows extensive consultation with homeless charities and has been specifically designed to help meet the needs of vulnerable residents, providing them with a robust, safe, and secure place to call home.

"The Site extends to approximately 0.08 hectares (0.20 acres). It currently comprises 34 garages, of which 26 (76%) are rented and eight (24%) are void, and hardstanding.

"The garages are of a brick construction with up and over doors and flat roofs. Some of the garages are starting to fall into a state of disrepair, and there have been instances of antisocial behaviour with fly-tipping and vandalism regularly reported.

"The application seeks planning permission to demolish the existing garages, remove some of the hardstanding and provide 8no modular homes that are to be reserved for, and occupied by, individuals that would otherwise be homeless.

"The homes are to be provided in linear form, with a communal grassed area to the south and east. A small, paved area is to be provided in front of each of the homes to provide a breakout space.

"Additional landscaping is proposed to ensure an attractive and legible development. The Site is to be accessed through the existing car park to the south. A new pedestrian connection to Shenley Road is proposed."

In the conclusion of the design and access statement it says: "The proposed development will provide much needed accommodation for some of the Borough’s most vulnerable homeless people. It will bring back into beneficial use an underutilised and vacant site and will provide a safe space for individuals who simply do not have a place to call home.

"The proposals provide for a sustainable form of development with Air Source Heat Pumps and efficient design to ensure that carbon emissions are reduced.

"The proposed development will not raise any flood risk concerns and is being supported by necessary bin and bike storage facilities.

"The proposed development will also provide a well designed and safe place to live within a soft landscaped area. Occupiers will also be provided with a designated support structure to assist with their transition to more permanent forms of accommodation.

"There are very clear and tangible benefits offered by the proposed development which, when balanced against its impacts, demonstrate that the presumption in favour of sustainable development should be applied and that planning permission should be granted."

There have been two objections made online by residents in Aragon Close.

One person said: "The proposed homes will be directly outside my home and me and my sons room will have no privacy and no light and will be overshadowed by the new homes. The noise and disturbance from new homes. The view from our windows will be replaced with houses/people."

Another added: "We don't need more flats or houses I have my mobility scooter and the garage is the only place it will fit."

The case is currently with the planning case officer. To have your say on the visit the council's planning portal and search reference: 21/03707/FUL.