Hatfield residents' fury over garage battle with council

Little Mead resident Anthony Goodwin (right) with other residents in front of some of the garages. Picture: Danny Loo

Little Mead resident Anthony Goodwin (right) with other residents in front of some of the garages. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Hatfield residents have blasted the council for having a "conflict of interest" as plans progress for the demolition of garages.

Little Mead resident Anthony Goodwin (right) with other residents in front of some of the garages. Picture: Danny LooLittle Mead resident Anthony Goodwin (right) with other residents in front of some of the garages. Picture: Danny Loo

Little Mead tenants have been told to clear out their rented council garages by October 30 so they can be replaced with four three-bedroom and three two-bedroom council houses

Planning permission was given at a full council meeting in August after 13 councillors voted in favour of the plans.

The development, which is part of the council’s Affordable Housing Programme, means a car parking area, 16 garages, and two flats will be pulled down.

Before the plans were approved, the council received a number of comments from residents, who raised concerns about parking problems, the impact on their quality of life and the loss of trees.

The garages in Little Mead. Picture: Danny LooThe garages in Little Mead. Picture: Danny Loo

Anthony Goodwin, 38, of Little Mead, said: “It was almost as if it was a done deal no matter who objected.

“It’s a conflict of interest.”

Self-employed Mr Goodwin took a petition around to his neighbours and got over 30 signatures stating they objected the development, and

claims that most of them had no clue that the development was happening.”

Some of the garages in Little Mead. Picture: Danny LooSome of the garages in Little Mead. Picture: Danny Loo

The former Sir John Newsom pupil added: “They have offered us garages in Northfield and Hillfield but that’s at least a 15 minute walk away.

“Parking is going to be a nightmare especially when it’s turned into a construction site. Where will we and the contractors park?”

A Welwyn Hatfield Council spokeswoman said: “The planning department of any council must by law work independently and consider the merits of each application based on legislation, policies, evidence, the views of statutory bodies and public comments.

“Sound planning reasons 
have to be given for all applications when they are granted or refused.

Some of the garages in Little Mead. Picture: Danny LooSome of the garages in Little Mead. Picture: Danny Loo

“Our Affordable Housing Programme has to date provided over 100 high quality new homes for local people and families on lower incomes.

“We are aiming to deliver around 80 more affordable homes for rent next year, using a mix of grant funding to housing associations, purchasing properties and building new homes on suitable

brownfield sites.”

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