Concerns halt plan to build homes on village pub land
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Flooding and conservation concerns have halted a decision on whether to allow nine houses to be built in the grounds of a village pub.
The owners of The Bell in Codicote High Street want to demolish the pub's current outbuildings and build nine new homes on the land.
The outbuildings had previously served as motel units but, according to the planning application submitted to North Hertfordshire District Council, had “not been trading well” in recent years.
The pub and motel are currently closed, with the applicants' agent, planning consultant Mark Westcott, arguing the new development will bring the space back into use and reduce the anti-social behaviour that has been on the rise over the last year.
However, residents have voiced concerns over loss of privacy, flooding risk, lack of infrastructure and a negative impact on what is a conservation area.
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Codicote resident Camelia Loan said: "We have not got the infrastructure. The traffic is horrendous already, the school is oversubscribed, the doctors are oversubscribed, and there is no parking."
David Hainsworth neighbours the site and spoke at the council's Planning Control Committee meeting last Thursday, when a decision to grant or refuse planning permission for the development had been expected. He said: "My house is the most adversely affected. There are less than 20 metres between my property and the proposed development. There would be absolutely no privacy."
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Councillor David Levett was among members of the committee who voiced concerns at the meeting about the impact of the development on the conservation area, and the risk of flooding.
Mark, the applicant's agent, said: "In planning terms, the scheme is policy compliant and will make a positive, optimal and effective use of this underutilised, previously developed site.
"The proposal is a well and clearly designed scheme that preserves and enhances the conservation area."
Council officers have recommended councillors grant planning permission, but the committee has deferred its decision, with chair Councillor Ruth Brown summarising: "We want a more detailed report on the impact on the conservation area and we want to see that flood risk management signed off."